Why Wales fans must stick with Ryan Giggs after first year in charge
Ryan Giggs has only been in Wales hot seat since January, but already some are calling for Wales to look in a new direction after suffering defeat to Albania.
The defeat means that the Manchester United legend has lost more games than he’s won, as he completes his first year in charge of Wales.
But perhaps it’s a knee-jerk reaction losing to a side which lost 4-1 to Scotland just a few days ago, in the below tier of the UEFA Nations League.
Ryan Giggs’ Wales in 2018. P9 W3 D1 L5. Major improvement needed to qualify for Euros in 2019.
— Phil Cadden (@pjcadden) November 20, 2018
The positives of Giggs
Under his guidance, we have seen players like Chris Mepham, David Brooks, Ethan Ampadu, Matt Smith and Tyler Roberts become a part of the side.
We have also seen the reemergence of Harry Wilson, who has come in from the cold and is now excelling for both club and country.
The two differing performances against Ireland shows that Wales can play some silky stuff which blew apart Ireland.
Wales also showed they can win without their two best players when Harry Wilson scored a superb strike in Dublin.
It was against the same opposition, but the two performances showed Wales do have a Plan B.
Against Denmark at home, Wales were competitive against a side which were in the last sixteen of this years World Cup, against experienced internationals.
It may not have been the result Wales would have wanted, but they did compete.
Where things can improve
One of the things that Ryan Giggs has done is not stick to the same team for each game. He’s made changes, which have sometimes worked and have sometimes cost Wales.
But a big point in Giggs team selection is where he plays Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale. Bale played mostly as a winger against Denmark, up until Tyler Roberts was replaced. This move allowed Bale to move central and thus he got his goal, as Wales clawed one back.
The Madrid star should be the one to lead the line for Wales in the attack. He creates space out of nothing and is pivotal for Wales going forward. Being played on the wing limits Wales, as he is expected to track back also. This isn’t something he does for Real Madrid and is often criticised for it.
By playing Bale in the free role as Chris Coleman did, Wales can utilise Bale to his strength. Bale is hungry and will retrieve the ball from any position.
Aaron Ramsey also played in a deeper role than he would have expected to play for Wales against Denmark.
Ramsey who has played as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal at times this season playing alongside Joe Allen.
He suffered from playing in this deeper role and felt like a passenger for Wales when really Ramsey is expected to be Wales Plan B for an attacking option.
🏴Disappointing result to round off 2018 for Ryan Giggs as @Cymru manager. Report card will say could do better. Good results were great, bad results were awful. No inbetween. Youngsters a positive, let’s hope the bigger picture leads to redemption. Sad night for @Chrisgunter16
— Mark Pitman (@markpitman1) November 20, 2018
Mark Pitman here has got it spot on. Wales haven’t been able to come behind to win in games or slightly go in front.
When Wales have lost, there’s not been as many positives to take out of the game.
The Albania game was a performance which a few supporters felt let down by. But it still offered younger players like the emerging prospect of Rabbi Matondo an opportunity to stake their claim for Wales.
Give Giggs time
You have to spare Ryan Giggs the same amount of time, which was given to his predecessor Chris Coleman.
Coleman was appointed in February 2012 and in just seven games, he lost six and picked up just the one victory, over Scotland.
After nine games in charge, both Coleman and Giggs won three games. Two of Giggs’ like Coleman’s came in a competitive fixture, whilst the other was a friendly against China.
Ryan Giggs is owed at least one qualification campaign in what is an important time in the countries history.
This is a good opportunity for Wales to qualify, having been placed in Pot Two for the upcoming draw in two weeks.
Wales were top seeds in the last World Cup qualification group but failed to qualify.
It may mean less pressure on Wales being second seeds, but there is still an expectation for Wales to qualify, after their previous exploits in the European Championships.
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)