Podcast / Podlediad #73: The ‘Booting’: Ireland and Denmark reviewed

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In this podcast Gareth, Russell and Leon look back at Wales’s opening Nations League games against Ireland and Denmark; encouraging performances by the likes of Chris Mepham and Ethan Ampadu; and they cast their minds towards October’s Spain friendly and consider how Ryan Giggs may use the fixture.
Yn y podlediad yma mae Gareth, RussellLeon yn edrych yn ôl at gemau agorol Cymru yng Nghynghrair y Cenhedlaethau yn erbyn Iwerddon a Denmarc; perfformiadau calonogol gan rheini megis Chris Mepham ac Ethan Ampadu; a bwrw eu meddwl tuag at frwydro Sbaen fis Hydref ac ystyried sut efallai bydd Ryan Giggs yn defnyddio’r gêm cyfeillgar yna.

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2 Responses

  1. Wyn says:

    Excellent podcast, top notch stuff. However, there was something important missing from the discussion which PP weren’t alone in failing to pick up on – the significance of Giggs’ switch from 4-3-3 in the Ireland game to 4-4-2 against Denmark. Giggs rightly got the plaudits for his bold selection and the fluidity of our attacking display against ROI – but he’s escaped justified criticism for a reckless formation against a country with such a strong spine. Not only did it leave us wide open defensively, but the new setup also didn’t give any sort of meaningful attacking platform – with Ramsey’s talents wasted up top.

    If you don’t believe that Wales played 4-4-2 – look at how we’re set up on 10 minutes and for the first goal just after the half hour (whole game is still on S4C). The ease with which Ericksen and Sisto were able to take up positions between the huge gap between the defensive four and the midfield four was very poor. For the opening goal, at the point that the cross come in to Ericksen, he’s on the edge of the Welsh box with no player within about 8 yards of him, front or back. To give any player that much space on the edge of the area is poor – but to give the top performer in international football (look at his goalscoring and assist record for Denmark and dare to challenge that assertion) is downright criminal.

    Dissecting that goal in detail the problem starts with Ramsey not pressing a Danish player as he advances 10 yards into the Welsh half. This leaves Ampadu with a dilemma – does he engage the player, or hold his position and allow the Danish player the chance to advance further. He chose the former – which may not have been a good choice – but he shouldn’t have been put in that position in the first place. Ericksen meanwhile peels away into space as the ball is switched wide. Ampadu is too slow to read the danger and track back, but equally not one of our defenders sees the danger. As the ball comes across to Ericksen we had a defensive line of 6 and a defensive midfield line of zero. Chester should have read the situation and advanced on Ericksen to make the block. Although Ramsey, Ampadu and Chester were all to blame to a degree for the goal, the 4-4-2 formation was the prime culprit.

    We have to hope Giggs learns quickly from what was a tactical decision for the Denmark that was as poor as his setup for the ROI game was good. If we play 4-4-2 against Spain we will be slaughtered. I suspect we will struggle even if we go 4-3-3. I think this is the game to revert to 4-2-3-1 and see how much better we can perform with round pegs in round holes especially now that we can call on an AA combination anchoring the midfield. We need to show quality teams respect and earn the right to play. Being gungho and open is just naive.

  2. admin says:

    Having watched highlights of Spain’s 6-0 mauling of Croatia with the former going 4-3-3 and the latter 4-2-3-1 perhaps it wouldn’t be such a good idea for Wales to go with a 4-2-3-1 as I suggested previously.

    This game could be a good opportunity to revert to the tried and tested 3-4-2-1 box formation – with a stronger team than previously – notably with upgrades in Davies out wide and Ampadu in the middle (and arguably Roberts out wide as well). The solidity in the middle provided by the box formation should enable us to give Spain a game.

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