Podcast/Podlediad #87: SloCroRo – Slovakia, Croatia, Rodon
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Gareth, Leon and Russell reflect on the two points collected against Slovakia and Croatia, impressive defensive performances and consider who might replace Joe Allen in Azerbaijan. Recorded on the anniversaries of the 4-1 defeat in Nuremberg and the home win versus Italy, they reminisce on both games.
Mae Gareth, Leon a Russell yn myfyrio ar y ddau bwynt a gasgwlyd yn erbyn Slofacia a Croatia, perfformiadau amddiffynnol ac ystyried pwy efallai y bydd yn cymryd lle Joe Allen yn Azerbaijan. Fe’i recordiwyd ar benblywddi’r gorchfygiad 4-1 yn Nuremberg a’r fuddugoliaeth gartre yn erbyn Yr Eidal, ac maen nhw’n hel atgofion y ddau gêm.
Great pod, and agree with pretty much everything, but rather than boringly listing everything I agree with I’ll focus on the odd elaboration and disagreement.
Agree that Rodon was terrific, but as a Swansea fan I can confidently say that the best is yet to come – and sooner rather than later. Prior to Ben Davies’ run at the heart of the Croatian defence I was hoping that Joe would do likewise – as he’s done so several times for Swansea under Potter, to great effect. As it was he was a lot more circumspect, perhaps playing more conservatively under instruction, or just playing within himself because of the magnitude of the occasion, his lack of experience, and having a rookie partner in Lockyer. Something for Cymru fans to look forward to.
Ben Davies was terrific, but can’t be faulted for the Perisic header, as it was Lockyer playing him onside by a couple of yards. Talking of Lockyer, I thought he did OK, but I also feel Giggs got away with that selection (otherwise kudos to Giggs for once for a tactically astute setup). He was probably the main culprit for Croatia’s goal, and generally was slow in his distribution, giving me kittens that he’d repeat his surrendering of the ball for Slovakia’s goal. A fit Williams should play ahead of him, in the absence of Mepham, but I’d be surprised if Giggs sees things that way.
Agree that Williams could be risked as a deep-lying midfielder against Azerbaijan. After all he was highly influential from deep against the Azeris first time out, and then again against Belarus. I would probably only risk him if he has a fully fit Ampadu or Smith to play alongside – which has to be doubtful.
The one thing I 100% disagree with is the suggestion that Joe Allen is waning in any shape or form. It’s a little bit reminiscent of comments some people made about Hennessey a while ago… Allen was magnificent against Belarus, did an excellent man-marking job on Hamsik against Slovakia, but still managed to thread one terrific ball through to Connor Roberts, and played his part against Croatia. Agreed that it wasn’t his best game, but given that the ball was sailing over his head pretty much for 90 minutes it’s hardly surprising his influence was limited on the ball. I confidently predict that he’ll be an important player for Wales at 35, albeit that by then he’ll need to adapt his game. Still a class act.