Wales players’ caps to games ratios

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2 Responses

  1. Alarch says:

    Superb article – especially for someone such as myself, with nerdy tendencies. What would make these stats even more interesting is if they were placed within an overall context of international average availability stats – and no, I’m not volunteering. My, undoubtedly biased, perspective, is that Wales has suffered more than most nations from loss of players, especially key players, through injury.

    I would imagine that a 90% selection ratio would be just about the max for an automatic pick, allowing for the inevitable early career inconsistent selection, suspensions and occasional injury or illness. Williams approaches that mark – and provides the benchmark for what we can hope our best players might attain. I imagine that a 75% selection ratio would be just about par for the course for an automatic pick – so for the likes of Bale, Ramsey and Allen to fall well short of this notional mean, whilst unsurprising, also serves to illustrate how unlucky we’ve been. I’m sure the selection ratios for the likes of Rooney, Terry, Lampard and Gerrard are far higher – and some of their absences would have been down to the enviable position of an alternative better option having been available. With respect to the aforementioned trio – for the last four seasons they have always played when available and will continue to do so for another 6 or 7 years.

    Going beyond the top tier of players the ratios for the next level, such as the likes of Collins, Gabbidon, Ledley and Taylor are all below 70%, with the first two below 50% – which is way below what you would expect for their talent. Even Hennessey only just makes 70%, far lower than you’d expect for a goalkeeper with little competition. How can we expect to qualify when so many of our key players lose such large chunks of their international careers to injury?

    The thing is this is hardly new is it? How many games did Bellamy, Simon Davies, Giggs and Hartson lose to injury? Far too many that’s for sure.

    Even though it makes a tedious and capricious narrative, it’s unfortunately true nevertheless that lady luck has played, and will continue to play, a massive part in determining our chances of qualifying. It’s NOT FAIR [stamps feet like small child]!

  2. Russell Todd says:

    I share your frustration! Giggs, of course, missed games to injury and ‘injury’. Hartson made his debut for Wales *after* his £2.5m transfer to Arsenal. I can’t see how such a promising Welsh youngster nowadays, especially a striker, would make a similar move without already being capped. Koumas, Gabbidon, Davies and Colins are all examples of players not getting capped until their twenties. Within a decade the trend is to cap much younger: “if they’re good enough, they’re old enough”. And in most instances their talent has been proven good enough. A couple fall by the wayside (e.g., Neal Eardley, Richard Duffy) of course.

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