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Wales Versus England, Euro 2012 Qualifier: Open Thread

Photo by Mooganic

I’m seriously hoping that today’s match between Wales and England (11am ET, ESPN2/ will rekindle more discussion about the possible return of the British Home Championship. A big part of that will be whether Wales can show to England and the world if their national team is worthy of competing against the likes of England. If The Three Lions find Wales to be an inferior opposition today and walk all over them, it hardly gives the British Home Championship much chance of seeing a return if the level of competiveness is sub-standard.

British Home Championship aside, today’s match is a must-watch game (which is a rarity when England is involved). How many times have we seen England play a hum-drum game inside a quiet Wembley Stadium during the last few years? At least this match will have a ton of passion and atmosphere on display.

Before, during or after today’s match, post your rants, raves, observations or questions in the comments section below.

PS – Yn dod ar Cymru!

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  1. Jon Sharp

    March 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    The most entertaining game was between Argentina and the USA primarily because it was the most competitive of the ones I watched. Argentina was clearly on top in the first half and probably should have scored more than one. But the US came back strongly in the second half and made a real game out of it. The US team seems to be on an upward trajectory. Sadly the same cannot be said for Wales and Scotland who both seem to be losing ground rapidly in the international arena. Scotland did better against Brazil in the 2nd half, and it was Brazil after all. But even so – I have memories of Ally’s army proudly marching off to Argentina in ’78 when us English fans had to think of something else to do for the summer. I also recall the Welsh being the feistiest of the Home Championship teams. What happened? England seem to be holding their own in the rising tide of International competition, but Wales and Scotland need to get some water wings and fast. Still, neither were as bad as Kazakhstan who were steam-rollered by a Tuetonic display of efficiency such that the second half was a complete waste of time.

  2. TheDuke

    March 27, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Arsenal choked away a domestic cup to a relegation threatened side, got bounced by a Barca side that outclassed them regardless of scoreline, (Anyone who watched the Nou Camp game knows Arsenal was dominated and was lucky to be in with a chance when Van Persie got tossed), lost a cup quarter to their main title rival and have failed to capitalize on a series of United flops while playing mostly crap opposition. And that was just their last week in February and March.
    Do you know how you avoid Barca in the round of 16? Win your group. Who was in the Arsenal group again Shaktar, Braga and Partizan real champs there.
    Meanwhile Spurs split with the defending ECL champs and beat a Milan team that is winning the Serie A right now.

    • Gooner

      March 27, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      1. Everyone knows Spurs won’t win the Champions League.
      2. Spurs won’t even be in the Champions League next season.

  3. James

    March 26, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    FIFA rankings are often a sham but the US is currently 19 whilst Wales is 116. And whilst Wales has individual players who may be better the US plays extremely well, together, as a team. Also, anyone who just watched the draw vs. Argentina should realize this current US squad is no push over.

    • pete

      March 27, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I did watch the U.S and to be honest it was men vs boys in the first half, they ran rings round you, I’m not even sure if the U.S got out of their half. You came into it more 2nd half but to be fair it could have been 10-1 to Argentina.

      • James

        March 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm

        That’s pretty much US soccer right now. The talent level isn’t on par with a lot of other nations but it’s a scrappy, hard working team.

  4. The Gaffer

    March 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Let me add that I’ve seen Wales play many times over the past few years thanks to GolTV, and other services, but this was their worst display I’ve seen in as long as I can remember. Based on their performance today, Swansea City could give them a hiding (Swansea has a few Welsh players). But still, a Championship side could have swept past Wales today, as woeful as they were.

    The Gaffer

    • pete

      March 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

      I agree first half they were poor, I thought they had a few spells in the second half where they passed it around a bit. You might argue England had taken their foot of the gas by then but i don’t think it was all bad, especially when they have Bale to come back.
      I think they are a better team than their zero points say but we will have to wait and see if Speed can do something with them.

  5. Thomas

    March 26, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    The US would beat Wales easily. The US is ranked at least 20 places above Wales. There is a reason for that. Wales is in a rebuilding phase and in time they will be better but right now they aren’t very good. They are last in their group for Euro 2012 for a reason. They deserve being last in their group at the moment.

    • pete

      March 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Look, no offence, I know most people on here are from the U.S but you have to understand that qualifying out of the Euro groups is not like Concacaf.
      One team will go through in England’s group:


      We are not talking 3 spots against cannon fodder for a place like in the finals like Concacaf.
      Being bottom of this group does not mean you’re rubbish

      • Pakapala

        March 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        Sorry but being bottom of that group behind Montenegro and Bulgaria does mean you are rubbish! You put the US in that group and they would finish 2nd behind England (if not battling it our for 1st) or worse finish behind Switzerland if they have a very bad qualifying campaign but there’s no way the US would finish last in a group like that! No way!

        • pete

          March 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

          The Montenegro team that you have just dismissed has beaten Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales and has got as draw against us at Wembley. I wouldn’t be too confident about showing up and wiping the floor with them. The U.S would be lucky to get 3rd in this group and would be more likely fighting it out to avoid being bottom. Sorry but that is the truth

          • Pakapala

            March 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

            I never said the US would wipe the floor with any of the teams in the group. However the expectation of the team would be to come out 2nd at least, while the expectation of your Wales team is to finish bottom and be proud of such achievement because of the caliber of the group.

            As for your opinion being the truth, I’m sorry but your comment about the Wales bench and complete way you seemed perplexed when told about the US bench shows me that you know little about the US squad. So you would be the last person to assess how well they would do in the Euro qualifying group since you do not watch the team play obviously.

    • Matt

      March 27, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      The US is ranked 97 places above Wales, so yeah, at least 20 places :).

  6. pete

    March 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Well we will have to agree to disagree, one thing I will say though is that Premier league Blackpool player Vaughn came on as a sub for Wales, How many Premier League subs as the U.S got?

    To say theat the U.S would walk over that Wales team is reaching to say the least

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers; however he had to pull out due to injury sustained against Manchester United), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United) and Marcus Hahnemann (Wolves). US bench has more Premier League footballers on their squad than the entire Wales team does.

      And then of course there’s Tim Howard (Everton). Clint Dempsey (Fulham) wasn’t called up for this squad.

      The Gaffer

      • pete

        March 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

        Stuart Holden, Jermain Jones? Are you sure, Last I was hearing on another forum was all the U.S fans going crazy that J Evans had injured their best player. Unless Bob’s started putting these so-called best players on the bench to start games. I’ll have to check out this U.S friendly tonight to see how many of these subs are subs,

  7. The Gaffer

    March 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    A depressingly atrocious display from Wales. They played as if it was a friendly. No one stood up and tried to take the game on. Joe Ledley was awful. Ramsey was hardly inspirational. Bellamy tried but came up short.

    In the entire 90 minutes, Joe Hart touched the ball three times (by my count). Once to catch a cross from a corner. Another time to pick up a back pass that wasn’t deliberate. And the other time to punch a cross (from another corner) out of the box.

    Man of the match, for me, was Scott Parker. As soon as Wales got the ball and tried to play it up field, they were consistently pressured. They lacked creativity to unlock the England midfield.

    I’m absolutely embarrassed by how poor Wales were today. The players failed to muster up any desire to win this game. They may have been outmastered but they also failed in lacking the passion necessary to at least give Welsh supporters some pride.

    The Gaffer

    • john

      March 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

      ledley king wasn’t playing

      The Gaffer March 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm
      A depressingly atrocious display from Wales. They played as if it was a friendly. No one stood up and tried to take the game on. Ledley King was awful. Ramsey was hardly inspirational. Bellamy tried but came up short.

      • The Gaffer

        March 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

        Sorry John. I meant Joe Ledley was awful. I was really depressed after today’s game, still am, so I wasn’t thinking straight.

        The Gaffer

  8. Mr Cleworth

    March 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Nice to see Scott Parker doing a very good job in the defensive midfield role which has been missing for too long! We lost Hargreaves which was gutting, but why did it take so long to discover Parker?
    More of Parker and Wilshire in midfield, and less of the non-functioning
    Gerrard / Lampard method is a good change.
    Interesting how Young picked up his game with class players around him….A good move for Sir Alex I think in the summer.

    • Jon Sharp

      March 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      I completely agree. Parker was a breath of fresh air. On paper, Lampard/Gerrard should be fantastic. But in practice it doesn’t work so well. I hope Parker gets a good run in the England shirt. In fact I thought he was better than Wilshire today – I think Parker’s experience shows when he is on the ball. He isn’t in a hurry, gets his head up, makes intelligent use of the ball and can tackle and defend effectively without fouling.

      • The Gaffer

        March 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

        I totally forgot that Gerrard was even missing today. England doesn’t need him. And I agree, Parker was miles better than Wilshere. And Wilshere is pretty decent.

        The Gaffer

        • Dave C

          March 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm

          I feel like I (and a million others) have been saying for years that Scott Parker (or at least some one who naturally fits the DM role) HAS to be part of the england XI. I’d rather have an average DM playing at DM than have no-one playing there just to accommodate more “stars” elsewhere.

          I never saw the game, but from what i heard it sounds like he did a decent job, and freed up Lampard, Cole, Johnson and Wilshere to play their natural games.

          Unfortunately, I feel as soon as Stevie G is fit, Capello will try to shoe-horn him into the team at Parker’s expense.

  9. Ivan

    March 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Bad game of football; it was over 15 mins in…mediocre England(but, then, they got the points w/ a minimum effort), awful Wales…what a snoozefest…

    • pete

      March 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

      I actually think this Wales team with Bale to come back would beat the U.S.

      Bale – Tottenham
      Ramsey – Arsenal
      Bellamy – Man City
      Collins – Aston Villa

      Even the Championship players are playing at a higher level than MLS

      • The Gaffer

        March 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

        Wales would get slaughtered by the United States. And that’s coming from a Welshman living in the United States.

        The Gaffer

        • pete

          March 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm

          I think you’re rating the U.S too high. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Dempsey and Howard fan but but if you actually break down the first 11 that both could put out i don’t there’s a lot in it.

          Wales with :

          Bale Ramsey Bellamy

          that nidfield 3 in from of a Dm is better than anything the U.S could field

          • Pakapala

            March 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

            There I was thinking that we were past the days when football fans underestimate the US team. Bale & Ramsey are great upcoming players but with little experience in big international games and Bellamy is a monster every coach would like to have on their team, but that does not make Wales a great team, certainly not on the level of the USA. Bale, Bellamy, Ramsey vs Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley. One group has been proving their worth internationally while the other is still learning to play together.

            • The Gaffer

              March 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

              I agree Pakapala. Bellamy is well past his expiration date. Ramsey is overrated and Bale is a brilliant winger. But I’d take Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey any day of the week.

              The Gaffer

              • Kautzie

                March 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm

                Ramsey just came back from a broken leg what did you expect? Him and Wilshere are going to be foundation for one of the biggest clubs in the world for the next decade while beside Tim Howard, nobody in the US side would get near the Arsenal first team.

                Gaffer you need to just admit it once and for all that you don’t like Arsenal and your a closet Spurs fan.

                • The Gaffer

                  March 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

                  Foundation for one of the biggest clubs in the next decade? If Arsenal can pull that off, more power to them. But I’m nit sure if you saw Ramsey’s performance today? I know he’s back from injury but he was exceedingly below average today.

                  You know I don’t support Spurs or Arsenal. I support Swansea. Just because Spurs are having a better season than Arsenal this year is no reason to assume that I’m supporting Spurs (which I’m not).

                  The Gaffer

                • darryl19

                  March 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm

                  tottenham having a better season then arsenal? arsenal are still in for a shout of winning the premier league,lost a final of a domestic cup competition and were knocked out of europe by the best team in the world probably the best team in history to be fair with contribution from a bit of a dogy referreing decision. tottenham are 4th or 5th i think and scraped a win at ac milan a team of oaps that would struggle to qualify for europe in the premier league no comparison sorry

                • The Gaffer

                  March 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm

                  Spurs are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. If Arsenal can win the league, more power to them. But the story of the season thus far is Tottenham Hotspur.

                  The Gaffer

                • trickybrkn

                  March 27, 2011 at 12:40 am

                  you love that Bale fella don’t ya…

                • The Gaffer

                  March 27, 2011 at 7:31 am

                  Yes, he’s Welsh and, being Welsh, I’m very proud of him.

                  The Gaffer

                • Dave (dlbags)

                  March 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

                  I think you are being too hard on Aaron Ramsey. He clearly isn’t 100% match fit and was dragging by about 70th minute, not even running. His problems seemed to be more fitness than skill. I think calling him “overrated” is a bit much. I don’t think Speed would name him Captain if he were. I realize he’s a Cardiff boy etc but come on, the cat broke his leg 1 year and 1 month ago. His recovery has been short of amazing thus far.

                  Honestly had his time at Nottingham not been plagued with so many snow outs he’d probably be further along too.

                  And if Hennessy can just pretend he’s goalkeeping against Arsenal every game, Wales will be okay.

                  I think you just had too high of expectations especially considering they were all but mathematically eliminated anyway.

                • trickybrkn

                  March 27, 2011 at 12:38 am

                  Gaff Spuds are 5th on 49 points and Gooners 2nd on 58

                  hard pressed to say that Spuds are having a better season, Spurs fans think that the way back to the Champions league is beating Barca Real and then winning the final… V. they could just beat teams in the PL drop zone…

                  anyway… I feel ya today, I support West Ham. You are going through what I call Saturday.

                • The Gaffer

                  March 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

                  Taking a step back, Spurs have exceeded expectations by beating Inter Milan and AC Milan in the Champions League and making it into the quarter-finals. They’re also battling for fourth place. Arsenal has not met their expectations. The expectation was that they would finally win silverware this season. It’s not looking likely that this will happen.

                  The Gaffer

        • Ivan

          March 27, 2011 at 12:19 am

          Agreed w/ Gaffer; US would put at least 2 past Wales (at Wales); in light of Wales’ upcoming games:
          at England, at Bulgaria, home v. Switzerland and Montenegro, Wales getting a single point at the end of group play would be considered a success…some of these guys were scared to be on the field today. Very disappointing; I expected w/ a new coach and v. an old enemy, Wales would go all out for 90 minutes…too bad…

  10. john

    March 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    gaffer, stop being so biased

  11. Wallace

    March 26, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Where are Young and Bent when they wear the Villa jersey? Young especially looking strong with great movement.

  12. DGS

    March 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

    2-0 after 15…England running riot.

    (Gaffer…tell me about this Brains Beer. Sounds like something only a zombie could love…)

  13. Jason

    March 26, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Poor Wales, already down by 2. The scoreline could be huge.

  14. Thomas

    March 26, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Very soft penalty for England. Not a good start for Wales. That penalty would not have been given in the EPL.

  15. The Gaffer

    March 26, 2011 at 11:11 am

    BS penalty decision.

    The Gaffer

    • trickybrkn

      March 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Are you Scotland in disguise…

    • trickybrkn

      March 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Favorite Welsh chant ever….

      You’re Welsh, and you know you are…
      (repeat till bored)

  16. Thomas

    March 26, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I thought the booeing by the Welsh fans during the singing of the English national anthem was in very poor taste. Let’s hope the game isn’t as ugly.

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

      The England fans booed the Welsh national anthem too. Booing an opponent’s national anthem is a common occurrence worldwide, even more so when it’s your most hated opponent.

      The Gaffer

      • trickybrkn

        March 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

        You mean to tell me, that the Welsh don’t like the English and vice versa.. say it ain’t so 😉 next you’ll tell me that the Scots dislike the English.

        Bent … back of the NET

  17. Jason

    March 26, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Would love to see Wales do one over the English but I just cannot see it happening especially with Gareth Bale out. England will win comfortably probably by 2 or 3 goals. I just hope it’s not a boring game.

  18. Jeff

    March 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

    It is so disappointing that Bale is not playing in this game. It would have been great to watch him against England. The football Gods are evil.

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Definitely a huge loss, but I’m hoping that Craig Bellamy (Cardif) and Ashley Williams (Swansea) can be key players. It’s going to be tough. Championship players against Premier League footballers.

      The Gaffer

  19. trickybrkn

    March 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

    • The Gaffer

      March 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

      Uh oh, hah ha, the sheep shagger jokes are coming out now! 😉

      For another laugh, take a look at this video (which I found as a related video from the one Trickybrkn suggested):

      The Gaffer

      • The Gaffer

        March 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

        England starting line-up v Wales: Hart, Johnson, Terry, Dawson, A. Cole, Lampard, Parker, Wilshere, Young, Rooney, Bent.

        The Gaffer

        • trickybrkn

          March 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

          stay classy Wales… booing the English anthem…

          • The Gaffer

            March 26, 2011 at 11:05 am

            The Welsh hate the English. What did you expect?

            The Gaffer

        • pete

          March 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm

          I’m glad they booed the anthem, it got the English players in the right frame of mind.

          • trickybrkn

            March 27, 2011 at 12:07 am

            Really… funny how most don’t even know the words. At least Speed made the Welsh learn Welsh and sing it.
            While the English flounder and look as if they are thinking about what Bentley they wanna buy.

          • pete

            March 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

            Are you actually saying the English players don’t know the words to their Anthem? Please tell me you are.

  20. trickybrkn

    March 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I love the idea of the British Home Championship. Problem is when do you play the games. Not to mention the clubs who already hate internationals and the injuries they bring.

    I wouldn’t mind if it was a u21 or u19 competition, but I think its days as a senior team tournament are done and dusted. Money is the ruler of the game, and National Associations would rather pack in a friendly vs a name nation where they can collect a bigger gate and Tv revenue.

  21. Matt

    March 26, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Expecting a good performance from England today. Comfortable win by a couple of goals. Bellamy and Ramsey are main threats but should think we have enough to cope. Wales losing Bale just days before game is a HUGE blow but I do wish Wales, and Gary Speed, every success for WC Qualification for Brazil 2014.

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