Yesterday we saw Wales progress into the semi-final of Euro 2016. They shocked us all in beating Belgium 3-1 and showed us all how dedicated and committed they are to this tournament. Playing every match with an energy fuelled on passion and love for their country. Something English players need to learn, lets take a look at what Wales can teach England and English football.
1. It's not about stars or money
Yes obviously Wales have Gareth Bale, one of the best players in the world right now, but he is only one player in a squad which isn't packed with world class talent. Neither is England's but the difference comes when players in the Wales squad are picked for their ability and form rather than their name or how they can possibly play if they had a good day. For example Ashley Williams. He has been playing well in a struggling team all season. Swansea had a rough ride this season and Williams if English would be nowhere near the England set up if he were English. Coleman however, knew he was strong and gave him a chance. Look at players like Danny Drinkwater and Mark Noble, all season they've put in the work, shown their passion and desire for football and are picked ahead of Jack Wilshere who I do like but has only played 141 minutes of football all season, and hasn't done anything notable in those minutes anyway. Players like Daniel Sturridge who okay has been scoring goals but had a large amount of the season out through injury. Wales seem to pick players who have shown they want to play for their country and they deserve to, rather than anyone available.
What I mean by this is, Wales had a game plan. Every player knows what each others role is and are used to playing in the position they are placed in. England kept experimenting and it wasn't working. Poor tactics introduced by Hodgson including a leading poacher style goal scorer being put on corners, and this was just the beginning. Wales know they're strengths and they play to them, England use a policy of 'try this and hope' and 'if that doesn't work bring all the strikers on' Which isn't the way to approach things. The new England manager needs a system, a plan, the best plan which he should see from watching his players at club level and during training sessions.
3. Don't hold back
Look at Wales, when they beat Belgium yesterday they didn't sit on a one goal cushion, they came out and secured the win with another goal. This is another thing England are incapable of doing. After going 1-0 up against an incapable Russia side, everyone sat back and invited pressure, we even bought on Milner because 'we were in control' at 1-0. Everyone has been saying it but it is just ridiculous how at 1-0 you can be in control of a football match. Wales played football, and tried to score as many as they could, which is what England needed to do, not sit on any 1 goal lead.
Overall its frustrating for England fans as nothing can be changed now, and it's also frustrating to sit and watch Wales do so well. Fair play to them they are really proving what a good passionate team can do and they could cause an upset. If they do it will be incredible! Credit to everyone involved at With Wales. As for England, things need to change and be sorted out and fast, not just in the national squad, but the fact English players are twice the price of overseas players is also ridiculous. These issues need to be addressed, and soon, before English football becomes worse than a 2-1 defeat to Iceland.