Bale unable to inspire Wales
Last updated: March 29, 2018 by Leon Marshal
Welsh superstar Gareth Bale was unable to reproduce his stunning performance against China in the semi-final of the China Cup. Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani stole the show to give Ryan Giggs his first taste of defeat as Wales’s manager.
In the semi-final of the China Cup, Gareth Bale produced a scintillating performance as Wales swept aside China 6-0 to secure their place in the final. Bale scored three goals and proved what an immense talent he is. Whilst the quality of the opposition was questionable, Bale’s man of the match performance gave the Welsh team belief as they chased their first silverware since they shared the now defunct British Home Championship in 1970.
Bale’s performance in the China Cup final against Uruguay was much more subdued. The 28-year-old failed to shine and never realistically looked like repeating his heroics against China. This led to new manager Ryan Giggs defending the Real Madrid winger in his post-match interview stating that the pitch wasn’t suited to Bale’s style of play as well as complimenting the opposition, praising the speed in which the Uruguarian players closed down Bale.
In fairness Uruguay should have won by a more convincing score line. Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani scored in the 49th minute after a great cut-back from Luis Suárez. Suárez himself could have had a hat-trick as he hit the post twice and narrowly missed a clear-cut chance.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic though, Leicester City’s Andy King who is on loan at Swansea had two good first half efforts but was thwarted by Uruguay’s goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Muslera also saved smartly from Bale before the interval but after the break Wales lost the rhythm in their play and there was only ever likely to be one winner.
This was Ryan Giggs’s second match in charge of the Wales national team. The 44-year-old took over from Chris Coleman, who quit the position to take charge at Sunderland. Under Coleman, Wales had a magnificent Euro 2016 in which they reached the semi-final stage.
Ryan Giggs to Stay
Even though Wales narrowly failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup in Russia, both the Welsh squad and the Football Association of Wales had publicly voiced their desire for him to stay. Coleman however felt he and the FAW were on “different pages” with regards to the setup of the national team. This disagreement ultimately led to Giggs’s appointment in January this year. Giggs admitted that he didn’t particularly enjoy his first game in charge of Wales, despite the 6-0 score line. Britain’s most decorated footballer who won 35 trophies at his time with Manchester United said he was too nervous to take pleasure from the experience but was delighted with the result of his first game in charge.
The defeat in the final would have been difficult for Giggs but there is certainly no shame in this narrow defeat against a team boasting some of the best players in the world. Giggs will now have time to work with his players ahead of their friendly game against Mexico who are ranked 17th in the world at the Rose Bowl in California on the 28th of May.