Guys, it’s Gibraltar! Wales on the rocks after post-season friendly flop

<span>Josh Sheehan sums up the atmosphere in Wales.</span><span>Photo: Fran Santiago/Getty Images</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/ 52824f64526c74″ data-src= “–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/ 4f64526c74″/><button class=

Josh Sheehan sums up the atmosphere in Wales.Photo: Fran Santiago/Getty Images


The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar officially has a population of 32,688. If it were cut off the Iberian Peninsula and reattached to the north side of the Bristol Channel, it would be the 13th largest settlement in Wales, tucked between Caerphilly and Pontypridd. At its narrowest point, just north of the airport runway adjacent to the national and only football stadium, it is approximately 400 meters wide. With a good wind, Wayne Hennessey might be able to kick a football over it.

Wales fans, you probably know where we’re going with this, but hear us out. We understand it; not meeting incredibly low expectations is kind of our thing. A June friendly in the Algarve, three months after their last competitive match and with five players making their debuts, was never likely to be an invigorating performance. After the final whistle blew and Wales had been ceremoniously stamped into the record books with a 0-0 win over Gibraltar, Rob Page was keen to point to a large canvas he had dragged in front of the scoreboard. “I keep having to talk about the bigger picture,” the manager sighed, scraping a handful of eggs and plain pie from his face. Page has a point: the outcome of this match should be meaningless. It’s about giving young players game time and building some cohesion before the Nations League returns in the autumn.

On the other hand: guys, it’s Gibraltar. There is an inherent risk in fielding a postseason loser against a team ranked 203rd in the world; unless you get a few goals, the net effect is probably not positive. Take Scotland, whose willingness to step into the cauldron of the Allianz Arena next Friday must have been given a real boost by their 2-0 win over the same opponents earlier this week. But then again, if you don’t win not at all, there are bigger problems ahead. After being just a few penalties away from returning to the European Championship, Page was booed and intimidated by the 900 or so Welsh fans who turned up on Thursday. After sending out a team with a total of 44 caps, Page found himself up against the likes of Dan James and Brennan Johnson in an unsuccessful attempt to salvage his team’s credibility.

The result is doubly damaging as Wales defeated the same opponent 4-0 in Wrexham last October, so Page’s project appears to be on the decline. There really isn’t much lower to go – only seven teams in the world are ranked below Gibraltar, and the risk-reward ratio of a friendly against, say, the Turks and Caicos Islands looks very unfavourable. Instead, the coach under pressure must try to get a result from Wales’ next match in Slovakia on Sunday. That now feels like an essential and monumental task. As one joke put it, many fans will want the manager sacked for failing to beat one of the weakest teams in the world – but Julio Ribas should be given time to turn things around.


Join Scott Murray at 7.45pm BST for friendly updates from England (0-0 Iceland) in their big farewell at Wembley before the Euros.


“Up your game” – a message on a mayonnaise advert featuring Jack Grealish has attracted more attention than Hellmann’s creatives probably expected after the winger was dropped from England’s European Championship squad. In further spice making the rounds, the Manchester City winger added: “When we come together as England, we feel a real togetherness as a team to represent our country.” Ouch. But looking on the bright side, he also admits that he feels “the same connection with friends and family during the summer period when he enjoys a good BBQ at home”. Every cloud. He can now look forward to following his own advice. “Fire on [the] BBQ and try the Grealish Burger!”


May I congratulate you on your photo in Wednesday’s Football Daily of a smiling James Maddison and Jack Grealish ‘looking forward to the Euros’ as they give the thumbs up from England’s training headquarters. Are you Mystic Meg in disguise, or do you have a mole in camp? – Stevie Ewens.

I really wonder if Gareth Southgate uses the same method as, for example, the FA Cup fifth round draw on the One Show. Take 26 balls with jersey numbers from a bag [now that would improve international football – Football Daily Ed]” – Neil Carter.

Given the 19-1 vote by Premier League clubs to retain VAR (News, Bits and Bobs, yesterday’s full email edition), am I right in assuming that only Gary O’Neil will be allowed to complain about controversial decisions? – David Madden.

Before football was invented, we played pretty much the same game. However, the box was only intended to be opened on Saturdays and contained playing pieces including wing-backs, half-backs, inside forwards and centre-forwards. It was best if you could gather a stopper, a chopper and a centre-forward who was a standout for your team. Now we have Rice who I learned is a six but could also be an eight, Kane who is a true nine, and Saka who is a wide seven. Are these shoe sizes?” –Dave.

Worried about the higher costs of season tickets (yesterday’s Voetbaldagblad)? Give them up and become emotionally attached to a local non-competitive team instead. Come on, Bluebells!” – Phil Bloomfield, Yate Town FC supporter.

Send letters to The winner of today’s letter is… David Madden, who will have the chance to win a David Squires cartoon from our print shop. And the winner of our final print is… Stephen John Rankin. We’ll keep in touch. You can view the conditions for all this here.


Joey Barton is facing a new criminal trial over allegations he assaulted his wife, High Court judges have ruled after proceedings against him were earlier dropped.

Three people have been arrested for turning their backs and remaining seated as the Chinese national anthem was played ahead of Hong Kong’s World Cup home match against Iran. “Anyone who publicly and deliberately insults the national anthem in any way commits a crime,” a police spokesperson said.

Tosin Adarabioyo will move to Chelsea on a free transfer once his contract with Fulham expires. “I’m very excited and looking forward to helping the club move in the direction we want,” the defender trembled.

To win. To score. Stake. Stake. Stake. Scottish football’s top tier will be renamed the William Hill Premiership after a new sponsorship deal is completed. Sigh.

And Liverpool captain Tom Werner is “determined” to see a Premier League match take place in New York City, y’all. “I even have this crazy idea that there would be a day where we would play one match in Tokyo, one match a few hours later in Los Angeles, one match a few hours later in Rio, one match a few hours later in Riyadh. and make it a kind of day where football, where the Premier League, is celebrated,” he said.


If you’re a football hipster who prefers summer tournaments that are more niche than the European Championship, then Liverpool’s World In One City is for you. This year’s event – ​​which showcases local cultures and communities – features 16 teams of players representing the nation of their origin and has already featured a number of belting games, including West Indies 2-0 Brazil, Jamaica 2-0 Bangladesh and , er, England 8-1 Ireland. But the best game yet came on Thursday, when Zimbabwe came from 2-0 and 3-1 down to level the score at 3-3, before Yemen took the win with a final goal that was absolutely beautiful. Cue scenes. You can see it for yourself here. And also view all the goals if you want. Liverpool’s best 4-3 since this one?


Harry Maguire is not in the England squad for the European Championship and that could cause problems for Gareth Southgate, warns David Hytner.

As pointed out by these Mayo hucksters, Jack Grealish is also a player who won’t be playing in Germany. Jamie Jackson looks at why the winger has been dropped.

Getting excited about the euro? Discover Denmark and England in our latest team guides. And here are six late bloomers to look out for.

Manchester United are facing a tough summer in the market which could mark an early turning point for Big Sir Jim’s minority stake, writes Jamie Jackson.

And Jason Stockwood is a man on a football governing mission.


The elections are approaching in Great Britain, so it’s time to show a photo of former Labor leader Tony Blair receiving a masterclass on leading figures from Kevin Keegan on January 8, 1997. Labor came to power a few months later.


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