The page has a small window of time to begin his Qatar Football World Cup preparations and some significant selection decisions to make. The euphoria of World Cup qualification was always going to be followed by a comedown, yet on Wednesday night’s Nations League match against the Netherlands, a drastically altered Wales team played bravely despite losing.
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When Teun Koopmeiners’ first goal was cancelled out by Rhys Norrington-Davies’ goal in the 92nd minute, it appeared as though Rob Page’s team had rescued a draw. However, Wout Weghorst of Burnley scored the game-winning goal just seconds later. Only four competitive games remain for Wales before their World Cup debut on November 21 against the USA, leaving Page little time to select his starting line-up for Qatar Football World Cup.
A taste of things to come?
Wales currently has four games left to play in the 165 days until their World Cup campaign kicks off against the USA, thus the match against the Netherlands may have served as a preview for Qatar Football World Cup. In the Finals, Wales is in Group B along with England and Iran while Louis van Gaal’s team is in Group A.
The groups are paired with one another in the round of 16. This means that when the knockout rounds begin in the first week of December, the two may cross paths. Given that both Football World Cup teams made a total of 18 changes from their previous matches, last night couldn’t be used as a form indicator.
Hennessey or Ward?
Wayne Hennessey is undoubtedly in the driver’s seat between now and November after his exploits against Ukraine. In the first half last night, Danny Ward continued a series of impressive performances for his country by earning his 26th cap against the Football World Cup Netherlands. In the second half, Adam Davies was added to the line-up for his third appearance, and his first assignment was essentially to save Teun Koopmeiners’ shot from going through the net.
Hennessey started just twice for Burnley, Ward once for Leicester, and Davies played in his final league game on January 3 for his former team, Stoke, which is interesting because none of the three was first-team regulars the previous season. Hennessey was outstanding on Sunday, but the goalkeepers’ inability to play regularly for the first team over the coming few months may provide a problem.
Brennan Johnson’s role
Few sportsmen enjoyed the postseason as much as the Nottingham Forest forward, who within a week helped both his team and country advance to the Football World Cup Finals. The 21-year-old Johnson started up front last night with Dan James after making an impact off the bench against Ukraine, but his efficacy as a false nine was badly hindered by a lack of service.
Johnson provides a significantly different offensive option with the one asset that is irreplaceable at any level of game pace, yet Kieffer Moore is still Wales’ preferred target man. Johnson, who scored 19 goals for Forest in the previous season, might have a very successful season next year, and the Football World Cup may play a significant role in that.
Strength in reserve
Robert Page’s seven alterations were entirely justified in light of the enormous effort required to defeat Ukraine on Sunday. Only three players over the age of 25 began for Wales, with defender Ben Davies being the oldest at 29 years old. Veteran players Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey were given entire rests, and talisman Gareth Bale came off the bench late. Although it is extremely arguable whether there is a true world-class star, like Bale, among them.
Reduced support for Qatar Football World Cup
The Welsh’s streak of 19 consecutive home victories without a loss came to an end in the 2-1 Nations League loss, which Weghorst’s late winner sealed. The underdogs’ recent success has been largely attributed to their incredible home support. It demonstrates the quality that Welsh football is currently developing.
And Norrington-Davies appeared to have earned a point in the 92nd minute. Wales missed their typical inspiration, though, at a much more sombre Cardiff City Stadium, raising the issue of what impact playing in Qatar Football World Cup with little outside support will have on them. To know more about Football World Cup Tickets click here.
USMNT Hires Revolutionary Set Piece Coach Ahead of World Cup
The USMNT needed to make a significant change to its set-piece strategy before the World Cup. Only three set-piece goals were scored by the United States during the 14-game qualifying campaign. They all happened in one game, Minnesota’s 3-0 triumph over Honduras. It’s also important to point out that Kellyn Acosta, the team’s best dead-ball specialist, served on all three and is anticipated to start on the bench in Qatar Football World Cup as Tyler Adams’ replacement.
The loss of Miles Robinson is detrimental to both defending and attacking set-pieces, as it was Acosta who identified Robinson with a free-kick to win the 2021 Gold Cup. The USA Football World Cup team performed equally poorly on the other end, losing 2-0 to Costa Rica on two set-pieces after losing 1-0 to Panama on a set-piece, giving up another goal to Los Canaleros in Orlando, and losing 1-0 to Panama on a set-piece.
There needs to be work done in the upcoming months since dead balls are always crucial at important international competitions. The year 2018 was dubbed The Football World Cup of Set Pieces, and the United States responded by signing one of the most exciting set-piece experts available. Let me now persuade you that this is not an oxymoron. Lars Knudsen, a former youth national team coach for Denmark, has been hired for the position.
He formerly worked as FC Midtjylland’s first-team assistant from 2016 to 2018 before spending the next four years in Denmark’s system. Total Football Analysis claims that by precisely replicating plays you could see in the NBA and NFL, Denmark’s Superliga become the set-piece king of European leagues. The king of kings is Midtjylland, which scored 25 goals from set-pieces in 2014–15, or nearly 40% of its total goals for the season, to win its first Superliga championship.
With 11, Hobro IK came in second. Midtjylland was once again leading the Superliga in set-piece goals by the 2017–18 season with 25, although teams like AC Horsens 24 and Brøndby 20 were now following Midtjylland’s example. The back post and penalty area are the preferred targets for right-footed takers who are inswing on the left and outswing on the right during Midtjylland’s set pieces.
It requires excellent delivery and precise timing because there is a lot of blocking and screening, but when it’s done well, it’s unstoppable. Midtjylland is another ardent supporter of the long throw, and if Knudsen offers the suggestions, Weston McKennie can offer the service. Knudsen declared, I’m thrilled and humbled to be a part of the American men’s national team.
Gregg and I seem to have a lot in common when it comes to leadership and soccer concepts. It speaks a lot about our team’s skill and potential that we were able to qualify for the Qatar Football World Cup with such a young roster, and I’m eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.
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