It’s the start of a new era for Welsh football. This morning’s squad announcement for the upcoming games against Ireland and Denmark included uncapped players and talented youngsters, which will generate a healthy mix of experience and youth.
Gareth Bale kicked off the new La Liga season with a goal against Getafe in a 2-0 win. After a strong pre-season with 3 goals in 4 games, he reopened his league account with a finish into the bottom corner from an Asensio cross. He hit the bar with a diving header and also whipped in the ball that Getafe were unable to clear, Carvajal eventually heading it over the goalkeeper and into the net. Now that Ronaldo has left Real Madrid, there is a new pressure on Bale to become the talisman; his recent performances have shown he can be the main man at the Bernabéu.
Hal Robson-Kanu scored the seventh goal in West Brom’s emphatic 7-1 win over QPR. After being on the pitch for just 8 minutes, he was able to turn in a cross from the right side to finish from 5 yards out.
David Brooks continues to impress for Bournemouth, playing 78 minutes of their 2-1 win against West Ham. His involvement in Bournemouth’s attacking play is brilliant to watch and adding goals to his game will be a welcome addition.
Joe Allen got his first assist of the season, floating in a stunning free kick for Peter Crouch to head in after 61 minutes to finish the game 2-2. Ben Davies played another 90 minutes at the weekend and was used in a wing back role for Spurs in their 3-1 win over Fulham, as Pochettino decided to opt with a 3-4-3 system.
In a surprising turn of events, Paul Dummett has allegedly spoken of his desire to return to the Wales setup, following his international “retirement” in late 2016. He has continued to put in solid performances for Newcastle at left back in the Premier League and did so again at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Gwion Edwards continued his good run of form for Ipswich. A scintillating run that began in his own half almost ended with a goal, only to be denied by the crossbar. He consistently caused Aston Villa problems down the flanks in a side that featured James Chester but no Neil Taylor (unused sub). Edwards has the best ‘dribbles completed per game’ average in the Championship this season, ahead of the likes of Jack Grealish and Samu Saiz.
Chris Mepham was in tremendous form again for Brentford at the heart of defence, securing another clean sheet and another win for the Championship club. Young gun and former Cardiff City youth player, Ash Baker played at right back for Sheff Wed in the same match.
Swansea’s 0-0 draw against Birmingham on Friday night saw Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon both get 90 minutes each and a clean sheet for the second game running. Daniel James also made his first team debut for the club after 65 minutes.
Despite conceding two goals on Monday evening, Wayne Hennessey put in a decent performance for Crystal Palace against Liverpool. Both Danny Ward and Chris Maxwell are sitting on the bench at their clubs currently, so Wayne will no doubt be starting the Nations League matches (barring injury).
Cardiff loanee, Mark Harris was able to get his first goal for Newport on Saturday to win a point away at Exeter. The Wales U21 international will really want to show his worth in League Two and become a star for Newport this season.
Youngster Matthew Smith played his first 90 minutes in the league for FC Twente, as they opened their campaign with a 2-1 win. Emyr Huws played 45 mins for Ipswich U23’s v Hull and managed to an assist with a cross after the half hour mark. Adam Davies kept a clean sheet for Barnsley and Ched Evans got his second goal of the season for Fleetwood in a 2-2 draw.