Wales Watch: Gwion Edwards, Hal Robson-Kanu and Joel Lynch among the goals

Gwion Edwards was back amongst the goals this week in a 2-2 draw with Reading. Edwards opened the scoring for Ipswich after 5 minutes with a perfectly struck low first-time volley. Chris Gunter was an unused sub.

Paul Dummett will go into the international break with another 90 minutes under his belt. He is more than likely going to start against Denmark on Friday because of Ben Davies’ absence through suspension. David Brooks played 90 minutes for Bournemouth in the same game in the no.10 position, after his excellent showing last weekend.

In the other Premier League matches, aforementioned Ben Davies played at left-back for Spurs in their 1-0 win over Wayne Hennessey‘s Crystal Palace. Sam Vokes played 73 minutes for Burnley but didn’t score in a 0-0 outing with Leicester.

Aaron Ramsey technically got an assist in Arsenal’s 1-1 tie with Wolves, giving the ball to Mkhitaryan to setup a stunning finish. Ramsey started on the bench again and only played the last 15 minutes of the match.

In the Steel City derby on Friday night, Keiron Freeman was the Welshman on the Sheff United side, while Ash Baker and Morgan Fox were part of the Sheffield Wednesday 11. The game finished 0-0; clean sheets for all of the Welsh defenders here, but none of whom are in Wales’ international squad this week. However, Ben Woodburn, who did not make the Sheffield United match day squad has been called up for Wales.

Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon were part of the Swansea defence that earned another clean sheet for Swansea. Dan James started again on the wing, but without a goal or assist this time around.

After making the squad for the first time under Ryan Giggs this week, Neil Taylor went off at half-time because of an injury in Aston Villa’s 3-0 hammering against Derby. James Chester was at the heart of defence for Villa with another clean sheet, while Tom Lawrence and Harry Wilson were off the pace for the home side.

More clean sheets for Ashley Williams‘ Stoke against Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening, Joe Allen was also in the same side. Meanwhile, Chris Mepham‘s Brentford conceded three against QPR, where Joel Lynch scored a rare goal for the home team.

Hal-Robson Kanu scored in a 4-1 hammering against Tyler Roberts‘ Leeds. Roberts only played 25 minutes of the game in the second half.

Third-choice goalkeeper, Adam Davies kept his place for Barnsley’s 4-0 win against Notts County in the first round of the FA Cup. Ryan Hedges came on as a late substitute.

New call-up James Lawrence played 90 minutes at centre-back in their 2-0 win on Sunday and Matt Smith played the full match for FC Twente on Friday night. Our other foreign export, Gareth Bale, came through seemingly unscathed against Celta Vigo on Sunday evening. He will meet with the squad in South Wales on Monday.

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Read more:
• Ryan Giggs speaks at the squad announcement ahead of Denmark and Albania
• Wales Watch: James Chester’s heroics were the highlight of the weekend 
• The Welsh Wingers are on fire 
• Doidge opens his account for Bolton 

Ramsey and Brooks hit form at the perfect time

Bournemouth beat Watford 4-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday in their biggest away victory in the Premier League. David Brooks was key in Bournemouth’s victory, scoring the first goal after 14 minutes – his second goal in as many games. He was replaced on 70 minutes, but his overall contribution was magnificent; a perfect way to go into the international break with Wales.

Sam Vokes was another player to get his second in as many games in the Premier League. Burnley drew 1-1 with strugglers Huddersfield and Vokes managed the only goal for the home side with a guided header.

Aaron Ramsey was outstanding in his 25 minute cameo for Arsenal, scoring a world-class goal just 39 seconds into his appearance. He also assisted Aubameyang’s second goal for Arsenal to win 5-1. There is a slight doubt that he could miss either of Wales’ fixtures in the international break, due to his wife being very close to giving birth to twins. However, if he has a 39-second cap for Wales and does something as special as this, none of us will care!

Crystal Palace were fortunate not to concede more than one goal against Wolves on Saturday, thanks to the efforts of ex-Wolves goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. Meanwhile, Ben Davies came on for the last few minutes in Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over Cardiff at Wembley.

Ipswich Town’s Gwion Edwards scored his second goal for the club with a header in a 3-2 win over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Joe Rodon, Connor Roberts and Dan James all played 90 minutes together for the first time this season for Swansea. Like Edwards, James was outstanding in his performance and at the moment, Wales are spoilt for choice with wingers. Although Declan John was called up for Wales this week, he didn’t make the match day squad. Rodon was called up for Wales after Paul Dummett withdrew on Saturday evening.

It was a slight worry to see Gareth Bale come off in the 80th minute with a precautionary injury in Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss. It will soon be seen whether he will be fit enough to face Spain on Thursday, but Bale has still travelled to Wales to meet up with the national team regardless.

Tyler Roberts and Chris Mepham played against each other in a promotion-rivals clash. It finished all square at 1-1 and both will travel to the Wales camp in good form.

Derby’s Tom Lawrence played 78 minutes in a 1-1 draw away to QPR. Harry Wilson came on in the 54th minute but couldn’t grab the winner.

Chris Gunter was brought off at 77 minutes for Reading, whilst they were 3-1 against West Brom. Hal Robson-Kanu wasn’t brought on but the game finished comfortably for the Baggies with 4 goals scored.

Neil Taylor played his first 90 minutes in a while for Aston Villa against Millwall, as James Chester was suspended for his red card in the previous Villa match. Steve Morison came on for Millwall, Tom Bradshaw was an unused sub.

Joe Allen and Ashley Williams played 90 minutes together for Stoke in their 1-0 away win against Norwich. Preston pairing, Chris Maxwell and Andrew Hughes also played the full match together in their huge 4-0 victory against Wigan. Lee Evans was an unused sub for Wigan.

In League One, Ched Evans won and converted a penalty for Fleetwood in a 4-0 away win against Doncaster. There was another 4-0 away thumping in League One; Adam Davies captained Barnsley against Peterborough and Ryan Hedges was brought on for the last 15 minutes to see out the huge win for Barnsley. Joe Jacobson also scored a penalty for Wycombe in their 2-1 win against Burton.

Matt Smith played 90 mins in FC Twente’s 1-1 away draw, while Real Union’s Alex Babos made a 10 minute appearance at the end of the match with Real Sociedad B.

Follow the blog on Twitter to receive the latest news regarding Welsh football.

Read more:
• Mitchell Clark “surprised” at not being named in the Wales U21 squad
• Ryan Giggs announces his squad for the fixtures against Spain and Rep. of Ireland 
• Wales Watch: Tyler Roberts shines again for Leeds in midweek 

Final Welsh player roundup before the first set of Nations League matches

Wales fans will be delighted to know that Gareth Bale goes into the matches against Rep. of Ireland and Denmark in perfect form. For the seventh La Liga game in a row, Bale managed to hit the back of the net for Real Madrid with a superb strike.

Continue reading “Final Welsh player roundup before the first set of Nations League matches”

The break down of everything Ryan Giggs said at the Wales squad announcement

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.

Continue reading “The break down of everything Ryan Giggs said at the Wales squad announcement”

Bale is back with a bang: Welsh player roundup for this weekend

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.

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Hennessey was the standout Welsh player on the opening weekend of the Premier League

Despite not featuring in Crystal Palace’s final pre season game against Toulouse last weekend, Wayne Hennessey made his return to the Palace team with a man-of-the-match display against newly promoted Fulham. Spaniard Vicente Guaita is Hennessey’s new competition for the no.1 spot, but his magnificent clean sheet at the weekend will ensure he keeps his place in the team.

Tom Lawrence continued his tally amongst the goals for the second weekend running with a stunning free kick against Leeds, but wasn’t enough to stop them losing 4-1. Wilson and Ledley were both involved but came off early in the second half.

Making his debut against Cardiff on the weekend, David Brooks could have easily got his first goal for Bournemouth after shifting into some dangerous attacking positions. Brooks played more as a right-sided no.10, rather than a natural wide winger. He didn’t quite have the finish in his locker at the weekend but he will no doubt score for his new club very soon.

Ben Davies put in an assured 90 mins at left back in Spurs’ 2-1 away win against Newcastle, whilst Aaron Ramsey didn’t look 100% fit in Unai Emery’s first game as Arsenal manager. On the positive side, Emery looks like he is a fan of the position Ramsey has normally excelled in for Wales and this can only be beneficial for club and country.

James Chester scored his 8th goal for Villa in their second win of the season and deadline day signing, Lee Evans, was introduced after 55 mins for Wigan in the same match.

In a 7 goal thriller, Hal Robson-Kanu was back amongst the goals for West Brom scoring their fourth in a 4-3 win over Norwich. Former U21 international, Louis Thompson was brought on in the 88th minute – his first Norwich appearance in 2 years after having horrible luck with injuries.

For Brentford, Chris Mepham continued his great form with a strong performance against a strike duo that included Benik Afobe and Peter Crouch. Ashley Williams made his Stoke debut after 26 mins, coming on for the injured Bruno Martins Indi.

Welsh centre backs were few and far between a couple of years ago and now there seems to be an array of strong choices. Joe Rodon was like a new signing for Swansea, being part of a defence that kept a clean sheet against a solid Preston team to win 1-0. After being on the club’s books since the age of 8, the local boy made his professional debut at the age of 20 on Saturday. Fellow Welshman, Connor Roberts also continued his berth at right back.

Tom Bradshaw scored his first of the season for League One side Barnsley, while Sam Vokes was unable to get the winner for Premier League outfit Burnley in his 20 minute appearance.

The two Welsh players still in pre-season, Gareth Bale and Matthew Smith, are both still scoring for fun in their respective teams.

Bale has been sensational in pre-season for Madrid, scoring 3 in 4 games (his latest against AC Milan on Saturday) and one stunning assist for Marco Asensio last Wednesday. See below for a view-from-behind of his assist from the stands.

Matthew Smith scored again for FC Twente in their final friendly match on Friday. He looks pretty nailed on to be a regular in their side for the forthcoming season in the top flight of Dutch football.

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