Just a few words about yesterday’s 2-0 defeat for Wales in their friendly in Croatia. John Toshack’s team went down to a predictable defeat in Osijek, but I’m sorry, at the end of the game you couldn’t help thinking “what was the point in that?”.
Wales put in a determined and hard working performance in the first half – they were a little unlucky not to have taken the lead when Simon Church touched in a Gunter cross, but the goal was, probably correctly, ruled out for offside. After that, Modric and co began to play and the goal Croatia got in added time in the first half had been coming for a while.
The technique Rakitic showed in scoring was beyond those wearing the Welsh shirt yesterday, but you couldn’t help thinking that one or two Welshmen capable of matching it were watching the game from home -always assuming they could be bothered watching of course. To have fifteen players cry off for this game was disgraceful – to be fair, some of those absentees were genuinely unavailable and questions have to be asked as to whether a game played at this time of year is a worthwhile exercise, but the Croats haven’t qualified for the World Cup either and yet Srna, Rakitic and Modric were there giving of their best for their country.
The second half became something of an exercise in damage limitation and Wales held out until the eighty first minute when some slick passing put Gabric through to score easily. Toshack blooded four new caps to add to Andy Dorman who had started the game – none out of Mark Bradley (who was released by Walsall last week), Christian Ribeiro, Hal Robson-Kanu and Neil Taylor (of non league Wrexham) let Wales down and, from what I have seen of Ribeiro and Taylor in particular, they can make good careers for themselves in the game, but are they really ready for the senior team yet?