Tim Edwards from Fearless in Devotion brings us this week’s Wales Watch with a guy we hero worshipped during Euro 2016, another we’re starting to after his dreamy free kick saw off Ireland, and one we may yet do as he comes with a cracking chant.
Remember him? Remember him taking two bites to put one past Russia at the Euros? Remember how much we adored him and believed that if he can score then anything is possible?
Skip on a couple of years and when the teams emerged from the tunnel at the Aviva Stadium last week I couldn’t help but wonder what Neil Taylor was doing.
Would he be watching? Most probably. Through his fingers? Maybe. Taylor has yet to return to the scene of his ‘crime’ since breaking Seamus Coleman’s leg when the two sides played out a goalless draw during a world cup qualifier in March 2017.
He has become an afterthought by Ryan Giggs with the former Wrexham youth product falling out of the reckoning.
However, on Saturday Taylor, instrumental for Wales at Euro 2016, produced the goods on the day Aston Villa ushered in the Dean Smith era in front of a sell out crowd for the visit of Swansea to Villa Park.
The left-back, 29, pinged in some dangerous crosses before denying Connor Roberts with a terrific goal-line block late on.
The hosts held out for a 1-0 win, registering only their second clean sheet of the season so far.
There was plenty of humble pie devoured by those aghast at seeing Taylor’s name on the team sheet against his former club.
One Villa fan tweeted it was Taylor’s best performance in a year.
A new boss, a new playing style and renewed belief that the Villains could be dining at the top table again next summer can only boost Taylor’s confidence as he attempts to force his way back into the international fold.
Well, why not? The prodigious Wrexham/Corwen midfielder capped a superb week by helping Derby County end Sheffield United’s four match winning run with a 2-1 triumph at Pride Park.
He was involved in the build-up to Craig Bryson’s opener after just 19 seconds as the Rams flew out of the traps.
Despite his midweek heroics and exertions Wilson played the full 90 for Derby as he starts to become one of Frank Lampard’s most trusted lieutenants on the pitch.
However, the cynic in me says nothing Wilson achieves will be enough to convince Jurgen Klopp he is worthy of a spot in Liverpool’s first team, not now, not ever.
Joe Allen was deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield for God’s sake.
— Christian Doidge (@Chris_Doidge) October 20, 2018
Before you cry “who?” just hear me out.
Yes this is a bit of a wildcard but with so many of our bright young players currently plying their trade in the Championship I thought I would look at another who I feel could come good and give Giggsy some food for thought.
Cwmbran’s Doidge opened his account for Bolton Wanderers in their 1-1 draw at Rotherham United on Saturday.
He hit 56 in 99 appearances for Forest Green Rovers during their ascent from non-league into League Two.
His record prompted Bolton to capture him on loan until the New Year, when he will join permanently for a seven figure sum.
It has taken some time for the 26-year-old former Barry and Carmarthen Town striker to adjust to the step up to Championship level, but Trotters boss Phil Parkinson reckons he is now up to speed with the demands of the league and expects his opening goal in white to be the first of many.
If Doidge, a former employee with South Wales Police can arrest Wanderers’ slide and propel them up the table it can only enhance his international prospects.
At 6ft 2ins he is the same height as Sam Vokes and also represented Wales in basketball.
Giggs is his idol and he once owned a Manchester United shirt with the name of the national team boss emblazoned on the back.
Plus if he did get a senior call up there is a terrace chant ready made for him to the tune of ‘Boys’ by 80s sex siren Sabrina. Google it and thank me for it later when you are giving it pipes to ‘DOIDGE, DOIDGE DOIDGE!’ at the back of the Canton Stand.
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