If Wales enjoys success in this summer’s European tournament, it looks like they will need to play a bigger role in their ‘Welsh mafia’ team.
Gareth Bale, Ben Davies, and Joe Rodon have spent last season together at Tottenham Hotspur and gave themselves that nickname.
The trio is crucial to Robert Page’s chances. And will hopefully, their summer will be better than their team’s campaign, on next Saturday’s game against Switzerland in Baku.
Last season was supposed to be a big one for the Spurs, with Jose Mourinho in charge.
And they were reinstating Bale in the long-term loan season to move him to the next level.
Things did not go well. They finished in seventh place and continued the 13-year drought of the cup. On the other hand, Mourinho was sacked and has yet to be replaced.
Now Bale back at Real Madrid. But, for now, Davies and Rodon have to put a disappointing season behind them.
They should have less trouble doing that. That’s the pride the Welsh players have for representing their country.
It was the love provided by the fans that have inspired the Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, France’s World Cup-winning captain.
He faced three of Wednesday’s friendly matches in Nice, a 3-0 victory for the athletes.
The Goals and assists.
The return of Bale, who is the icon of Tottenham, last September was warmly welcomed by the club’s fans.
In terms of numbers, he did more than he did a little bit. He has scored more Premier League goals (11) than his first Premier League games (10).
Bale was the third-highest scorer for Spurs. And his presence on the field created plenty of space and opportunity for Harry Kane.
And South Africa’s Son Heung-min, Bale announced in March that he was the fourth most respected member of the Wales mafia.
Often injured by injuries, Bale was ready and available for almost every campaign.
So the question, which Spurs fans have been asking all season, why was he not included? The answer, in the end, was Mourinho.
The manager has never seemed to rely entirely on Bale, often opting for Lucas Moura’s defense.
Erik Lamela or Steven Bergwijn, as the four-time Champions League winner, sits on the bench game by game.
Bale looked unpopular with Mourinho after the Spurs’ 2-1 defeat by Arsenal in March. However, only before playing the games regularly at the end of the campaign, just after the manager was sacked.
He finished the season with 16 goals and a better goal per minute than any other Premier League player. With an average of 83.9 minutes per minute.
“All I had to do was play games. I knew that. And I do think a lot of people knew that well,” Bale said.
“It was just game time. Once I continued playing and strengthening my Premier League qualification.
“It felt natural that my form would return. And I would start scoring goals. It didn’t surprise me; it just had to happen.”
Bale has not given up on his future with the departure of Zinedine.
Bale has not given up on his future with the departure of Zinedine. And also the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid. Which makes it possible for him to spend the last year of his contract at the Bernabeu.
A return to Spurs, who still have Bale on social media as a player, is also possible.
He did not fully announce his retirement, although rumors have been circulating by his lawyer.
Bale said he would “create chaos” if he disclosed his plans for the future. Said he would speak to the new Real Madrid manager once the Euros expired.
“Moreover, I do know that Carlo Ancelotti is really a great team manager,” said Bale.
“I live with him very well. We have had good times before. He has returned to Real Madrid, and he is a talented man.
“We have really had a very great time together at the club Real Madrid collectively in a team. And I’m sure he’ll be amazing to manage there.
“But I’m in the same boat. And I never thought about it much. I’m focused on our preparations now and what will happen to the Euros. Then, I’ll sort out what’s left after that.”
Surprising lack of appearances.
With the recent signing of Welsh Welsh, the defender Rodon will allow firmness and suspension.
To possibly play every minute of the Euros in Europe, which is so important on the national side.
He is signed as a future on the last day of transfer last October for $ 11m from Swansea City. Rodon has made 14 appearances for his new club in all competitions.
That would not have been shocking news for him. However, Rodon was tied for the Carabao Cup trophy and not selected for the Europa League.
But his lack of playing time culminated in a campaign where Spurs’ defense was their biggest problem by far. As they failed to establish a reliable match.
Rodon was favored under interim manager Ryan Mason. But he feels the harsh treatment he received from Mourinho will help him stay at Tottenham for the coming seasons.
“I heard you did it for me for a reason,” Rodon said when asked about how Mourinho works.
“It was a challenging year. But I thought you treated me very well.
“However, it has made me a lot better. And it will always help you to move forward.
“Everyone wants to play games. But sometimes it’s not like that.
“You just have to take it, move on. And hopefully, you will get your rewards in the end.”
Rodon feels he is training with players like Kane to improve his game. Beyond normal minutes in the Championship.
“But I had to train every day. And I worked very hard along with some of the best players. So it was a good eight-month experience for me to train with the Tottenham players.
“Harry Kane is one of the best strikers. But he is not the only Harry. There are many good players like him on the Tottenham team.
“Getting into that position could improve any player. And it was great to feel about that.”
The future of Spurs is in a new place?
For Davies, as a Tottenham striker, the seventh season at the club has just ended.
While Kane’s desire to leave is well documented. Davies is more likely to be ready for a change of pace at Spurs. Rather than a club change.
Davies had previously given way to another left-back attack like Sergio Reguilon and Danny Rose before him.
Still, his days as a full-back or full-back could be over, according to his national team manager.
The 28-year-old, who Mourinho highly regards, is unlikely to compete with Reguilon.
And Ryan Sessegnon for a belt back or playback soon. Furthermore, his future looks set to be on the left-back.
He played for Wales in their last Euro game against Albania as a full-back for both four and four backs. And he has been featured in that team position.
Interim Wales manager Robert Page, whose side faces Turkey and Italy after Saturday’s game against Switzerland, believes that Davies could be in a good position.
“He can play four back-to-back games. And he can play left-back, play left-back, play left-back and play left-back for three,” he said.
“And I must say I love him as left of three players in the build-up. So even if we play four times, sometimes we still find him on that left side.
“Furthermore, I think that his level in football is very good. He’s a talented defender, and he learns the game. And he’s a good coordinator, so he kicks a lot of boxes.”