Wales 0 Bosnia 0

Let’s hope that in a year’s time we don’t all think: “If only Ashley WIlliams had scored.”

No quibbles with the outcome, a fair reflection of a strangely entertaining game. Not many 0-0s are so engrossing.

But it would be nice to have an unfair reflection of the game in the scoreline someday, unfair in our favour.

Bosnia looked like they would be happy with a draw early on, came on strong after the break, and by the end we were the ones glad to secure the point.

All of that conditional on beating Cyprus on Monday of course. If we don’t then this game will be an opportunity lost.

It was a welcome return to good vibes and exuberance of watching Wales 10-12 years ago.

It was maybe the only time the Barry Horns were given solid backing for their sterling efforts.

The band even started channelling Welsh selection crises on the day.

When they played Depeche Mode’s I Just Can’t Get Enough, from the 80s, they sounded the right note for me.

It clicked, some of this season’s tactics felt like an 80s English First Division game.

Hennessey plonked the ball down for a goal-kick in the centre of the goalmouth, rather than the corners of the six-yard box.

A big wallop of those long legs up towards Church/Bale areas and then scrimmage for the second ball.

It didn’t work, it didn’t fail but I couldn’t quite see the point given Simon Church’s assets don’t include ‘beast in the air’. A big, ugly bastard Mick Harford he ain’t.

For several years I’ve been attuned to the on-the-floor crisp passing style, but this season we fancy a bit of Route One. A bit of rough and tumble.

Last month it was appalling – watching in a pub in north London I was almost sick – last night it didn’t bear fruit but we did play well against a side who only three months ago were giving Argentina a run for their money.

Unfortunately we didn’t get the best out of Church and maybe he won’t start on Monday – Hal Robson-Kanu was impressive after he came on though this miss was disappointing.

Neil Taylor once again seemed to be a lonely waif out wide left. Gunter’s gallops down the right showed he was more in tuned with the new gallivanting wing-back role.

James Chester seems to have cemented a centre-half role until, oooh, at least the time he becomes the next prospect to be injured.

Jonathan Williams was a marvel once again and afforded fair more protection by a decent Russian ref than he got when criminally attacked in Macedonia last year. If you think he was hacked a lot yesterday, he was lucky to hang on to a promising career after his Skopje ordeal.

Wayne Hennessey was unflappable despite few outings at Crystal Palace, which tells you how good Julian Speroni must be.

And a little stardust and glitter has once again descended on the team. Ten to 20 thousand fans have come out of the woodwork, joined in with the horny, tuba-deficient men in the band and gone home happy-ish.

Compared with the start of the last two campaigns – Euro 2012 and Brasil 2014, we’re still in with a shout instead of being out on our feet (and debating whether a new manager is required) after two matches.

So stability in the post-Speed era has arrived, or appers to have arrived, and despite all rational efforts by myself to suppress it, a glimmer of hope

Finally, this website has yet to feature a rendition of the national anthem, an omission is now rectified.

See you all again on Monday and cheers to the parpin’, honkin’, puffin’. rootin’ tootin’ Horns for a sound effort.



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