Have Rob Page And Wales Come To The End Of The Road?

Wales have posted consecutive losses to Armenia and Turkey in Euro 2024 qualifiers
15:00, 20 Jun 2023

Wales’ bubble has completely burst. The team that was defying the odds on the international stage seven years ago by reaching the Euro 2016 semi-finals is no more. It was feared this would happen when the legendary Gareth Bale retired, and with Aaron Ramsey himself declining the supporters are feeling the effects.

They may have qualified for the most recent World Cup but their performances in Qatar were terrible. This Wales group was known for their fight and energy and we didn’t see anything like that out in the Middle East.

Manager Rob Page, whose managerial experience had only been with Port Vale, Northampton Town and Wales’ U21s, was thrust into the senior national job to replace Ryan Giggs on an interim basis before getting the gig full time.


Page has held the position since November 2020 and Wales’ continuous decline has been clear to see. They have only won 11 of the 35 games they have played in this period. The 48-year-old was able to lead the Dragons to their first World Cup in 64 years but some would say it was largely down to the contributions of Bale, Wales’s record appearance holder and all-time leading goalscorer. When you lose one of the best players in the world there is bound to be a drop-off, but no one would have expected it to be this bad for Wales.

The cracks that were appearing in Bale’s final years with Wales have become more apparent since he hung up his boots - it shows just how vital he was to this squad and to Page. The Wales boss was lauded by fans when the Dragons secured their place at the World Cup because it was something that none of his 16 predecessors could achieve


Wales were swept up in World Cup fever, focusing more on the team’s accomplishment than Page individually. As soon as they returned to the big stage, the fans started to turn on the head coach. Some claimed that he didn’t understand his players and how best to use them. He initially used Ramsey in a pivot role, something which caught the midfielder out due to the amount of ground he would need to cover.

But even in the number 10 role, Ramsey is not able to have the influence that he did several years ago and many fans have criticised Page for continuing to select him both during and after the World Cup.

Qatar exposed Page’s tactical frailties as his side were struggling to deal with Marcus Rashford as the England star stole the show with two goals in a 3-0 loss. Wales’ right side was constantly overrun and it took Page far too long to react. The damage had already been done.

Since their underwhelming World Cup exit, the fans’ frustration has been growing. They have won just one of their last 11 games and have posted consecutive losses to Armenia and Turkey - who they beat at Euro 2020. Wales have looked slower than their opponents, always second to react to situations which you cannot afford to be at this level. It is seriously denting their hopes of qualifying for Euro 2024.

#PageOut has been trending on Twitter as a result, with performances and results getting worse. One fan took a swipe at the Welsh FA for handing Page a four-year contract back in September, while another said that the head coach is out of his depth. 

After steadying the ship after Giggs’ exit and rallying the players to reach the World Cup, Page has been an excellent servant for the Dragons in that regard, but it looks as though he has taken them as far as he can. It would serve in his best interests to preserve his legacy as the man who took Wales to their first World Cup finals in over six decades. The longer he is left in charge the less that accomplishment will be remembered and the supporters will only remember the turgid final months of his reign.

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