Home News Former Wales Striker Iwan Roberts Criticizes Robert Page’s Response to Euro 2024 Qualifying Defeat

Former Wales Striker Iwan Roberts Criticizes Robert Page’s Response to Euro 2024 Qualifying Defeat

by admin

Ex-Wales striker Iwan Roberts has expressed his discontent with manager Robert Page’s tactics and response following Wales’ unexpected loss to Armenia in the Euro 2024 qualifier.

Page referred to the 4-2 defeat in Cardiff on Friday night as the “wake-up call” the team needed. However, Roberts was taken aback by this assessment, considering the “shocking” performance that now puts Wales in an almost impossible position to qualify.

With this result, Wales dropped to third place in Group D, with a crucial match against the group leaders, Turkey, scheduled for Monday.

Roberts voiced his disagreement with Page’s comments, questioning the necessity of a wake-up call for Wales. In his interview with BBC Radio Wales Breakfast, he stated, “In this campaign, we only have eight games, not a 46-game league season where one or two setbacks can be afforded. It was an appalling result.”

He further explained, “We began well and scored a great goal, but inexplicably, as a team, we gradually retreated, surrendered possession too easily, and provided Armenia with a way back into the game. We made Armenia look like Argentina.”

Watch: Highlights of Wales vs. Armenia
Armenia’s victory is the wake-up call Wales needs – Page
Armenia embarrasses Wales on their home turf
Current status of Euro 2024 qualifying

Wales suffered a significant loss of experience prior to this campaign due to the international retirements of Joe Allen, Chris Gunter, Jonny Williams, and talisman Gareth Bale.

According to Roberts, “The player we missed the most was probably Joe Allen. His ability to break up play in midfield really protected the center-backs.” Although Aaron Ramsey assumed the role, he couldn’t perform it as effectively as Allen. Roberts emphasized the need to find a solution within the next two days.

Unsteady defense

Before Friday’s match, Wales had only conceded ten goals in their previous 24 qualifying matches and had remained unbeaten at the Cardiff City Stadium in European qualifiers since 2010.

“Our success has always been built upon a solid defense, not just the backline, but we have deviated from that approach. We have only managed to keep one clean sheet in the last eleven games,” Roberts noted.

“I felt sympathy for Ben Davies and Conor Roberts because Joe Rodon and Chris Mepham failed to mark the players they should have picked up, resulting in the wing backs getting drawn in too narrow, which provided Armenia with excessive time and space.”

This was the first time since 2006 that Wales conceded three goals in a Euro qualifier.

Tactical decisions

Manager Robert Page took full responsibility for Wales’ lackluster display at the World Cup in November but received a vote of “complete confidence” from the CEO of the Football Association of Wales, Noel Mooney, in December.

Roberts highlighted Page’s consistent use of a back five formation in his 33 games in charge, including the World Cup qualifying campaign, the play-offs against Austria and Ukraine, and the Nations League campaign. However, Page unexpectedly switched to a back four formation, which Roberts found perplexing.

“I don’t believe a back four works well with Rodon and Mepham because they are not up to speed due to their lack of playing time for their clubs,” Roberts explained.

Wales is currently paying the price for having several players who do not regularly start for their club sides, according to Roberts.

“I am uncertain about Rodon’s career trajectory. He has had three managers at Spurs who have not given him playing time. Although he went to Rennes for game time, he only started one of their last 14 games,” Roberts expressed.

“The same goes for Kieffer Moore, our main striker, who has not started for Bournemouth since mid-January.”

Wales looked out of sync in the three World Cup games and displayed a similar performance last night, Roberts added.

Kieffer Moore is suspended for Monday’s match against Turkey in Samsun.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about criticism

What was the result of Wales’ Euro 2024 qualifier against Armenia?

Wales suffered a shocking 4-2 defeat against Armenia in their Euro 2024 qualifier in Cardiff.

How did Iwan Roberts criticize manager Robert Page’s response to the defeat?

Iwan Roberts expressed his disbelief at Robert Page’s assessment of the defeat as the “wake-up call” the team needed. Roberts considered it an inappropriate response to a poor performance.

What were the reasons behind Wales’ poor performance according to Iwan Roberts?

Roberts highlighted issues with Wales’ defensive approach, giving away possession too easily, and gradually retreating deeper into their own half. He also mentioned the absence of experienced players like Joe Allen and a lack of playing time for some key players.

Why did Iwan Roberts criticize the tactical decisions made by Robert Page?

Roberts disagreed with Page’s sudden switch from a back five formation to a back four, believing it didn’t suit the capabilities of certain players like Joe Rodon and Chris Mepham, who lacked match fitness due to limited playing time for their clubs.

How has Wales’ recent defensive record been?

Prior to the defeat against Armenia, Wales had been known for a solid defense, conceding only ten goals in their previous 24 qualifying matches. However, they have struggled recently, keeping only one clean sheet in their last eleven games.

Which players’ absence affected Wales’ performance the most?

According to Iwan Roberts, the absence of Joe Allen, who was known for his ability to disrupt play in midfield, had a significant impact on Wales’ performance. Aaron Ramsey tried to fill that role but couldn’t replicate Allen’s effectiveness.

More about criticism

Related Articles


SoccerFan99 June 18, 2023 - 12:09 pm

i agree with iwan roberts, wales’ defeat was shocking, and page’s response was just wrong. they need to fix their defense and stop giving away posession so easily!

CymruPride June 18, 2023 - 10:19 pm

page’s tactical decisions are questionable. why change to a back four when the back five has worked before? and those players lacking match fitness, it’s hurting the team. wales need to find solutions fast!

RedDragon7 June 19, 2023 - 12:43 am

iwan roberts makes some valid points. wales’ defense has been shaky lately, and the absence of key players like joe allen is definitely felt. hope they can bounce back in the next match against turkey!

SoccerFanatic June 19, 2023 - 2:05 am

iwan roberts is spot on! wales made armenia look like argentina. the defense needs major improvement, and the players need to step up. hoping for a better performance in the next game. c’mon wales!

FootyLover23 June 19, 2023 - 3:33 am

lol, robert page’s wake up call was more like a slap in the face for wales! they can’t afford blips in this short campaign. gotta sort out their defense ASAP!


Leave a Comment