CAN RYAN GIGGS LEAD WALES TO THE 2020 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS?
Can Ryan Giggs Lead Wales To The 2020 European Championships?
Ryan Giggs has not yet had a chance to prove his worth as the new Wales manager but many will be expecting the former Manchester United man to shine in charge of the Welsh national side. Giggs represented Wales 64 times in his playing career and, whilst critics still have doubts over his managerial ability, the vast majority of fans are quietly confident of qualifying for the 2020 European Championship.
Wales will face Denmark and the Republic of Ireland in the UEFA Nations League – the first of those fixtures coming in September 2018. Building momentum whenever possible is an absolute must for Giggs and his backroom staff; the Wales boss will be looking to try a few new ideas and concepts out in these fixtures. The blueprint for success is already in place but Giggs must put his own stamp on things.
The draw for the qualifying campaign will take place in Dublin on December 2nd 2018 and Wales fans will be hoping for a favourable group ahead of the tournament. The Dragons were simply sublime at Euro 2016; fans will remember their incredible journey to the semi-finals. Wales, managed by Chris Coleman at the time, were sensational against Belgium in the last eight and supporters will be dreaming of a similar run in 2020.
That competition will be the first of its kind in international football – 12 cities from across the continent will host matches throughout the tournament. Qualifying for the event will be Giggs' main objective; and it would take a brave man to back against Wales with a fully fit squad. The likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are capable of stepping up with a moment of magic; just as Giggs himself was back in the day.
But it isn't all about the present - there are a few youngsters coming through the ranks. Ben Woodburn's rise to prominence has been well documented but Derby County's Tom Lawrence is also having a great season. At 24 years old, he already has 12 caps to his name. Lawrence could be set for big things if he can inspire the Rams, 4/1 for promotion in bet365's Championship betting odds, to second tier glory.
With a good blend of youth and experience, Wales have the basis to succeed on the biggest stage once again. Looking at the long term, Giggs' side should be targeting a trip to the 2022 World Cup – there is certainly potential for growth with a young squad and hungry manager in charge. Wales aren't blessed with too many world beaters but passion and organisation is key; just as it was in France two years ago.
For Wales fans, this is all about preserving Coleman's legacy and securing another trip to the European Championships. Gary Speed's impact and influence during his time with Wales should not be ignored either. Ryan Giggs now has the perfect opportunity to push on and enhance his own managerial credentials. Wales have given him the chance; the onus is now on Giggs to repay that faith shown in him.