Gareth Bale believes in miracles and why shouldn’t he? This is a footballer who was once considered a cursed left back with Tottenham Hotspur who went on to win five Champions League titles as lethal attacker with Real Madrid. From a defender who always seemed to lose with Spurs, to a striker who won everything with the biggest club in the world.
Say it ain’t so, Joe. That phrase passed into sporting immortality when an American reporter allegedly asked baseball star ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson about his admission that he’d fixed the 1919 World Series. (He hadn’t). It was also asked – in a roundabout way – by reporters to Joe Allen on Sunday when he was quizzed on whether making the World Cup knockout stages in Qatar was now a lost cause.
Joe Allen insists Wales' final World Cup group clash against is not "mission impossible" and has also defended Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey against their critics. Wales will go into Tuesday’s game against their oldest enemy requiring two small miracles to occur simultaneously. Firstly, they have to beat England for the first time since 1984 and prevent their biggest rivals from gaining a seventh successive victory.
Warren Gatland will demand a cool £500,000 for nine months work to rescue Wales in the run-in to next year's World Cup. Gatland is the man the Welsh Rugby Union want to turn to should they decide to replace Wayne Pivac. Gatland's successor has won just three out of 12 matches this year and watched his team undermine his survival chances when they surrendered a 21-point lead to lose 39-34 at home to Australia on Saturday.
Brennan Johnson insists Wales can shock England and keep their World Cup dream alive. Wales’ hopes of making the knockout stages were left hanging by a thread after losing 2-0 to Iran. England’s goalless draw with the United States on Friday night means that Wales still have a path to the round of 16, but qualification is out of their own hands unless they beat Gareth Southgate’s side by a four-goal margin.
It must have felt a long way from Tylorstown as Robert Page starred out towards the world's media and tried to explain how the heady optimism of just 16 ago had evaporated under a hot Arabian sun. Little more than two weeks ago, the Wales manager was in his home village, announcing the squad he would take to take to a World Cup finals, the first Wales manager to do so for 64 years. Now, that adventure already seems to drawing to a close after just two games following a 2-0 to Iran which was unexpected, but felt feasible from the moment Kieffer Moore missed an early opportunity.
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