Search icon


26th Mar 2017

Chris Coleman’s explanation for why Wales were so physical will not endear him to Irish fans

Odd choice of words

Patrick McCarry

Wales said they weren’t going to get involved. They told themselves they wouldn’t. But, when they did, they got involved right up to their necks.

Chris Coleman wants his Wales team to get the ball down, pass it and to have a cut at teams.

They did that well for about 60 minutes at the Aviva Stadium before they got carried away with showing Ireland they would not be intimidated. Challenges and words between both sides became feisty but Neil Taylor’s hatchet job on Seamus Coleman was nothing but horrific.

Following the 0-0 draw in Dublin, which saw Wales end up with 10 men after Taylor’s leg-break challenge on Coleman, Wales manager Chris Coleman spoke with Sky Sports.

“First and foremost,” he began, “our thoughts are with Seamus Coleman. We’re told that it’s not so good, which we’re sorry for. Neil Taylor is not that type of player so if he’s got it wrong… I don’t know; I’ve not seen it again. It’s a tough one for Seamus and our thoughts are with him.”

Coleman’s summation of the game itself will have done nothing to endear him to a host of Irish football fans. He commented:

“The game itself was a typical British derby.

“I thought when it was eleven versus eleven we really controlled the game. We were never really in any trouble. We were the team that looked like we were going to create something and score. We get a man sent off and it changes everything.”

“British” comments aside, Coleman stressed how he had warned his team that Ireland would be in their faces from the get-go.

“All week we talked about not getting involved. The Republic of Ireland do what they are good at – they deny teams, they hit you on the counter-attack, the players never give up or never give you a moments’ peace. They’re very strong here at the Aviva Stadium.

“Again, it’s a derby game. It’s a contact game, is football. I think someone said during the week, ‘You’re still allowed to tackle’ and that’s true. We expected what we got and we didn’t want to get involved. We’d got our own game-plan and wanted to stick to what we do.”

As for Taylor, Coleman briefly painted a picture of how the defender was coping with the aftermath of his rash tackle.

“He’s in there, he’s in the dressing room and he’s quiet; disappointed. If he’s got it wrong… he’s not that type of player, Neil Taylor, he really isn’t. He’s had a serious injury himself.

“I don’t know how serious it is for Seamus. I hope and pray and he’ll keep my fingers crossed for him. That’s the most important thing.”

As we now know, Coleman’s season is over and he will be doing well to make it back by October of this year.

Catch up with this week’s episode of 888Sport Football Friday Live