This Wasn’t All About Gareth Bale
Previous Wales results and performances have always seemed to centre on Gareth Bale, but you probably wouldn’t even put him in Wales’s top five best players here.
Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, centre-backs Ashley Williams and James Chester and midfielders Joe Allen and Joe Ledley were all superb, and helped protect the clean sheet that the Welsh clearly came to Brussels to get.
Bale obviously offered a threat on the break in his forward role, but this was all about staying solid for Wales and they managed that, just about.
Belgium Remain A Team Of Great Individuals
Eden Hazard buzzed around menacingly and the rest of his talented teammates all looked to cause a threat, but you never quite got the sense that the Belgians were working together.
Perhaps the absence of their leader Vincent Kompany was key to this – with his vocal presence sorely missed – but there was plenty of frustration around in Brussels, and this Belgian side remains a work in progress.
Aaron Ramsey Is Still Struggling For Form
You don’t want to find any negatives in the Welsh performance, but last year’s golden touch appears to have deserted Aaron Ramsey, who is no longer finding that his every touch for Arsenal is turning into a goal, and who again struggled to find any rhythm here.
In the first half, in particular, he frequently lost possession and heaped additional pressure on Allen and Ledley behind him, an irresponsible display from a player who Wales need to be performing at his maximum if they are to stand the best chance of making it through to France.
Divock Origi Will Be A Lively Addition To The Premier League
Looking as though he’s filled out somewhat since he was surprisingly put into the team in place of Romelu Lukaku during the World Cup, Divock Origi would probably be doing a good job at Liverpool right now if Lille could let them have him.
But the reason that the Reds were able to sign him for what could be a bargain £10m was that they had to loan him back first, something which could prove to be a blessing in disguise if he continues to develop at the rate we’re seeing.
He didn’t score nor really have any chances to, but his intelligent movement created space and opportunities for others.
Wayne Hennessey Deserves More Than Being Crystal Palace’s No. 2
Once again the Welsh goalkeeper Hennessey was excellent, so much so that you have to wonder just why he finds himself on the bench at Crystal Palace.
Obviously Julian Speroni is a fine ‘keeper, but surely someone else could do with him couldn’t they?
Form an orderly queue.