Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWelsh work undone by Coleman (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Welsh work undone by Coleman (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Welsh work undone by Coleman (Video)

You could evoke the memory of Gary Speed on 6 different occasions in Nova Sad on Tuesday night as on a night where all home nations saw a stalling reversion back to the reality at hand in qualifying for Brazil in two year’s time, it was Wales’ result in Group A that stood out as the most startlingly significant for the observer, whilst those connected with the post-Gary Speed era begin to murmur the prospect of a change in manager in haste.

As sad and tragic the passing of Speed might be, it is rather insensitive to bring the name of a family man into a discussion of the Coleman era that should stand alone, but the new manager will struggle to escape the shadow of the man who generated such optimism ahead of the campaign for Brazil should his results continue in the vein of their first two in Group A, where the Dragons have shipped eight goals and scored just one.

Serbia’s Eagles were ranked just three places above Coleman’s men in FIFA’s much maligned ranking system, yet it was after Speed’s first competitive match, a 2-0 defeat at home to England in Cardiff, where they slipped to their lowest ever ranking of 117th. A quick-fire improvement, where Wales impressed at Wembley in slipping to a 1-0 defeat to England in the reverse fixture, before beating Montenegro, Bulgaria and Switzerland saw them rise rapidly to 41st. A 4-1 hammering of Norway in a friendly ramped up the feel-good factor to previously unseen levels in a Welsh team driven by the vibrancy of Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and Joe Allen, plus the experienced head of Craig Bellamy. 

Bale, Ramsey and Allen were also present on Tuesday night but were seemingly lacking any kind of guidance or motivation that was evident in the previous era. Bale showed his quality hasn’t declined with a decent display coloured by a superb free-kick which gave the visiting fans breif hope at 2-1 down, but Filip Djuricic, Dusan Tadic, Branislav Ivanovic and Miralem Sulejmani quickly restored the punishment to an awful defensive display Coleman himself condemned as “criminal”.

The 4-1 demolition of Norway was Gary Speed’s final game in charge of Wales and it now seems so far away for supporters of the small nation who were realistically dreaming of making the finals of a major tournament for the first time in 54 years. It looks as though, already, another two years will have to be added on to that wait as Coleman’s side lie rock bottom of Group A after two games with a goal-difference of -8. 

Speed himself experienced teething problems as he came to grips with the job, but Coleman would be intelligent enough to show a reluctance to being judged against a man whose time has tragically passed. However, he must also be canny enough to be aware that five straight defeats against Costa Rica, Mexico, Bosnia, Belgium and the horrid night in Serbia, all achieved with a side that was on a crest of an optimistic wave, will not stand him in good stead if he is to be judged on his achievements alone.