Chris Coleman insists he has no intention of allowing club managers to dictate his Wales team selection, which is in stark contrast to his recent comments which began a spat with Arsene Wenger, and suggests he was wrong to lash out at the Arsenal boss.
The two managers were involved in a public spat over an injury to Aaron Ramsey, with Wenger suggesting that the 24-year-old could have done with a rest during Wales’ clash against Andorra – at which point Coleman’s side had already qualified for the Euro 2016 Championships (via the Daily Mail).
Coleman branded Wenger “disrespectful” for his comments (via the Daily Mail), but it was really just common sense from the Frenchman and he wasn’t rude to or about the Wales boss at all.
The 45-year-old previously suggested that if Wenger wanted Ramsey to be given a rest, then all he had to do was pick up the phone and let him know.
“If he [Wenger] has got a problem with my selection of one of his players then pick the phone up and tell me,” Coleman said (via the Daily Mail).
“It would have been a five-minute phone call to say be careful and that is exactly what I would have done. I never got that phone call, nothing, even though we have an excellent masseur in our staff who works for Arsenal.
“I think it is disrespectful to me and my staff.”
He has changed his tune somewhat now however, and suggests that he has no intention of resting players while on international duty, regardless of club managers’ wishes.
“The fact they [the Netherlands] haven’t qualified means they’re a wounded animal and a dangerous one at that,” he said (via the BBC).
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“We’re not a vehicle for clubs to think players can come here and have a rest.
“We’ll have 25,000 or 30,000 Welsh people on Friday night who won’t be expecting our boys to take it easy and have a rest. They’ll come to see us perform for Wales.”
He insisted that nobody but Coleman himself would have any impact on the squad selection.
“I don’t think it’s for anyone else to say who we should be picking and why,” he continued (via the Express).
These comments show that regardless of whether Wenger picked up the phone and made the phonecall, Coleman has no plans to accommodate a club’s wishes.
Coleman was totally wrong to criticise Wenger, and even more so to make it so public. The 66-year-old was merely pointing out that if Ramsey had have been rested against either Andorra with Wales or against Watford with Arsenal, then injury could have been avoided.
It’s obvious to anyone with the slightest bit of intelligence that it makes more sense to rest a player during a meaningless international than a tough Premier League fixture, but Coleman seems intent on stubbornly arguing to the contrary.
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Ideally it would be good for Arsene Wenger and club managers to have a good relationship with all international bosses, but the nature of the game means that is unfortunately not possible.
Wenger is not the only manager Coleman has had problems recently, as he’s been at odds with the Swansea and West Bromwich Albion bosses as well recently (via the Express). It’s funny how the running theme in these public spats seems to be Coleman, isn’t it?