Nottingham Forest fans watched on last night as Wales were knocked out of the World Cup and it’s absolutely perfect from a City Ground perspective. Wayne Hennessey, Neco Williams and Brennan Johnson will all leave Qatar and head back to the East Midlands.
Wales were no match for England. Had the clash been a boxing contest, Rob Page might have thought about throwing the towel in at half-time. After the break, the World Cup game resembled an amateur taking on Ronnie O’Sullivan at The Crucible as Gareth Southgate’s team dismantled the minnows.
England won the game 3-0. Marcus Rashford, rejuvenated for club and country, scored twice, with Phil Foden also scoring. The Three Lions march onto a last-16 clash with Senegal, for Wales they will wait to hear when the final call for their flight to Cardiff is.
But, this might not be the end of the world. For Williams and Johnson, their journey into international football is only just beginning. For Hennessey, he can look back at fond memories of a brilliant career for Wales, if this is to prove the end of the road for him.
From a Forest perspective, Wales hopes ending is absolutely perfect. The players can now return to England, get their feet up for a week or two and prepare to come back all guns blazing to help the Reds in their fight against Premier League survival.
Wales knocked out and it’s perfect for Forest
The last thing Forest wanted was Wales doing their party trick from Euro 2016 and reaching the semi-final. That would have meant some serious effort from the Forest lads and a late arrival back in England – and back to training with Forest!
Most fans will have wanted Johnson, Williams and Hennessey to do well. Not well at the expense of England but well enough not to be losing to Iran the team fancied to be the whipping boys in Group B prior to the tournament starting.
It wasn’t to be though and now Wales are on their way home. The trio of Forest players will be smarting at losing their place at the tournament after defeat to England but they should all arrive home fit and ready following a short period of rest.
Forest’s first game back is at Blackburn on December 21st; with their first Premier League game back is a trip to Manchester United on December 27th. Hennessey in particular could play in all three and the Reds will want him back quickly.
Now, all three of the Wales contingent can get themselves ready as their World Cup hopes faded into the Doha sky. The three might still sting a bit for a few days but Rob Page’s men enduring a pretty torrid World Cup is fantastic news for Forest.