Nottingham Forest duo Brennan Johnson and Neco Williams were part of the Wales squad that endured a disastrous World Cup. After seeing Wednesday’s win for the Reds at Blackburn, it’s fair to say Rob Page made a huge mistake.
Williams was a regular in the Wales team. He started all three games for The Dragons as they faced USA, Iran and England in Qatar. It was an emotional time for the youngster who discovered his grandad has passed away on the eve of the tournament.
For Johnson, the tournament proved a frustrating one. He didn’t start once at the tournament and was forced to watch on as Page preferred Fulham loanee Dan James on the right-hand side of his team’s attack.
On Wednesday, Johnson was dynamite. Furthermore, he linked up superbly well with Williams down the right and perhaps Page will now be regretting not unleashing that partnership more frequently in Qatar.
The 21-year-old duo are the future of Welsh football. Both players went to the tournament now just for the experience but as Premier League footballers who will have felt they could make a big impact.
USA and England are decent teams. It would be unfair on Page to say that had he played Johnson and Williams from the start in those games, Wales would have been guaranteed success. Had he unleashed the duo from the start against Iran, however, things could have been different.
Page made a huge mistake over Johnson and Williams
Johnson is fearless. Down the right for Forest against Blackburn he forced Clinton Mola into submission and had that particular contest been a boxing match, the towel would have been in after 20 minutes.
It was a one-sided affair and Blackburn simply couldn’t cope. Throw Williams into the mix with his marauding runs down the flank and his pin-point passing, the pair proved a lethal combination.
Williams often operates as a left-back for Wales. Having seen the Forest win over Blackburn, Page will surely be considering making that partnership work on the international stage.
The Wales boss is held in high regard among the fan base. He can’t undo this huge error though and if Williams and Johnson continue this form, the 48-year-old might be having sleepless nights.