Robert Page aims to be the author of a new chapter in Welsh football history by emulating Jimmy Murphy’s journey from Ronda to World Cup manager.
Murphy, who was Matt Busby’s long-time assistant at Manchester United, remains the only man to lead Wales to the 1958 World Cup. He led United through the immediate disaster of the 1958 Munich air disaster as Busby remained in hospital for several weeks, having missed the trip himself to take over Responsibility for the Wales World Cup match against Israel in Cardiff.
More than six decades later, the parallels between Page and Murphy are inevitable.
Wales is eligible for @world Cup 2022 after waiting 64 years 👏👏#World Cup 2022 #world Cup # Wales #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/86qX92pt7Y
– FootTheBall FC (FootTheBallFC) 5 June 2022
Two men from the same mining community have used the values of companionship and solidarity that grew up in the Ronda Valley to establish successful careers in football.
Murphy won his World Cup playoff and led Wales to the quarter-finals of the tournament in Sweden that summer; Now 64 years on the page had a similar rendezvous with the fate of Ukraine in Cardiff and the result was no different from what happened 64 years ago.
The Red Dragons booked their place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar thanks to their 1-0 victory over Ukraine in the final. He ended Wales’ 64-year wait to play in the biggest tournament in world football.
Page said: “I want Wales fans to walk away at the end of the game proud not only of the performance from a footballing point of view, but of the effort they put in from a work ethic point of view.
Who is Robert Page?
Wales’ caretaker boss Robert Page has taken charge of Wales at Euro 2020 in the absence of Ryan Giggs, who has stepped down from his duties after his arrest in the fall and is due to appear in court next July.
But who is Paige, the largely unknown figure who would not have the excellent resume of most of his fellow directors at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
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We will never forget the man who started this amazing journey.
Gary Speed changed Welsh football forever.
Speedo, this was for you🏴❤️# Wales #Together_stronger pic.twitter.com/O0HSyfH52G
– Ben Thomas (@Benfthomas_10) 5 June 2022
Page is a quiet and humble man. He has been living in Sheffield with his wife, Kate, since he played for United at Bramall Lane nearly two decades ago. Before that he made his name playing for Watford. But it is Wells that is currently consuming it.
Page first took charge of Wales on a temporary basis during the international break last November. Manager Ryan Giggs has been arrested on suspicion of assault and runs away to leave Page in charge of the Wales Games.
Page has some management experience, having been at the helm of both Port Vale and Northampton Town. The 46-year-old was also in charge of the Wales Under-21 team for a while.
As a player, Page made 41 appearances for Wales, spending most of his football career at Watford in the 1990s, making 215 applications. Page then moved to play with Sheffield United, Cardiff and Coventry before ending his career with Huddersfield and Chesterfield.
But now, Paige will get the biggest assignment of his career as he takes over for Wales at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar this winter.
Rob Page’s career so far
Page’s first managerial job was at Port Vale in League One in 2014. At the time his wages barely covered the cost of the diesel required to move from Yorkshire to Staffordshire and back every day.
Page would love to be there in his shoes. He always has it. As a child, his father, Malcolm, ran the local boys’ team, while his mother, June, washed the groups. Then, at the age of 16, he left for Watford.
Ben Davies is absolutely phenomenal. Blocks, tackles, passes to the head, just a refusal to defeat, just a determination to win # Wales in the world Cup. Great performance. Hennessy and Nico Williams too. Johnson is racy. Congratulations Rob Page and everything Tweet embed #TheRedWall # the den
Henry Winter 5 June 2022
The basics of the game are dear to the page. After Port Vale got a job in Northampton, but was sacked less than a year later, he got a coaching job at Nottingham Forest. With Wells it lasted for a while. He was in charge of the age group teams from March 2017 until Giggs asked him to become his assistant two years later.
Page has revolutionized what he calls intermediate setup by implementing systems for young players he has seen in places like the Netherlands and Switzerland. But when Giggs asked him to return to first training, he did not hesitate.
Paige now works with players in the Wales First Team that he knew when he was young. But when he really needs to understand how far he’s come, he just has to look at Gareth Bale.
“I see this as my progress, but I’m human too, and I can recognize that I’ve gone from Port Vale to managing one of the best players in the world,” he says. I pinch myself. But first of all I try to be a good guy. Do it and be respectful and you will get the best out of the players.
Welsh manager background
Robert Page hasn’t enjoyed the array of trophies that Ryan Giggs has racked up during his brilliant football career, but there’s no doubting his pride in leading his country to the World Cup. Colors mounted on the mast radiate in his voice. “I’m from Taylorstown in the Dells, and playing for your country is a great honor, but managing it in a major tournament like this is incredible,” he says. “I left Valleys at 16 to go and pursue a career.”
Wales’ top players speak glowingly about the way Page has held the fort so far, both at Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, during the off-field uncertainty that has surrounded Giggs and the Welsh Football Association since November.
The 46-year-old, who is a celebrity, is seen as a person to relate to. “When Rob Page talks, especially to young players, he knows what he’s talking about because he’s been there,” says Mickey Adams, who signed him as a player in Coventry and took him to Port Vale as coach.
There must be something special about the Ronda. The two directors who led # Wales for men #world Cup Both grew up less than four miles apart. Robert Page lived in Taylorstown while Jimmy Murphy’s childhood home was in Pinter. What a wonderful achievement for the region. pic.twitter.com/WmPek4gXAg
– Josh Thomas (@JDPThomas) 5 June 2022
Page became Wales under-21 coach two months after leaving Northampton and in August 2019 was named runner-up to Giggs, who was absent as he awaits trial in January for assault, which he denies.
Paige did a great job in difficult circumstances, maintaining the feel-good factor that Chris Coleman nurtured at Euro 2016. He has a long-standing relationship with several young players on the team, including David Brooks, Rhys Norrington Davies, Joe Rodon, and Joe Morrell, since His time with the Under-21 team and many still refer to the interim manager by his nickname.
Will Ryan Giggs take charge of the 2022 World Cup?
Giggs was charged with coercive control and actual bodily harm in relation to his ex-girlfriend, while also accused of assaulting a second woman, in April. As a result, the Welsh Federation announced that Giggs would take over as director of the Eurozone and has continued since then.
The oddity, however, is that Paige’s contract with the Wales Football Association expires the moment the World Cup campaign ends. So it could be in June. Or it could be in December.
With Giggs not handed over to court until August, Fall Armyworm faces a legally complex situation. But Wales are due to play Nations League matches in June and September. The understanding is that Paige will be responsible.
The @world Cup It was the stage for some of the greatest players 🏆
However, he also missed out on some legends😯
Here are 10 of them 🙂#world Cup #FIFA #FIFA 22 #world Cup #Qatar 2022 https://t.co/h8nXepKdOw
– FootTheBall FC (FootTheBallFC) 6 June 2022
Despite being a pole player unlike Giggs, having a low key rather than an outstanding defender as opposed to a flying winger, the two men follow the same management philosophy.
Like Giggs, Page insists he wants his teams to play in an adventurous manner, with full-backs high up the field, creativity in midfield and speed on the wings.
He should fit the likes of Nico Williams, Ben Davies, Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale and Daniel James perfectly in the 2022 World Cup.
How Big will unfold on the big stage, versus some of Europe’s best management minds, in the coming months. But no one should doubt the pride and passion that he will bring to the job and that will once again be instilled in the players.
This is a man with strong opinions about what he wants from the Wales football team.