Robert Page is the unassuming caretaker manager of the Welsh senior team and it would be a surprise if the FAW looked further afield for a new candidate at this moment in time. Page steered Wales through the group stage at Euro 2020 before hitting the buffers when being thrashed by Denmark, although a last sixteen spot was regarded as satisfactory by the majority of fans.
As far as World Cup qualification is concerned, it looks as though Wales are going to compete with Czech Republic for the runners-up spot behind Belgium and a lot will hinge on whether the Welsh can get something from their trip to Prague.
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Robert Page has been in temporary charge of the Wales team for the past few months and he’s very much part of the furniture considering that the 46-year-old has coached the Wales Under-21 team between 2017-19 before coming on board to become the caretaker manager of the senior team in 2020.
Page made 41 appearances as a player for his country and many bookmakers might have him among the favourites, with the FAW tending to go for a Welshman when it comes to managerial appointments and it’s clear that the caretaker boss understands the set-up and has the respect of the players.
However, his previous experiences were taking charge of Port Vale and Northampton, with higher-profile candidates potentially hitting the frame and looking to take the role in a bid to emulate the previous achievements of Chris Coleman and Gary Speed.
Mark Hughes has already been in the Wales manager hot seat and he was in charge between 1999-2004, with the majority of supporters regarding him as a success despite the fact that Sparky was unable to steer the Reds into a major tournament.
Hughes’ relative success in charge of Wales led to him being given the chance to manage Blackburn Rovers and the 57-year-old went on to enjoy a series of high-profile managerial positions including Manchester City, although he’s been out of work since an ill-fated stint in charge of Southampton.
Although Hughes only achieved twelve wins from forty-one games while in charge of Wales the first time, he would get a fairer crack of the whip this time around considering the quality of the squad is much stronger, while he has plenty of experience on his side.
Tony Pulis is another proud Welshman who might feel as though the Wales job would be perfect for him at this stage of his career. The 63-year-old has been involved in football management since taking charge at Bournemouth in 1992 and he is most commonly associated with his time at Stoke City where he guided the Potters into the Premier League.
More recently, Pulis has been in charge at clubs such as Crystal Palace, West Brom and Middlesbrough, with the last job being Sheffield Wednesday and we might now expect him to seek a role such as an international manager which is less intense and involves watching games more than actually having training sessions.
Pulis is known for a relatively pragmatic style of football although he’s also used to having budget limitations and he would potentially be able to get the best out of a Wales squad that has quality players such as Gareth Bale, Dan James and Aaron Ramsey.
Coleman enjoyed a very happy five years in charge of the Wales senior team and their Euro 2016 adventure was a sight to behold, with the Reds recovering from an early defeat against England to steer their way past teams such as Belgium to reach the semi-final stage before a defeat against Portugal.
Wales might reach out to someone who went to Sunderland directly after leaving the Wales post before a brief stint in charge of Hebei China Fortune, with Coleman having been a free agent since 2019 and the 50-year-old might relish the chance to take charge again and try and make a big run for the 2022 World Cup and even Euro 2024.
Coleman has clearly done well as Wales manager in the past and there could be merit in the FAW going back to what they know with this appointment, with much down to whether Giggs’ position becomes untenable.
There are some talented Welsh managers faring well at club level right now and that includes Nathan Jones who is currently enjoying a second spell in charge of Luton Town. The 47-year-old started off his managerial career in caretaker charge at Brighton, although it was his time in charge of the Hatters between 2014-17 that really marked him out.
Jones steered Luton to promotion to League Two and they were left in a strong position in League One to get promotion when he left for Stoke City, although his time with the Potters was largely a struggle and he’s now back at Kenilworth Road and faring well with a team who have one of the smallest budgets in the division.
It would be interesting to see whether Jones was open to replace Ryan Giggs should the opportunity come available and the Wales manager betting odds might have him among one of the favourites for the job, with the manager having the right sort of profile and football philosophy to get the best out of the Welsh squad.