I don't understand why Gareth Bale was so far away from the box, says Robert Pires
Doha (Qatar), Nov 25 (IANS) Iran received a dramatic late boost to their Qatar 2022 hopes after goals from Rouzbeh Chesmi and Ramin Rezaeian in the 98th and 101st minute respectively, secured a historic 2-0 victory over ten-man Wales at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium here on Friday.
French football coach and former professional player Robert Pires, who played for clubs like Metz and Marseille prior to his time with Arsenal where he won two FA Cups, was puzzled about Gareth Bale not being aggressive enough around the penalty area.
"I think the Wales players were without energy which was strange. Normally, this guy (Gareth Bale), needs to be in the box area because he's a very good finisher, he can score goals. But I don't understand -- he was very far away from the box," Pires said during the programme on Viacom18 Sports' FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 presentation.
Wales were seeking a victory in order to boost their hopes of reaching the knockout stages having played a 1-1 draw with the USA in their opening game. However, they struggled to break Iran down, with Gareth Bale, becoming their most-capped player on his 110th appearance, unable to inspire any more heroics.
Former English professional football player Sol Campbell commended the efforts of the Iranian players to close down Gareth Bale in their clash against Wales.
"I just think that Iran was just really good at managing him (Bale) and not allowing him too much space to operate in. Everyone was always on him, he didn't have any time to run at anyone, and none left him alone so he couldn't really shoot from outside the box. They made sure all the spaces were reduced around him because they know how dangerous he is and the Iranian players did a really good job," said Campbell.