Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Wales Online
Wales Online
Glen Williams

Osian Roberts was gutted not to get Wales job and would have brought Arteta and Henry with him

Osian Roberts has spoken candidly about his disappointment after being overlooked for the Wales manager's job.

Roberts, who is thought of highly within Wales through his coaching work with the FAW and the national team setup, was a key part of Chris Coleman's staff during their stunning Euro 2016 campaign and subsequently one of those tipped to get the main gig.

However, the FAW opted for Ryan Giggs, before he was replaced, first temporarily and then permanently, by Rob Page, the incumbent boss.

READ MORE: Wales drop to lowest FIFA world ranking in eight years after Armenia and Turkey defeats

Speaking to Owain Tudur Jones in an exclusive S4C interview about being overlooked for the job in 2018, Roberts said: “I was disappointed because I was convinced that I was in the best possible situation to make sure the team progressed.

"The reason for that was I knew who we had in the squad, I’d worked with them for such a long time. I knew exactly who were the next generation that were coming through and how we would fill in the holes as the lads came towards the end of their international careers.

"I had been working with the generation of ’97 and gave them their first caps on the international stage, Harry Wilson and Dan James and that group.

"Especially then the generation of 2000, 2001 that won the Victory Shield two years in a row, something Wales hadn’t done in 60 years.

"We knew and were in the best position in terms of knowing the personalities and talent we had coming through, to create the next team, and how that team would look.

"We had absolutely no concerns - we could make that transformation from that team we had that were successful, to bridge over to the next team. I thought I was in the best possible position."

Watch a clip of the S4C interview with Osian Roberts below

Roberts is a respected figure within the vaunted FAW coaching system, who have brought through some of the best coaches in the game. Two of which, in fact, were keen on becoming his assistants if he got the Wales gig.

"I had spoken to Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry to come in as assistant coaches with me," he added. "Mikel wanted to come and was keen.

"The day before the interviews he asked [Manchester City] if he could come along. The club stopped him from attending the day before the interviews. That was a disappointment, but we were still discussing with Thierry.

"Thierry said, 'Get the job first and then we can discuss further.'”

Roberts' name has done the rounds again recently, with Wales boss Page coming under scrutiny after just one win in 12 games since qualifying for the World Cup more than a year ago. Wales have dropped to their lowest FIFA ranking in eight years after the recent Armenia and Turkey defeats, falling to 35th in the world.

With supporters divided over how best the national team should go on, some believe Roberts, who was recently let go by Crystal Palace along with Patrick Vieira, is among the favourites to succeed Page if results do not pick up.

“I’m also interested in becoming a head coach once again," said Roberts, who also had a two-year stint as technical director of Morocco, who went on to impress at the World Cup last year, finishing fourth.

"On the international level I’ve been a head coach to the youth teams or an assistant coach for the first team for about 400 international games, and then I’ve had the last two years in the Premier League.

"I think I’m ready for any challenge really.”

Y Gem: Osian Roberts will be available to watch on S4C Clic, BBC iPlayer on Thursday, July 13.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.