Ramsey: Wales are being "hunted"

Ramsey: Wales are being "hunted"

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey believes the Welsh national team have become a target for other teams as a result of their success at Euro 2016, rather than being considered underdogs as they were prior to the tournament.

Lewis Downes

Aaron Ramsey believes the Wales national team must be prepared to face different challenges in the aftermath of their summer success at Euro 2016.

Very few people would have believed Wales had the ability to reach the semi-finals of the competition, but they did just that.

The team jokingly referred to as 'Bales' shocked not only themselves but the entire world this summer, creating history, despite falling to eventual champions Portugal in the final four. 

Wales reached their furthest ever point in an international tournament doing so with style and grace. Chris Coleman's side wore their hearts on their sleeves and in doing so overcame opponents deemed stronger than themselves. 

2016 was certainly a year for the unexpected. Leicester City reinstated in many minds throughout Britain that football is the best sport on offer. However, Wales reinstated this belief around the globe. 

Everyone loves an underdog story, but Wales are no longer underdogs. Ramsey said earlier this week that Wales are "going from the hunter to the hunted."

Arsenal's Ramsey, undoubtedly one of the best players in the side, excelled in the Euro's alongside Stoke's Joe Allen in central midfield. 

He added: "Teams will probably look at us a lot differently now, so we will have to adjust to coming up against different tactics to try to break teams down.

"While we were away we were in our own little bubble in France and we didn’t realise the effect it was having back at home."

Ramsey is missed by club and country

Coleman’s side had waited 58 years till this summer to take part in a major tournament.

The Welsh are now deemed the ‘best home nation’ by many and FIFA World Rankings support such a claim. Released in September the small nation of three million people now sits in 10th position, two higher than England.

Next for Wales is to secure qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Welsh have gotten off to a good start having beaten Moldova 4-0 in their opening game in Group D and are set to face a trip to Austria this Thursday, who also won their opening group game.

It is expected Ramsey will miss this tie and the next against Georgia as the midfielder is still recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up in August.

Coleman has expressed his frustration regarding Ramsey’s absence saying: "It's a huge disappointment not to have Rambo. That's 30% of the campaign without one of our best players. If you take him out of any team, it will have an impact."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is closely monitoring Ramsey’s fitness and will not rush him back into action.

The Welshman will be hoping there are no setbacks and that he can delve straight back into the thick of things.