Iwan Roberts slams ‘poor’ Dan James as Leeds United star comes off bench for Wales
Iwan Roberts slammed Leeds United winger Daniel James for a “poor” set-piece as Wales played Gibraltar in an international friendly on Wednesday night.
James, 25, started the game at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground on the bench but he didn’t have to wait long until he was called into action when Wes Burns went off injured in the 15th minute.
The Leeds winger went on to supply two assists as Wales went in at the break 4-0 up against the UEFA minnows.
However, James didn’t totally impress ex-Huddersfield striker Roberts, who’s now working as a pundit for BBC Sport.
“That needed the smallest of touches from Nathan Broadhead and he’d have scored his second goal for Wales,” Roberts told BBC Radio Cymru, as quoted on BBC Sport’s website on Wednesday night (11 October, 08:05pm).
“Dan James’ first set-piece was poor but that was a brilliant ball.”
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Spoke too soon
Roberts may not have been impressed by James’ play from dead-ball situations in the first half of Wales’ match against Gibraltar.
However, the ex-Manchester United winger’s form continued as he finally got going in Wrexham.
James has assisted four goals in the Championship this season.
He scored at the weekend in the 2-1 win over Bristol City, making that his first goal of the season and his first goal for Leeds since netting a brace in a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa in February 2022 while Marcelo Bielsa was still in charge.
Jesse Marsch, Javi Gracia and Sam Allardyce have been and gone at Elland Road since James last scored for the Yorkshire club so it’s great to see the man who Bielsa pushed so hard to sign finally coming good at the club.
He’s currently doing well against Gibraltar but let’s not kid ourselves.
If Wales want to be taken seriously on the international stage once again, they cannot be organising friendly matches against teams as low in the FIFA World Rankings as them.
They rank 198th in the world, above just nine other teams and above only two other teams in Europe (Liechtenstein and San Marino).