THERE were no controversies when Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the World Cup, a fate that Warren Gatland is unlikely to share next year.

Next summer the Wales boss probably won't adopt the same approach as Glenn Hoddle, who famously attempted to break the bad news to the Englishmen who missed out on France 1998 to the sound of Kenny G.

Paul Gascoigne clearly wasn't a fan of smooth jazz, turning the air blue before trashing the manager's hotel room and smashing a vase.

Gatland, unlike Southgate, is blessed with options and will be braced for some conversations that are tough for a coach and even tougher for a player.

It may not quite have the impact of a club boss telling an individual that they are being released, but being close to the World Cup and then missing out wouldn't be far off in terms of devastation.

And Gatland will have at least two batches of such talks next summer – first he must pick his training squad for Japan 2019 and then he must trim it down.

Wales have had a superb year of bolstering their player pool and there will be plenty of quality individuals gutted at missing out at the first time of asking, let alone the second.

At the start of 2017/18 there were a number of World Cup shoo-ins but that figure has been chipped away to leave most players sweating and in need of a good year.

There are a few certs and, despite their public utterances of taking nothing for granted, it is only injury that will deprive Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau, George North and Leigh Halfpenny a trip to Japan.

Everybody else faces a battle and Gatland has set up an almighty scramble thanks to his brave summer calls. He has helped develop depth that will not only serve him well but his successor at France 2023.

In 2015 the New Zealander caused a stir by dropping the experienced trio of Richard Hibbard, James Hook and Mike Phillips from his training squad in August. There is a real possibility of similar high-profile victims for the Far East.

With just 466 days until Wales kick off their tournament against Georgia in Toyota, the national side are in great shape.

Despite injuries they emerged with great credit to finish second in the Six Nations behind Ireland, who they pushed hard in Dublin, and have the look of a side that confidently knows what they are doing.

This summer has been a roaring success regardless of what happens in Santa Fe on Saturday evening.

The win against South Africa in Washington made for hard viewing but it is a sign of progress that Wales are now in a position where Springbok scalps aren't celebrated wildly regardless of performance.

But last weekend's victory in Argentina was a serious statement – few can hand on heart say that they expected such a comprehensive win. Even the optimists would have had Wales just sneaking it rather than having a pretty comfortable final quarter.

The Pumas were poor but the way Wales stood tall (or rather drove low when it came to rock-solid lineout defence) against some hefty units was mightily impressive.

They achieved that with a starting pack that featured just one 'first teamer' in prop Evans, two at a push if you'd go for the ever-improving Cory Hill ahead of Jake Ball.

Wales are going about their business quietly and purposefully, much to the envy of England.

Eddie Jones' side have gone from being lauded as contenders to New Zealand as the world's best to being a rag-tag bunch on a five-game losing streak.

The truth lies in the middle – they weren't as good as some were suggesting when they won back to back Six Nations titles and they aren't as bad as some are stating at the moment.

However, Jones is faced with some pretty big issues with just a year to go until he returns to Japan with the aim of lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy.

Gatland, meanwhile, is looking relaxed and pleased with his progress.

All that a coach can do, and apologies for this phrase of sporting drivel, is control the controllables.

The planning for a tournament can be perfect only to then be hindered by injury misfortune (as Wales experienced at England 2015) or a bad call (as Scotland experienced at their Twickenham quarter-final courtesy of referee Craig Joubert).

But Gatland has helped foster a situation whereby his side are more resilient to the former.

In each position there will be unlucky individuals missing out on Japan who have shown that they can perform strongly on the international stage.

Gatland must mull over how many loose forwards he can accommodate in his 31 and can't afford any waste, so don't rule out new Dragons prop Aaron Jarvis making a late charge if he has a strong campaign thanks to his ability to play tighthead and loosehead.

But the head coach's planning is in good shape and when he returns from Argentina he won't have many big matters in his in tray.

Gatland could do with speculation about Shaun Edwards' future being put to bed and knows he will face another potential battle with English clubs when he wants players for the World Cup training camp.

But when the head coach sits down with his coaching team in Santa Fe for a bottle of Argentine red, he will know that Wales are in a good place.

The New Zealander has played a blinder this summer to set things up for next season when the hard work really cranks up.