Williams wants to make Blues fans proud

Monday 14 November 2016  16 Comments  [Jump to last]
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ashley Williams says that he wants to bring to Evertonians the same thrills that Wales gave their supporters on their magical run to the semi-finals of Euro2016 over the summer.

The defender captained the Welsh side through an impressive tournament that almost ended with an improbable place in the final but they were beaten by eventual winners Portugal.

Since then, Williams has ended his long-time association with Swansea City where he made well over 300 appearances and opted for a new challenge at Everton, one that he is really enjoying.

The Blues have had a patchy first quarter of the Premier League campaign but Williams is eager to reward the “incredible” support from Everton's fans by giving them something to celebrate.

"When you come to a new club there's a real desire to impress everyone and you have to get your head down and start again from scratch. I've enjoyed that challenge,” the 32-year-old told the Liverpool Echo.

"I've enjoyed working hard in training and focusing on the challenge we've set ourselves as a team and that is competing for European football.

[G]etting to the semi-finals of the Euros with Wales in the summer ... was immense for the whole of the country, the pride that generated in people. That's the kind of thing we want to do here at Everton."

Ashley Williams

"Obviously, I had the experience of getting to the semi-finals of the Euros with Wales in the summer and that was immense for the whole of the country, the pride that generated in people.

"That's the kind of thing we want to do here at Everton."

Williams suggests that while the Toffees are a bigger club than Swansea. with whom he ascended to the Premier League after signing from Stockport County, he has joined a club similarly in touch with its supporters and the local area.

"What I've loved since coming here is that Everton is rooted in family and community," the Wales skipper continued.

"The passion that supporters have for the Club is incredible and you see it and feel it when Goodison is packed for every game and when the away ends are bursting at places like The Etihad and everywhere we go, no matter the game, no matter the distance.

"It gives players a real impetus — certainly, it's done that for me.”

While the summer was a career highlight for Williams, he is keen for another international adventure with his country, this time at the World Cup for which they haven't qualified since 1958.

Their qualification campaign for Russia 2018 has not gone as well as the one that swept them to France for this year's European Championships, however, and Wales currently sit in third place in Group D, two points behind Serbia and four behind leaders Ireland.

Williams is under no illusions about how tough it will be to qualify but he is confident his nation can do it.

"They will all be big games to come. But we feel we have enough in our dressing room to win all of them if that is what we have to do," he told the BBC after the frustrating 1-1 draw with the Serbs in Cardiff this past weekend.

"We have to take the positives from the game. We haven't lost yet in the campaign and feel like we can beat any team.

"I think it will be a close group right up until the end. It is not all doom and gloom. It is just a frustrating night," Williams said.

"All of the remaining games are big now. They were before, but now the more it goes on, they turn into must-wins.”

 

Reader Comments (16)

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Dave Lynch
1 Posted 14/11/2016 at 17:44:23
Smash Liverpool in the Derby and I'll forgive everything that's gone before.
Jack Convery
2 Posted 14/11/2016 at 18:11:09
Dave, fat chance of that. A draw would be a very good result given the way they are playing right now. I'm more interested to see how we play v Swansea. If several players down tools as they did v CFC we are in deep trouble.
Peter Gorman
3 Posted 14/11/2016 at 18:24:09
No less than 5 goals too Dave. And never give another interview.
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 14/11/2016 at 19:26:12
I love his attitude towards the club, his ferocious commitment and his on-field leadership.

God, I wish he had just a bit of pace to go with it.

Colin Williams
5 Posted 14/11/2016 at 19:35:52
Just focus on performing consistently yourself and hope our manager has the balls to drop the piss-poor performers who constantly produce very little towards positive results! (Not only this manager.) Year after year our managers have played players who don't deserve a jersey.

I suppose there are many reasons for this comedy of feck-ups:

1) players bought in by the manager themselves who were either poor to start or now past their best.

2) older players who they don't have the balls to drop and have been there way too long... and we have quite a few of them now!!

These two issues may seem small to people but they're core values for winning teams are huge. This has constantly been a problem within our club over the last 20 years or more, That's been a huge barrier why we haven't been near winning anything and this won't change until these and other issues have been addressed?

Or maybe we just haven't managed to select the right manager with the individual game/team philosophy to enable us to maximise our potential.

What is frustrating is that is other big clubs have delivered on this issue! (Not always with big money). What seems to come up consistently is selecting the manager that fits perfectly with our DNA and club/supporters philosophy.

These issues may never be addressed and, in my opinion, our failure to develop and become a winning club again 'soon' will quickly weaken our position permanently to a point were it becomes irreversible and we become a second class club and the top clubs become untouchable in money, support, infrastructure and the right guy in charge!!

Mark Morrissey
6 Posted 14/11/2016 at 19:38:45
Dave @ 1. It's going to happen and Swansea will see the turn of the tide for us. Onwards and upwards.
Colin Metcalfe
11 Posted 14/11/2016 at 21:55:20
I think he has been a good addition to the squad. Defensively we look a lot more solid at set pieces. Remember under Martinez when a corner for the opposition was almost a "gimme"; however, like the rest of the team, he was poor against Chelsea and directly at fault for the fourth goal.

We have got some tough games coming up and he needs to be on top of his game and hopefully big Ron won't try and be a smart arse and play five at the back again!

Best form of defence ... attack!

Don Alexander
14 Posted 14/11/2016 at 22:30:51
Williams would have been rated for his professionalism and commitment in any decade I can remember. I just wish others he trains with could learn from him.

It'd be great to have more skill in the team but players showing less than 100% professionalism is and always has been a knife to the heart of fans.

Brian Furey
23 Posted 15/11/2016 at 13:56:43
I think the main thing Williams brings to the club is experience and commitment. We have seen too many of our squad lack that will to win and willingness to work for the team but Williams, like Coleman and Barry, will work his ass off for the team and put his body on the line. As Koeman is finding out, there are too many in the squad that are the opposite and it doesn't hurt them enough when they lose.

We should beat Swansea quite comfortably at home this weekend, I believe they are a million miles away from playing Chelsea at home who are on fire lately.

We have some very tough games in December home to Man Utd, Arsenal & Liverpool and away to Leicester so we need to start picking up points soon.

Will Baines be back for Saturday?

Richard Leeming-McHale
25 Posted 15/11/2016 at 17:15:19
At last – a committed player, who knows the pain of the fans. Reminds me of Mountfield!
Max Murphy
26 Posted 15/11/2016 at 19:58:05
Swansea at home? More ritual humiliation for Everton. Get used to it.
Eugene Ruane
27 Posted 15/11/2016 at 20:22:08
Max - 'Swansea at home? More ritual humiliation for Everton. Get used to it.'

If you REALLY believe that, you would be insane not to take the 11/2 you can (currently) get on a Swansea win.

Hundred nicker = season-ticket sorted for next season.

Bob Parrington
28 Posted 16/11/2016 at 07:54:59
Jack (#2). I've seen the RS boom out of the gates like this before and then suddenly fall in a heap. Here's in hope for a repeat!!!!!
Bob Parrington
29 Posted 16/11/2016 at 08:00:35
Eugene .. you're a sceptical prick but I like that!! $50 aussie to your 1 Brexit quid that Swansea won't win. If I'm wrong, I'll pay you the cash when I'm over in August 2017.

Eugene Ruane
30 Posted 16/11/2016 at 11:32:35
Bob (#29), I'M not suggesting Swansea will win, I don't think they will.

My point was IF I was convinced they would – like Max Murphy (#26) appears to be – I would deffo take the 11/2 on offer.

Paul Burns
31 Posted 17/11/2016 at 11:38:41
More ritual humiliation?

Swansea have beaten us once in the league in their history. Get yourself a dictionary and learn the English language before stringing a sentence together.

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