Ashley Williams says the unity and fight that Everton showed against Arsenal can carry the Blues through against Liverpool on Monday and should set the tone for the rest of the season.
Backed by an atmosphere unprecedented in Ronald Koeman's tenure at Goodison Park so far, Everton came back from a goal down to beat the highly-fancied Gunners and, hopefully, put their season on a new course after two months of faltering form.
For Williams, there was an element of personal redemption in scoring the winning goal in the 86th minute. after a good start to his Toffees career, the Welsh skipper's form has dipped recently and it was his deflection on alexis Sanchez's 20th-minute free kick that deceived Maarten Stekelenburg as Arsenal took the lead.
Like the team as a whole, he recovered to put in a passionate display, capped by his header that he despatched past Petr Cech to set the home side up to earn three vital points.
There was a sense afterwards that something that shifted in the camp and that Koeman's men had responded to justifiable criticism of their recent performances which had yielded just one win in 10 games.
“I like to think we answered those questions but now we have to build on it and make sure it's not just one game,” Williams said in the Liverpool Echo.
“The way we responded and fought for each other, our work rate, the way we closed them down, the way we were tackling was brilliant to see.”
“That's the kind of performance these fans expect,” he added. “The fight was there with a bit of quality too. It's an Arsenal team which has been unbelievable this season and if we can perform like that against them, we should be able to do it every week.”
Everton will need a similarly spirited performance in Monday's Merseyside derby which a Blues side has won just in 19 attempts. You can sample some free bet offers if you fancy their chances against the enemy from across the Park.
“More than the win, which we desperately needed, we wanted to protect the unbeaten home record as well,” Williams continued. “The way we performed and stuck together for each, all backing each other up, that's what we need to do on Monday. It's a happy dressing room. a tired one, but happy.”
“It wasn't a great first 20 and we knew we had to inspire them a bit,” he said.
“It's the best since I have been here. A night game, that kind of noise, it doesn't let you get tired, keeps driving you on. They were brilliant.”
“I'm sure they will be louder on Monday. It will be my first derby and I've not experienced it before. Sure it will be unbelievable.”
Reader Comments (27)
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1 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:33:16
2 Posted 14/12/2016 at 23:52:31
3 Posted 15/12/2016 at 01:37:07
Sounds like the dressing room is united which is good but I can't remember a Blues side I respected less than this lot. Flimsy of spirit.
Why was the wall for the Sanchez free kick 15 yards back? Nobody in this team makes it 8 yards.
4 Posted 15/12/2016 at 04:04:19
We can beat Liverpool.
The supporters deserved that win the other night ...We now deserve a proper run of form through Christmas. COYBs ..don't disappoint...
5 Posted 15/12/2016 at 08:16:46
6 Posted 15/12/2016 at 10:48:02
We've generally had crap xmas periods in recent years, especially Martinez's 14-15 season which is when I believe he should have been shown the door. Truly hope this result has lit a fire under the players arses and they realise how much the crowd can lift them if they show some passion and aggression.
Looking forward to Monday if the team play like they did last game, the crowd will be right behind them and the RS certainly won't be up for it.
To play that kind of game you need stamina and pace and for me I think Barry not being in the side on Tuesday played its part. Nothing against him but we've got to try and keep younger legs in the engine room.
No one in the team deserves to be dropped after that game and an unchanged side would give the starting XI confidence that if they deliver they keep their place, even Lennon and McCarthy.
Xmas not looking so gloomy now...
7 Posted 15/12/2016 at 10:50:20
I hope he's on a long contract with no release clauses. He's only been here a few months but he's the best player we have in the whole club. If we can bring in a couple more gems like him we'd be some side.
8 Posted 15/12/2016 at 11:26:08
9 Posted 15/12/2016 at 12:58:23
Pity they don't have such a device for measuring head sizes maybe they do and theirs doesn't fit him.
10 Posted 15/12/2016 at 13:17:35
11 Posted 15/12/2016 at 13:21:14
12 Posted 15/12/2016 at 14:01:50
13 Posted 15/12/2016 at 14:23:55
14 Posted 15/12/2016 at 14:27:59
15 Posted 15/12/2016 at 14:40:02
16 Posted 15/12/2016 at 15:49:44
17 Posted 15/12/2016 at 17:46:40
His performance in the first half was absolutely stinking but he came good in the second, made some great interceptions and capped it all off with the goal.
I hope that this is now him bedded in. He is not the new kid at school anymore, I want to see him commanding the team as he should and demanding this level of commitment in every game.
18 Posted 15/12/2016 at 18:21:38
It was as close to ten yards as you could get.
Sanchez is a crafty little bastard for rolling the ball back
19 Posted 15/12/2016 at 18:28:23
20 Posted 15/12/2016 at 18:30:08
21 Posted 15/12/2016 at 18:30:43
22 Posted 15/12/2016 at 18:58:31
23 Posted 15/12/2016 at 00:07:42
24 Posted 16/12/2016 at 14:59:25
25 Posted 16/12/2016 at 15:10:48
26 Posted 16/12/2016 at 15:32:23
I think you're talking about Mirallas's challenge in the last few minutes which looked a nailed on penalty but video replays actually showed that Mirallas got to the ball first and it was not a penalty.
If Jags got 2 yellows for 2 fouls then what was Coquelin doing still on the pitch? Clattenburg is smarter these days. He is just subtle enough to not be accused of bias but, just like his mate Martin Atkinson, he is a closet red.
27 Posted 16/12/2016 at 15:51:50