Ashley Williams has expressed his hopes that Ronald Koeman stays at Everton for at least the duration of his three-year contract.
The Dutch manager, who was appointed as Roberto Martinez's successor last June and who signed Williams in August, has become the topic of inevitable speculation linking him with the imminent vacancy in the Barcelona hot seat.
The current incumbent at the Nou Camp, Luis Enrique, has announced his intention to step down at the end of this season and Koeman's past links with Barca as a player during their successful period in the early 1990s have made him obvious fodder for media talk regarding a return there as head coach.
The odds overwhelmingly favour a manager already working in La Liga, with Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli among the leading candidates, but if Koeman is a long shot for the Barcelona gig, a possible opening at the Emirates Stadium this summer is sure to keep the tabloids humming with stories linking the Everton manager with Arsenal should Arsene Wenger leave.
Not surprisingly, Williams is keen for the 53-year-old to stay at Goodison Park to continue the reconstruction of the Toffees' squad, of which the Welsh skipper was a part when he arrived from Swansea City.
“For me personally and the lads, we obviously hope he stays,” said Williams who has edged club captain Phil Jagielka out of the starting XI in recent weeks. “He's started building a team here and we're all confident the future looks good for Everton so from our point of view we'd obviously want him to stay.
“But he might have his own ambitions. I can't speak for what he wants from his managerial career but just from our point of view, definitely we enjoy working with him.
“You can see form the way we've been playing of late that it's working.'
“I think we're building a team, the gaffer is building a team to what he wants. We've done well in the last couple of months. It's about kicking on now and trying to take that into next season.”
Reader Comments (87)
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1 Posted 07/03/2017 at 07:39:01
2 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:04:02
3 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:12:56
5 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:13:06
6 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:16:37
I can't see Koeman going to Barcelona this summer but next year is a possibility, if the new incumbent fails to deliver.
7 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:42:50
8 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:48:37
A. Gives rise to a pride and optimism fest, just asking for Everton Irony to strike, inevitably causing:
B. Defeat as at Spurs, predictably leading to:
C. Apology/distraction pieces as above, resulting in:
D. Increased fan cynicism, manifest as:
E. Posts like this one.
9 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:58:29
10 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:02:32
Williams has been underwhelming on two fronts; probably the clumsiest tackler of a ball since Claus Thomsen and no evidence to date of his famed leadership skills.
Pretty shit footballer truth be told, which is not at all what I was expecting. At this stage, I would welcome Jags back as both centre-half and captain but at least three centre-halves required in the summer.
11 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:35:12
He's not awful, but he's better as a left sided centre half, but Funes Mori plays there and imo he's better.
We needed someone who can play next to Funes Mori, preferably someone who can pass a bit, and someone under 27 years old.
I know many on here don't like Funes Mori, but he's by far the best we have, also doesn't Holgate deserve a chance!
12 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:46:11
My grandson is a better judge of a player than our present incumbent.
13 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:46:35
Someone at the club obviously thought so, however. Though, for the £12m paid, a better service would have been expected.
14 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:02:28
Seems to me that teams (and us fans) constantly over-estimate the abilities of defenders at small clubs.
15 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:06:10
When Koeman has got his tactics and team selection right, we've performed well, and individuals have been good. However, when he gets it wrong, it's a struggle. This is the case for most, perhaps all, sides. You have to set the team up well, with the intention of winning.
On Sunday, Koeman got it wrong. We all make mistakes, but that mistake wasn't isolated, it was a repeat mistake, fairly predictable, and one which was highlighted on TW even before the game started.
Repeat mistakes can be a sign that a manager is not adapting, not learning, which makes me concerned about Koeman's judgement. This is a valid concern, not a knee-jerk reaction to Sunday.
When managers make mistakes, there can be some spin on the reasons for the defeat. I think there has been spin (certainly signs of it) after every defeat this season. With this background, on this thread I wouldn't be too focused on criticising Williams, but rather focused on deeper issues. Issues to do with management.
16 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:10:56
Unless of course it is a basic lack of fitness but I fear the slowness is more of the brain.
17 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:36:35
18 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:40:48
19 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:51:05
The rest are all replaceable.
20 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:52:15
Koeman got his tactics wrong on Sunday but I think his selection and tactics are hampered by our defence. If we had commanding centre-halves, he could concentrate on beating teams besides having to concentrate on not getting beat, and how he can protect the soft back 4.
I think our midfield is good so the business needs to be done in defence and someone up front with Rom.
21 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:55:29
I can't see how the speculation surrounding the manager can help, maybe the fact that the agent of Lukaku has said he is 99.999% certain of signing a new contract depends on Koeman staying.
22 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:13:10
Does anyone think if they were taken over by a joint management team of Mourinho, Guardian and Ancellotti they would be guaranteed top 4 next season?
23 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:19:57
The get-out clause would be the smell of huge bucks. The very same odour that enticed him here from Southampton.
24 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:20:32
25 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:49:40
He's a solid defender, and definitely a better short term option than Jags and '£50m superstar' Stones.
26 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:08:08
In the longer term, thinking about our ambitions (the 'project', and all that), maybe Williams isn't suitable. But then I would say similar with regard to Koeman.
I liked his appointment, still support him overall, but I think there are issues with his management style at times, and his tactical judgement. A decent manager from the evidence so far, but perhaps not of the calibre we require to take us where Moshiri wants us.
27 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:15:05
28 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:34:34
29 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:36:03
30 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:40:42
31 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:46:04
32 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:15:53
Williams needed a more athletic younger man next to him; while Funes Mori is younger, he's about as athletic and mobile as an oil tanker on the turn.
33 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:16:45
34 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:25:58
Seems like all the "red" media who were trying to convince us he was definitely moving on at the end of the season have now moved on to Ron going to Barca; if he doesn't get that one, he is going to Arsenal.
It seems anything to undermine the Everton resurgence is undermined by gossip and rumour.
35 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:27:42
36 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:28:18
37 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:38:56
Obviously in the first half we were played off the park, but in the second gifted two very soft goals to defensive blunders then took them to 3-2 in the last quarter then caused panic in their area in the last 5.
Had we had a few more minutes, we could have scored again as Spurs tired. Just saying.
38 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:07:13
I'm with Peter too. Although we got our tactics and team selection wrong on Sunday and made some really poor defensive errors, we have to remember we have kept 6 clean sheets in the last 10 games, so something has to be right.
39 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:25:34
40 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:40:54
41 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:57:28
No, he's not Vertonghen, but he does his job. And his effort and passion are unceasing, which is something we usually applaud.
We've shipped five fewer goals this searson than we had at the same point in the league last season, and obviously our defensive form had been superb until the Spurs game... only five against in the previous nine games. So I think some of the stick here is a little over the top.
42 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:57:50
43 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:02:17
We have played away to the likes of Middlesbrough, Stoke, Palace, Hull and Watford and frankly we haven't been convincing in any of them.
We need to press more in away games; we are too passive with no real intent. People say we scored two goals on Sunday but they were too little, too late, when Spurs had already done enough to win and switched off a bit.
Why can't we start an away game on the front foot and take a 2-0 lead into half-time or something? Give ourselves a platform to build on.
This needs working out before long.
44 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:23:23
45 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:38:15
So why such a huge difference? It feels like an identity issue but it's too much tinkering by the manager.
He, I feel, accommodates the opposition too much. Noting that most of his selection errors have come on the road WBA, Sunderland, Bournemouth, Watford, Chelsea & Spurs definitely stand out, and we won 2 from 6!
I would hope under Koeman, a big character himself, we would learn to assert ourselves in away games.
Too passive, too defensive. Just uninspired. The best away game this year was Palace. Most watched and were in agreement we were always going to win.
We were assertive, played the best shape 3-5-2, passed well and controlled the game. Yes, it was against a relegation candidate but we have lost at Bournemouth and Burnley too.
With very difficult away games to come, Koeman needs to be more adventurous; I'm not sure it's in his nature?
46 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:41:09
Two centre halves must be a priority for the summer. Personally I would like to see Pennington given a chance. If he fails, there's nothing lost... but he may save the club a fortune.
47 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:41:17
48 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:42:21
Unless we have full-backs who can defend in a rigid back four, them three at the back is the better option. Williams, Funes Mori and Holgate with only one holding midfield player. But that will only be for this season; it will all change next season
49 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:45:06
But good points made John (#45). My views too.
50 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:20:16
"The club are expected to make an announcement about the next stage of their financial plans to build a new ground this month."
Coupled with Mr Elstone's less than convincing comments during Sky's visit to Finch Farm, it's beginning to look like we are not as rich as we would like to think we are.
If true, this is getting more worrying by the week and has Kings Dock written all over it.
51 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:28:21
52 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:40:30
53 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:04:52
Whilst many, like me, were running short on patience before Christmas, it seemed like things were finally coming round with the unbeaten run in January & February and especially after the 4-0 thumping of Guardiloa's bunch.
However, it is still a work in progess and some players will be sacrificed before next season. Older players like Jagielka, Baines, Williams and Barry are the likely ones to be replaced, being defenders who are a tad slower than they need to be as defenders. I am sure Koeman has the smarts to see this, having already moved some players out.
Obviously the youngsters have made great strides and will be all the better for it next season but rest assured there will be some more signings in vital areas come the Summer.
Sunday's game wasn't too hard to predict although still disappointing the way they conceded the first two goals. If that had been against the likes of Hull then I really would have been teed off.
54 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:10:26
We never will, but we'll end up hoping anyway. So our ears are ever open!
I'd like the cornerstone of our new dock-side stadium to be placed physically and immediately above our dear Mr Elstone's ages-old grin of "fooled-ya!", though... >;D
55 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:12:13
McCarthy, when playing from the start of a game since beating Arsenal on the 13th December, has been Everton's best player. Barry on the other hand has been woeful!
The game is now about pace from the back to the front. On Sunday, Everton looked like a retirement team for ageing footballers.
56 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:23:16
I would personally go for Keane and Mee at Burnley; both solid. Mee can play left-back... happy days. Funes Mori is our No 1 centre-back which isn't good enough.
57 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:26:12
With Lukaku apparently committed to stay with us (thank god!), there will be no easy money available this summer, so the money for Koeman's 'four major signings' (upwards of £80M) will have to come from Club revenues or the bank as Moshiri finances the new stadium.
Unfortunately, that's just to stay in seventh, don't you think ?
58 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:27:36
Since the begining of the 2012-13 season, Chelsea lead the way with 47 wins from 90 away league fixtures gaining 162 points nb: the points tally includes the number of draws added to the victories.
The rest of the clubs who make up the top 10 for that period are as follows:
Man City 46/90 = 159
Arsenal 45/89 = 156
Spurs 42/89 = 150
Man Utd 42/88 = 150
Liverpool 39/90 = 140
Saints 28/90 = 107
Everton 26/90 = 110
Swansea 24/89 = 90
West Ham 21/89 = 88
The top six clubs in an all-time Premier League away record reads as follows:
Man Utd 252 wins from 472 matches, a return of 876 points
Arsenal 214 /474 = 774
Chelsea 200/475 = 751
Liverpool 182/475 = 668
Spurs 144/474 = 560
Villa 127/461 = 517
Everton 125/475 = 517
Given all of the stats, as far as Everton are concerned, a win away from home arrives circa every three or four matches; if the club is to make inroads into the higher echelons of the Premier League, they will have to try and make that ratio a one-in-two or they will have to have an almost flawless home record, similar to how Spurs have mainained their position in recent times.
59 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:33:15
He should be publicly flogged for not starting with McCarthy who was just back from another injury.
60 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:33:54
Then, we could guarantee never conceding goals when faced with forwards like Lukaku, no silly falling over when trying to turn to match attacking runs. Also, no failing to track the flight of long free kicks into the box, letting the ball drop to the feet of unmarked shorter players such as Valencia, for unchallenged tap-ins.
If only we had infallible, quality defenders like those two... after all, we've conceded a whole goal more than their team in the last six matches. Something must be done, and fast.
61 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:47:22
On that one point, you may have a point. I added the caveat of McCarthy's fitness when suggesting we play him in advance of the game. One or two others did too, I think.
The defeat was down to more than that one choice, though. Koeman had other options of players and team set-up/tactics. We've recently been better as a team than the approach used on Sunday.It was cramped and negative. ToffeeWebbers are correct in seeing that.
62 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:47:39
63 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:50:02
64 Posted 07/03/2017 at 20:02:37
We are, in the league, where we should be (best of the rest, which at this point of the season is a BIG improvement on where we have been the last few seasons). And by that, I mean 7th is ours to loose which should qualify us for Europe and yet there is still a slim chance of finishing higher.
Now surely any realist on this site would of accepted that at the start of the season. Koeman knows where we are and where we need to be over the next few seasons, which is a breath of fresh air from our previous managers.
As for Williams he has been in a defence that has kept 6 clean sheets in the last 10 games so he must be doing something right; his price tag was always going to be high after the Euros.
I, for one, am more than happy with the progress and looking forward to what is in front of us.
65 Posted 07/03/2017 at 20:47:57
Losing to Spurs wasn't a given, and it's not a disaster either, but on the face of it, it seemed avoidable, or at least it seemed we could have had better tactics and team selection to minimise the chance of it happening.
Managers aren't infallible despite being paid so much, as evidenced by our previous incumbent. As a supporter, I feel well qualified to comment on Koeman's performance without overreacting.
And to be honest, I'm not so sure we are simply the best of the rest. For example, I believe we're better than Liverpool player for player, and it's a case of getting our tactics and team selection right. So achieving top-6, or higher, is quite reasonable. And what happened last season was an aberration from which I fully expected us to recover fairly quickly.
66 Posted 07/03/2017 at 23:28:49
Six clean sheets in nine going into the Spurs match and one or fewer goals conceded in 21 of 27 league matches so far. That's a reasonable platform for success. The issue, I think, is that our defense rarely feels dominant it's more of the "bend but don't break" variety, which tends to inspire a lack of confidence.
67 Posted 08/03/2017 at 02:22:00
The voice of reason I agree to some of your points. I think Koeman has done a okay job; next season will be the bench mark but, as you say and I agree, it's always 'next season'.
68 Posted 08/03/2017 at 09:52:15
The latest is that Lukaku will have a clause in his contract allowing him to talk to top clubs who make an offer. The contract will only ensure that we get cash for him. He may well be gone in the summer.
69 Posted 08/03/2017 at 09:56:34
70 Posted 08/03/2017 at 19:33:38
He has been cruelly exposed this season every time he has been pressured. It's painful to see the cultured Holgate left out while Williams and his hack-it-clear-side kick Mori embarrass us with their agricultural play.
"Koeman building a team"? If he was, he'd be doing it without Thunderbolt and Slowfoot
71 Posted 09/03/2017 at 00:10:24
It's not like an eavesdropper overheard their private conversation over a carrot cake in Costa. Both were asked the question by a reporter and gave an answer. What the players talk about between themselves isn't necessarily reflected by questions they are asked by the press.
72 Posted 09/03/2017 at 02:40:50
73 Posted 09/03/2017 at 19:42:27
I would agree Williams has not turned out to be the signing most of us, you included, thought he would be. I think it safe to say most Blues were happy when we signed him.
I recall you answering a post stating how good a defender Williams is by agreeing with the point and then adding to it along the lines of "make no mistake, this boy can play too".
74 Posted 09/03/2017 at 19:58:44
"Colossus. He can play football too."
There you go.
No intention to cause offence, I get it wrong a lot of the time as we all do. I got it wrong on Williams myself. I thought he would be perfect for us.
It's just to point out how easy our opinions can change.
75 Posted 09/03/2017 at 21:00:36
I thought he'd do better with us, but just goes to show the randomness of great performances in a summer tournament being different to the day-to-day grind in the league.
I always thought Williams was bought as an instant fix stopgap for a year or two he's not convincing at that either.
Our best defender isn't getting a game. Holgate should be centrepiece in a back three, helping the other two till we get better replacements.
76 Posted 09/03/2017 at 21:14:07
He has struggled and his distribution is awful, but he does have a big heart and he can be inspirational.
77 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:47:22
On the "Everton confirm Williams capture" thread:
"Our defence will improve by virtue of the fact that Martinez is no longer in charge, Williams would be great as back up, but number one defender ? The guy is 32" – D Hind
For most of his career, Williams has not been deemed good enough for the Premier League. Not one of the twenty teams wanted him" – D Hind
"I wonder how this clearly disciplined professional would have done playing for a manager who's criminal neglect of the defensive side of the game all but destroyed the standing of top players like Baines, Coleman and Jagielka – all deemed light-years ahead of Williams" – D Hind
"He is definitely not the answer, he is a worrying short-term solution to a long-term problem" -– D Hind
All the above posted on the day Williams signed.
I guess its difficult to capture the mood, the context, the irony or the sarcasm if you go back 8 months to try to pick up a thread, but I think my comments on the day he signed and after virtually every game since, would be ample enough evidence that my opinion of his acquisition is the same today as it was on the day we signed him.
Perhaps I need to go easy on the sarcasm in future...
78 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:23:38
79 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:33:39
Would it be too much trouble to ask what threads your comments were on?
80 Posted 11/03/2017 at 01:56:24
81 Posted 11/03/2017 at 07:48:19
The thread is as I pointed out headed "Everton confirm capture of Williams" 10 August 2016 – The day Williams signed.
I also recall having a discussion with Lyndon on a different thread around the same time as he felt I was being premature and negative about the signing.
There had been speculation of Williams signing before he got here which I declared a real concern that we were selling a centre-half whose career hadn't yet started and replacing him with one who hadn't really had one (not top flight anyway). I guess you would have taken and mistaken my sarcasm from one of those threads.
My opinion on Williams has been as consistent as my opinion of Koeman and I must admit to once saying Koeman was the knight in shining armour coming to save us - That was sarcasm too.
Hope that clarifies things for you.
82 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:09:22
Thank you, much appreciated.
83 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:53:55
No trouble at all really, especially when it was to prove an allegation to be false.
84 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:45:32
Sorry, you have lost me there.
Allegation of what?
85 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:19:55
Darren (#70) I would agree Williams has not turned out to be the signing most of us, you included, thought he would be. I think it safe to say most Blues were happy when we signed him.
I would agree Williams has not turned out to be the signing most of us, you included, thought he would be. I think it safe to say most Blues were happy when we signed him.
He seems almost shy and timid compared to that colossus we bought who so inspired the Welsh team.
86 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:42:14
87 Posted 12/03/2017 at 08:46:00
It was easy for me to find my comments because they were made on the day of the signing. It would have been far more difficult to find a comment I'd made well before Williams had signed. That takes real spade work, an awful lot of time and effort.
I found it bizarre that despite dozens of posts from me criticising the signing of Williams before during and after the event... that the sarcastic comment was chosen.
I find it equally bizarre that my explanation that it was sarcasm was refuted and my comments on the day questioned.
The evidence is so overwhelming. Would possibly the smallest central defender in the league be described as a "Colossus" by somebody who clearly didn't want him, without a hint of sarcasm?
Would a man who loved the way John Stones played the game, say his replacement – renowned for being an old-fashioned no-nonsense hack-it-clear merchant – "can play too"? – without a hint of irony?
89 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:34:36