Ashley Williams has remarked on Ronald Koeman's intensity and high standards as he prepares for his second season under the Dutchman at Everton.
The Wales captain was a key acquisition by the Blues last August when he was drafted in from Swansea City and was virtually ever present at the heart of the defence since making his debut as a substitute at The Hawthorns.
Williams, who spent five years at Stockport County and a further eight with the Swans, was asked by evertonfc.com of his impressions of Koeman as a manager and, not surprisingly, he called out Koeman's desire to see maximum effort from his players.
“The main thing that sticks out is how much he keeps pushing you and driving you on, every day in training, every game we play,” Williams said.
“He won't accept anything other than 100-per-cent effort and he's very smart with the way that he manages the team. I've enjoyed my first season with him.
“He's obviously one of the best defenders there has been and you only have to look at what he won as a player to see he deserves respect. He's been great for us and he wants us to push on.”
With Everton's player recruitment team known to be looking for defensive reinforcements to bolster a back line that was hampered by Ramiro Funes Mori's knee injury earlier this year and, with Williams and Phil Jagielka representing a combined age of 67, one which is in need of an injection of youth as the club builds for the future, the Wolverhampton-born defender could face fresh competition this coming season.
Williams acknowledges the statements being made by Everton and their early start to signing players this summer following the purchase of Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen.
“There is a lot of ambition, a desire to keep moving forward and that's only positive for us as players to be part of it,” he said.
Reader Comments (35)
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1 Posted 26/06/2017 at 17:43:37
2 Posted 26/06/2017 at 17:55:16
3 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:00:29
If we land Keane and if Funes Mori gets his act together, or Tyias Browning emerges as a bona fide option, then we should be covered at the back, especially if Kenny covers right back and Mason Holgate can provide his central defensive position. Seems we are halfway through the plan and it is looking good.
6 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:15:03
100% my arse!
7 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:29:23
8 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:33:57
9 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:35:05
It says a lot when, during every article or interview etc, his fantastic playing career is always mentioned; if he was a decent manager, that would be history and maybe brought up now and then, but it's the only positive thing that people can think of to say about him.
10 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:44:27
I'm not saying we should base our defense on either Williams or Jagielka next season, but we do want one experienced anchor to get our youngsters (or new recruits) settled, so that they can gradually take over! Remember how we had all those young ones back in the early 80s? They sucked, and Howard Kendall nearly got sacked!
A few experienced players helped them gel into winners!
11 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:54:09
12 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:55:40
13 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:01:24
6/10 this season and must do better. It's important he has a pacy partner at centre-back alongside him as the thought of him and Jags together is enough to give a grown man nightmares.
Jags outplayed him in the last 10 to 15 games of the season as well.
Come on Ashley, become the tough, mouthy bastard who played for Swansea and helped Wales to the Euro Semis.
14 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:07:46
I feel sorry to realize I don't live in the real world, so I can't actually remember that there was a media uproar about Williams running across half the pitch yelling, only to get shushed by the immovable-one up front...
15 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:21:01
The same for this next season: why do Evertonians only think about one particular first XI?
Listen to me, children, as this is a new word for most of you: We will need a squad next season! Can those not catatonic at the idea, raise their hands and tell me what that is all about? :D
16 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:21:05
The Goalkeeper is covered; a top Centre-Half and a Top Striker required. The Midfield is overladen and someone needs to take it by the scruff of the neck and stamp his authority on it.
18 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:11:34
Defenders should defend –not relied on to cross a ball. Baines is past it and has been for a while.
20 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:17:52
That one incident proves me completely wrong.
22 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:24:07
Jags is still better than him now; no way should he be in the first team next season. Get rid, maybe back to the Swans.
23 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:27:32
24 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:53:44
Of course Jags has to go before Williams. Jags being the gentleman that he is, has to hold the door for Williams on the way out and then close it quietly behind both of them.
25 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:57:25
You'll get at least 7/10 from him most weeks. He also doesn't care about upsetting the opposition. For mentality alone, we could do with another couple like that...
26 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:01:02
How mouthy would you be in a totally new pond? You're hired as a player, but not as a Captain. I see that burst-out from WillIams as a very good sign (sorry)! And like you, I hope he'll become even better for us!
Yes, David (#22)
He is limited, but we need just that type of character in place, whilst getting the next generation/paid talent into shape. Everyone but us Evertonians thought Williams was good last season, whenever he had faster legs around to let him do his 'old' stuff to save our bacon...
27 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:08:15
In a World Cup year, it would be seen as a risk and he must surely be knocking on the door for Colombia. With our Dutch ties, who knows?
28 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:11:28
So no leadership at all, add that to his penchant for clattering anything that comes within range. I think 6/10 is about right for his season overall. I'm not hopeful the old dog will learn new tricks so I'll be scanning the old rumours page for news of his replacement.
30 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:32:59
When Williams was playing well for Swansea and Wales, he had a no nonsense crew cut. Last season however, he spent too much time cultivating that grotesque dead badger on his head and look what happened his performances suffered accordingly!
I know the stats suggest he had an impressive season, but the aura of dominance he seemed to have in white and red was nowhere to be seen from what I observed.
Cut the dead badger and bring back the old Ashley Williams!
31 Posted 26/06/2017 at 23:19:41
He is much more than a decent manager and may well become thought of as our greatest ever if he stays long enough. He was a genius as a player, with a strike rate that a striker would be proud of.
It's amazing that some Evertonians just don't understand what we have.
32 Posted 26/06/2017 at 23:19:58
Be honest, he hasn't been very good but still has time to turn it around.
He was bought to toughen up the back 4. As I said earlier, with a pacy bloke next to him he can still be a very good player.
33 Posted 27/06/2017 at 01:40:04
A no more than average defender with virtually no leadership qualities shown since he signed.
“He won't accept anything other than 100-per-cent effort and he's very smart with the way that he manages the team. I've enjoyed my first season with him."
Have you, Ashley? Well, I haven't; the sooner you're gone the better we will be, how about you go back to Swansea in a player cash deal for Sigurdsson.
34 Posted 27/06/2017 at 06:06:23
35 Posted 27/06/2017 at 06:38:50
If he became available for transfer, how many of the top 12 Premier League clubs would take him? Answer: none.
36 Posted 27/06/2017 at 08:20:30
It's not all been bad as the defence generally have been a better unit. Has anyone spared a thought for what Swansea did though? Flogged Williams for £12m and introduced Mawson. Not sure how much of that was planned but Mawson has been fairly impressive.
37 Posted 27/06/2017 at 11:30:20
38 Posted 27/06/2017 at 12:42:51
I am unfamiliar with the media sources that you refer to as highlighting the signing of Williams as one of the "better ones". But don't rely on what are clearly dubious sources actually reflect on games that you have seen him play.
If, having carried out what will surely be a painful and disappointing activity, you still believe that he was one of the better signings then I worry for you my friend.
And I enjoy a good stat as much as the next person but to present 95% of Williams' season as being good is something you've just made up.
If I am going to be "rabid" about his failings I would say that he is one of the worst 'footballing' center backs I saw last season. He is too small and too slow and his suggested leadership qualities were not particularly evident here.
But see what Ray Robinson @ 8 says above for a more rational analysis of his strengths and weaknesses.
39 Posted 27/06/2017 at 13:16:03
40 Posted 27/06/2017 at 14:54:31
41 Posted 28/06/2017 at 10:37:39
Or am I going to wake up and find it's all a dream?
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