With Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy sidelined, Everton's playing representatives on the night, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ashley Williams, had contrasting fortunes.
Sigurdsson set Iceland on their way to their second successive major tournament finals when he scored their first goal. Burnley's Berg Gudmundsson added another in the second half to book passage to Russia as the smallest nation by population to ever do so.
Williams, however, was at fault for the goal that saw Ireland secure a chance of qualifying via the playoffs when he was dispossessed in a dangerous area and James McLean scored the winner.
Wales needed at least a draw to finish in the playoff spot but it's Coleman's and McCarthy's hopes of playing in the World Cup that live on.
Reader Comments (67)
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1 Posted 09/10/2017 at 22:31:59
I personally thought he'd be solid coming off the back of a good season in the Premier League and with Wales but oh God I was wrong. To add to that, he has no leadership presence at all. An unremitting oaf of a man.
2 Posted 09/10/2017 at 23:10:34
Harsh but very, very true.
Jags back for the weekend and Williams on the bench. We should only play him if we get an injury.
He has been very poor and his leadership skills have evaporated. A real shame for us and for him.
3 Posted 09/10/2017 at 23:14:50
4 Posted 09/10/2017 at 23:19:12
5 Posted 09/10/2017 at 23:37:23
Personally I think Ashley Williams has been playing great for Wales he was just unlucky with the rebound which looked suspiciously out of play for me.
Anyway, well done, Siggy and Iceland.
6 Posted 09/10/2017 at 23:58:51
Just glad I have no interest in the international bollocks apart from wishing Koeman didn't get a break and pleased for Coleman that the Republic got through.
7 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:12:03
Williams was "unlucky with the rebound"?
Christ. Hendrick was all over him like a fly on shite because he knew the guy has a mistake in him every time he is under any sort of pressure with the ball at his feet.
Congrats to Sigurdsson and Iceland. Fantastic achievement. Here's hoping Seamie, McCarthy and former blue Shane Duffy join him at the World Cup.
8 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:17:38
He is not a ball-player like John Stones who has silky skills but can't defend. You have to play to his strengths which is not passing the ball about at the back.
Stick him on a man-marking job against most attackers and they will not score; leave the passing to Keane or Funes Mori (when he returns). Williams is similar to Dave Watson, would you keep passing to Dave Watson to play out from the back??
9 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:19:26
He really is nothing more than an accident waiting to happen now. His confidence is shot and Ireland were targeting him all night, knowing he was the weak link in the Welsh defence.
He needs dropping and shouldn't play for the first team again until he is back to something like normal. He is a long way away from that at present.
10 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:23:44
11 Posted 10/10/2017 at 00:31:40
As others have said, he needs a spell on the sidelines to sort his game out. I wonder if our manager imparts much of his own wisdom to Ash?
Ireland, Northern Ireland (if they get through the play-offs) and England will fail dismally in Russia. Wales played a blinder in France but, in reality, the Home Nations stink.
12 Posted 10/10/2017 at 02:55:43
13 Posted 10/10/2017 at 03:04:35
A lot of the fans have been saying waste of money on Siggy too, then he plays for Iceland, and scores. There is a common factor here: no Koeman.
I have said all the way along that Koeman has the reverse Midas touch with players, he gets them to come to Everton, by virtue of his reputation as a player; people assume that transcends to management well it clearly does not, in his case specifically.
What I am trying to say, basically these players don't suddenly become second rate overnight!
14 Posted 10/10/2017 at 06:58:23
Unfortunately we do not have a manager who is a confidence builder. Whatever you say about O'Neill, he got a very average set of players playing well above the sum of its parts. Not pretty but wins. Koeman should take note.
15 Posted 10/10/2017 at 07:01:41
You should be enjoying the fact that an Everton player, captain of his country, has been knocked out of the World Cup.
16 Posted 10/10/2017 at 07:39:34
Surround him with runners.
Vlasic, Lookman, Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, Niasse. We have the players.
17 Posted 10/10/2017 at 08:51:56
That said, with confidence and when fit, he can do a solid job at the back, but Koeman needs to take him out of the firing line up allow him to rebuild his confidence.
Sigurdsson must be played in his best position and that means no Rooney or Klaassen .
18 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:08:35
I don't hear anyone knocking Hennessy for the awful throw to Williams in the first place.
19 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:18:36
20 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:19:57
21 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:21:58
22 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:29:47
I always rated Shane and he was superb against Wales, while Williams always looks like he can get caught in possession or give the ball away in a dangerous area just like he did last night
23 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:32:27
24 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:34:23
25 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:44:26
Williams is unfortunate in that every mistake he makes seems to result in a goal. That being said, Hennessey should never have thrown the ball to him with 2 players on him. As soon as he was closed down, you knew a goal was coming.
26 Posted 10/10/2017 at 09:53:14
Well said sir.
27 Posted 10/10/2017 at 10:08:44
Not exactly a class 'footballing' defender, but then not the wayward donkey too many seem to want to paint him as lately. Confidence understandably near shot, though... but, then which Everton player's isn't after such an uninspiringly managed start?
28 Posted 10/10/2017 at 10:15:59
Williams on the other hand has lost it. His head has gone. He is scared he doesn't want the ball. He is afraid to tackle. He reminds me of Chambers after Wenger played him at right back when he wasn't ready. Montero destroyed him at the liberty and it took him over a year to recover from it. Every time he played he was clearly scared. A similar thing happened to Eboue, but it was less pronounced a negative Arsenal crowd do not help.
It is odd that it has happened to Williams, at his age. He is on the decline no doubt, but his issue is a mental one. We should take him out of the firing line for a while, when injuries permit. Play Keane and Holgate in a 2 or Jags in 3. Ultimately, we need another centre-back.
29 Posted 10/10/2017 at 11:14:30
How we could do with a younger version as a talisman in this current side.
30 Posted 10/10/2017 at 12:26:33
31 Posted 10/10/2017 at 12:49:31
I keep saying it, but they have a very average team with just one world class element Tim Cahill's head. Get it wide and cross it in.
32 Posted 10/10/2017 at 12:54:53
This is why he played well at both Swansea and Wales over the past few years and this is why we bought him. If he's given too much time to think, he usually messes it up.
33 Posted 10/10/2017 at 13:07:15
The trouble is, this limits the team. The higher up the league you go, the more you need to be able to handle a football. Williams cannot play any other system he gets exposed in a back 4 due to his lack of pace.
We'd probably be best off cutting our losses on him in the summer if we could get a few million for him...
34 Posted 10/10/2017 at 13:49:42
35 Posted 10/10/2017 at 15:31:00
36 Posted 10/10/2017 at 15:58:14
While the hapless Ashley Williams creaked and cranked about the place, before losing the ball away for the winning goal (he does that a lot), at the other end Shane Duffy was imperious in clearing away the Welsh bombshells particularly in the final period when it was backs-to-the-wall stuff.
Could we swap them now?
37 Posted 10/10/2017 at 16:29:33
Declan (#36), I very much doubt Brighton would want him but nice comment.
38 Posted 10/10/2017 at 16:41:57
39 Posted 10/10/2017 at 16:48:59
It was Hennessey who should be called out, not Williams. That throw to Williams with two players on him was suicidal. Unfortunately Williams seems to be carrying the can for what was a Hennessey brain fart.
I agree, Williams has been poor this season, but he was blameless for this one.
40 Posted 10/10/2017 at 17:01:07
There are a number of horrible, unpalatable truths in your post. I really hope you are wrong, but so far I see little evidence that you are.
The trouble is, that if you are correct about our manager, any improvement will only flatter to deceive, and extend our torture for months, perhaps years.
41 Posted 10/10/2017 at 17:10:59
As for Williams, I could almost live with his habitual clumsiness if there was some trade-off in the form of commanding presence (as a former Swansea and Wales captain, I for one expected him to be capable of this) but he barely says a word to the other half-hearted meffs who currently wear the jersey. Massively underwhelmed.
43 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:03:42
Imagine him back at Goodison? Nah. Ironically, he has exactly the same ball playing issues as Williams. And he also looked decent because Ireland choose to soak it all up.
We just need a new CB dominant and can handle the the ball neatly and under duress.
I've watched the Icelanders last three qualifiers since Sigurdsson joined. He just is a No 10, end of. You can play him in a four in midfield or behind a striker.
His talent is clear, so naturally you might think he's good enough to squeeze in somewhere else. Don't. That by the way I believe is a strength to be good at whatever your main job is.
Utility men like the glorious Alan Harper were useful in the era of 1 or 2 subs but there's no need now. Just play the lad in the strongest position.
I would personally like to see a four across the park. Left to Right; Vlasic, Gana, Sigurdsson, Davies. A straight up and down central midfield pair of Gana and Sigurdsson.
I'd be tempted in home games to play Baines, Keane & Holgate behind them.
As Baines withers on the vine, he looks more like a left CB we could use at the moment. A touch left field but worth a try until January.
44 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:11:22
John G. I have been puzzled by that post. Do you not want our players in world tournaments, playing against the best national players? It may make them better players for the future.
45 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:15:06
46 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:16:35
The hapless Martinez should never have sold him. I would have him back tomorrow because he is not a frightened rabbit; and unfortunately our team has too many of them.
47 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:29:51
I'm sure you've seen Duffy play for Everton on the odd occasion he was selected and he is a stopper like Williams. That was what I was getting at, last night was not the only time surely most people have seen the lad play. And yet??
Where was the clamour for him before this game?
False flag I'm afraid. Two modest sides that churned out a pretty dour game really. Nobody on that pitch ex-Everton or otherwise merits any envious glances from ourselves to replace what we have.
Williams is so poor because like many of our squad they are being asked to do something they are not good at.
Duffy limited as he his would look just as poor as Williams put in the same situations. They are essentially the same player I would suggest.
48 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:40:17
49 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:52:36
I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
50 Posted 10/10/2017 at 18:58:48
52 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:19:42
53 Posted 10/10/2017 at 19:27:34
We needed another Centre Half as a minimum to go with Keane given the injury prone Funes Mori, ageing Jagielka and failing to impress Williams, but again the board failed to recruit. Koeman has been hung out to dry but his defensive options are seriously limited.
54 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:01:23
55 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:20:34
There lies the problem.
56 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:42:46
He'd be perfect for Everton at the moment as we don't really have a defence or a tall centre-back like Duffy, who may be able to reduce our comical vulnerability to crosses.
57 Posted 10/10/2017 at 20:53:54
58 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:34:12
Lately I've seen too many posts that have been similar but no sarcasm has been intended.
59 Posted 10/10/2017 at 21:40:25
Hopefully FIFA will recommend we get our money back.
60 Posted 10/10/2017 at 22:08:40
For a player who has missed so much football over the last four seasons, you would think, now finally fit, he would be relishing the opportunity to play in front of his countrymen.
Belgium, in a 'Bobby Brown Shoes' defensive train wreck master class finally took home the bacon 4-3. Already qualified they barely got out of 2nd gear. Our man Besic unfortunately appeared to be stuck in neutral for the entire time he had on the field. This guy is just not at Premier League level, and never was really. He is taking up a valuable spot on our playing roster.
62 Posted 11/10/2017 at 01:05:47
Second, another terrible decision, this time by Williams, to try to play the ball forward when it wasn't on.
Lastly and most criminally, Williams could have easily closed Hendricks down and blocked the cross, but he made a pathetic half hearted effort to do so.
Players make mistakes, they are human, but a lack of effort in a situation like that is unforgivable.
63 Posted 11/10/2017 at 03:08:28
Fucking distraught tonight! USA shits the bed.
I'm just absolutely gutted.
Go Ireland, go Blues representing. Hoping Mexico doesn't make it out of their fucking group.
64 Posted 11/10/2017 at 18:41:12
65 Posted 11/10/2017 at 19:02:12
Williams needs benching, he looks emotionally spent and even a week or two away from the game might help to clear his head.
New centre-back needed, Ronald, and a striker, if you can be bothered to make the effort.
66 Posted 11/10/2017 at 22:30:09
67 Posted 12/10/2017 at 00:30:00
I thought us selling Duffy was madness when our centre-halves were aging and we were very vulnerable to crosses (Stones). I think they would have made a great partnership. Said so on threads at the time.
As for two modest sides, I agree, but nobody on pitch merits envious glances to what we have, you must be joking. If we could harness half the bottle, fight and will to win that the Irish showed, we would not be in the dire situation we find ourselves in and I fear will continue to be in so long as Koeman is in charge. Peter Reid recognises that.
68 Posted 13/10/2017 at 17:52:53
69 Posted 13/10/2017 at 18:37:02
70 Posted 14/10/2017 at 08:03:12
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