Williams: Koeman wants to push us on

Monday, 26 June, 2017 35comments  |  Jump to most recent

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.

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“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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Minik Hansen
1 Posted 26/06/2017 at 17:43:37
We need him at least this coming season at the back. Experienced, vocal and a leader with desire.
Lev Vellene
2 Posted 26/06/2017 at 17:55:16
Williams has received a lot of stick here, but reading the analyses of various media, his signing is generally viewed as one of the better last season. But this is TW, after all, why would we care about the 95% that works out well, if there is at least 5% of bad to get rabid about!!! ;D
William Cartwright
3 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:00:29
I liked the choice to bring Ashley on board at relatively short notice last season when John Stones joined Man City. A stop-gap season or two were envisaged.

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.


Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:15:03
More meaningless drivel. The effort from some of the team in the season's run-in was lacking to say the least.

100% my arse!

Geoff Williams
7 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:29:23
He is way past his best. The last thing we need is him at the centre of our defence, he is slow but more importantly he is totally useless in the air.
Ray Robinson
8 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:33:57
Williams is a very good defender when the team defend the box, but less so when the team are instructed to play further up the field. He can be turned easily and has little or no pace. How anyone can advocate Jagielka going ahead of Williams is beyond me.
Jeff Armstrong
9 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:35:05
So, apart from pushing players 100%, what else does Koeman do? Tactical genius, switching players and formations during games to alleviate situations... don't think so,. Well, beyond hoofball, everyone back for corners, and "pressing" – not much really.

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.

Lev Vellene
10 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:44:27
Well, the defenders won't win you games, just hinder you losing them (Jagielka's three (?), and Williams's one fluke, goals apart).

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!

Peter Gorman
11 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:54:09
Wouldn't mind Koeman pushing him out
Des Farren
12 Posted 26/06/2017 at 18:55:40
William. If he was envisaged as a stop-gap, why was he given the contract he has? Money poorly spent on an ageing one-dimensional defender.
John Audsley
13 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:01:24
I was desperate for Everton to sign him last summer, mainly as he seemed a mouthy bastard who would kick people up the arse when required. I saw none of that on the pitch and he seemed a 2016-17 version of Mike Milligan.

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.

Lev Vellene
14 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:07:46
John (#13),

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...

Lev Vellene
15 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:21:01
We all thought Jags was a lost cause due to his early errors, yet he eventually surprised us all, I think. Would any of us have voted for him to start so many games, if there would be no injuries?

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

Len Hawkins
16 Posted 26/06/2017 at 19:21:05
If you haven't got a strong spine, then you get carried about in a bucket.

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.

Geoffrey Hall
18 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:11:34
I want him to stay but we do need two centre-halves. Keane and Smalling for me and a new left back.

Defenders should defend –not relied on to cross a ball. Baines is past it and has been for a while.

John Audsley
20 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:17:52
Yes, Lev.

That one incident proves me completely wrong.

David Currie
22 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:24:07
Williams is a carthorse and should be pushed out, he is too slow, not strong enough in the air. The only reason he was never dropped last season was because Koeman signed him. He is only comfortable with 3 centre-backs and when we defend deep.

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.

Mark Morrissey
23 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:27:32
Koeman was a terrific player and he takes no shit. When Williams is past it, he won't play him unless he has to. Trust in him – he's not at Everton to lose football matches.
Jim Hardin
24 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:53:44
Ray (#8),

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.

Danny Broderick
25 Posted 26/06/2017 at 21:57:25
Williams has done okay, but no more than that. I agree that he looks better in a 3, or in a backs-to-the-wall type of defensive performance. If we are going to progress, we probably need better than him, but until that day, Williams is a fairly consistent and solid defender.

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...

Lev Vellene
26 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:01:02
John (#20),

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...

Gareth Ashman
27 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:08:15
I'd love to see Ashley paired with someone with real gas, such as Davinson Sanchez of Ajax. I thought he was the best player on the pitch against Man Utd in the Europa League Final. Barça have been sniffing, but is he likely to start for them?

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?

Peter Gorman
28 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:11:28
Lev, how mouthy should Williams be in a new pond? you ask. As a captain for club and country, I expected some much needed mouth to his mentally fragile team-mates as soon as they first let him down. In the end he was as quiet as a church-mouse.

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.

Mark Boulle
30 Posted 26/06/2017 at 22:32:59
I blame the change in hairstyle myself.

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!

Clive Rogers
31 Posted 26/06/2017 at 23:19:41
Jeff (#9), here's something positive: Koeman got a very poor squad that may well have been relegated with Martinez, into 7th position and Europe. At the same time he introduced several young players who promise an exciting future.

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.

John Audsley
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.

Paul Kossoff
33 Posted 27/06/2017 at 01:40:04
Williams, if I was Koeman I would be pushing you out.

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.

Alan J Thompson
34 Posted 27/06/2017 at 06:06:23
Koeman has asked some players to push on in order to balance those he's told to shove off.
David Currie
35 Posted 27/06/2017 at 06:38:50
I agree with Paul (#33), and for John at 32, why can't we have 2 Center backs with speed instead of one and carthorse Williams who is slow, poor in the air and crap on the ball.

If he became available for transfer, how many of the top 12 Premier League clubs would take him? Answer: none.

Charlie Lloyd
36 Posted 27/06/2017 at 08:20:30
I've been a bit underwhelmed as well. When signed, I was pretty happy. A no nonsense tough defender who is very experienced. But whether it's the system (Swansea and Wales afforded him more cover) he's looked susceptible at times.

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.

Barry Pearce
37 Posted 27/06/2017 at 11:30:20
Jags, Williams, and Funes Mori, all need replacing. None of them good enough for a team with lofty ambitions.
David Graves
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.

Anto Byrne
39 Posted 27/06/2017 at 13:16:03
On reflection, we had a good season and the defence was shored up post Martinez. I thought he was a reliable defender and, of course, we had Coleman and Baines in good form. Didn't Seamus have a few goals and Leighton was back slotting penalties?
David Price
40 Posted 27/06/2017 at 14:54:31
Clive (#31), my thoughts exactly. Spot on that.
Clive Rogers
41 Posted 28/06/2017 at 10:37:39
David (#40), and similar for Moshiri after 20 years of decline under Kenwright. The turn around in 12 months is unbelievable. Top manager, new stadium, top players, top youngsters, money to spend.

Or am I going to wake up and find it's all a dream?

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