Williams: We're building a team under Koeman

Tuesday 7 March 2017  87 Comments  [Jump to last]

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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David Ellis
1 Posted 07/03/2017 at 07:39:01
Yes, Ashley, we are building a team... but it seems Toffewebbers opinion is that you should not be in it.
Craig Fletcher
2 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:04:02
Ashley, I would like to express my hope that you get rid of that terrible barnet you had sitting on your head at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Phil Walling
3 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:12:56
Sorry to say it, Ashley, but Koeman has a way to go and with THREE dodgy central defenders and TWO dodgy keepers, he'd better start with the defence renovation!
Paul Conway
5 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:13:06
Williams was brought in for the short term, given his good form, and his age. plus he had an excellent campaign at the Euros 2016. I can't help feeling his term will be shorter than expected. The Euros and the World Cup often provoke impulsive purchases.

Liam Reilly
6 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:16:37
Other than Lukaku there's no place safe in that side under Koeman in the summers surgery.

I can't see Koeman going to Barcelona this summer but next year is a possibility, if the new incumbent fails to deliver.

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:42:50
Stop trying to look like David Haye, Ash. And try organising your fellow defenders a bit better.
Will Mabon
8 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:48:37
Here's hoping we don't have Sky cameras visiting again anytime soon, because that:

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.

Kenny Smith
9 Posted 07/03/2017 at 08:58:29
I agree, Ashley, we are building a team... but I also think that, when we eventually get there, you'll be sat where Jags is.
Peter Gorman
10 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:02:32
David Ellis beat me to it!

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.

Anthony Dwyer
11 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:35:12
I said ages ago, we should take what fee we could get for Williams in the January window as he's simply not that good.

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!

Tony Hogan
12 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:46:11
Anthony, you are being optimistic thinking we can get a fee for Williams. Yet again, Everton pay too much for a poor player with no resale value; no wonder we have no money.

My grandson is a better judge of a player than our present incumbent.

Lenny Kingman
13 Posted 07/03/2017 at 09:46:35
A fleeting moment of fame for the Wolverhampton Welshman at the Euros does not qualify the centre-back for Everton Football Club.

Someone at the club obviously thought so, however. Though, for the 㾸m paid, a better service would have been expected.

Ernie Baywood
14 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:02:28
I wanted a centre-back in their late twenties but I still thought Williams would be a decent stop-gap. I don't know if the fee was too high – presumably we thought he'd be decent in this league and that's typically an 8-figure fee.

Seems to me that teams (and us fans) constantly over-estimate the abilities of defenders at small clubs.

Stan Schofield
15 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:06:10
It's all very well criticising Williams, but Koeman signed him. Besides that, he's had some very good games.

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.

Peter Gorman
16 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:10:56
Yes but Stan, not even Koeman is responsible for the way Williams clatters about and lunges at everything that passes him after a few seconds delay.

Unless of course it is a basic lack of fitness but I fear the slowness is more of the brain.

Charles Barrow
17 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:36:35
Stan – I totally agree. It was not an isolated mistake. It was exactly the same mistake he made at Chelsea. Most of the posters beforehand knew it would end in tears. The next manager at Everton should be randomly selected from the regular contributors to this website!
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:40:48
You could be right, Phil, we will need at least six new signings in the summer. A keeper, two or three defenders, and a couple of attackers as well.

Jim Bennings
19 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:51:05
The only player that Everton would really really struggle to replace is Romelu Lukaku..

The rest are all replaceable.

Joe O'Brien
20 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:52:15
Yes you're correct, Ash, we are building a team under Koeman but I hope you won't be a part of it. The glaring difference between the two sides on Sunday was their solid back four and ours... 3 of the back 4 need to be replaced.

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.

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 07/03/2017 at 10:55:29
I think its interesting that Williams talks about keeping hold of Koeman, yet last week Barkley said nobody was talking about Koeman leaving. Obviously the players, like the fans are talking about it, so maybe needs Moshiri to come out and say he is going nowhere for at least 3 years. Or has he got a get-out clause in his contract as a journalist mentioned last week?

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.

John G Davies
22 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:13:10
West Ham currently sit in 11th position.

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?

Paul Conway
23 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:19:57
Brian @ 21.

The get-out clause would be the smell of huge bucks. The very same odour that enticed him here from Southampton.

Chris Williams
24 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:20:32
Reports that a new 5-year contract is all agreed for Lukaku.
Oscar Huglin
25 Posted 07/03/2017 at 11:49:40
I honestly don't understand the criticism of Williams I'm seeing here. I feel like he's being made a scapegoat.

He's a solid defender, and definitely a better short term option than Jags and '㿞m superstar' Stones.

Stan Schofield
26 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:08:08
Peter@16: Yes, true. But on the whole, despite his shortcomings, I think Williams was a good signing for us at the time and given the defensive problems we had last season. As I say, he has good games when Koeman gets the tactics right.

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.

Stan Schofield
27 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:15:05
Chris@24: I just had a look, and they (talkSPORT) say details have been agreed but nothing has been signed.
Anto Byrne
28 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:34:34
Ffs, he is a no-nonsense defender, organizes the defense and gives 100% – what more do you want? Blood?
Chris Williams
29 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:36:03
Reports saying it's to be signed this week, Stan. Possibly as early as tomorrow. The Talksport quote was from our good friend, Jim White, seemingly.
Rob Halligan
30 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:40:42
I heard on the one o'clock news on the radio he has signed a 5-year contract @ 𧴜k P/W but nothing on Sky Sports News or anywhere else.
Joe Foster
31 Posted 07/03/2017 at 13:46:04
TalkSport (Jim White) say all the legal side of the deal is done and he will be signing. Also mentioned we would be signing 4 major players in the summer.
Jim Bennings
32 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:15:53
Williams was always a good solid skipper at Swansea and Wales; he has not been helped by having Funes Mori next to him who seems to have hearts in mouths with some of his capers.

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.

Dean Cooper
33 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:16:45
Oscar @ 25, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Jay Harris
34 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:25:58
Rom's contract was allegedly signed today, with a press release tomorrow, from what I've heard.

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.

Andrew Ellams
35 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:27:42
Williams was never a long-term option at 32. Don't be surprised to see Funes Mori and Jagielka shipped out in the summer and Michael Keane plus 1 shipped in to join Williams and Holgate as our first-team squad centre-backs.
Rob Halligan
36 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:28:18
Jay (#34), press release tomorrow along with the new stadium announcement, hopefully.
Peter Cummings
37 Posted 07/03/2017 at 14:38:56
While I feel the criticsm of Williams is justified after the Spurs win and Koemans team choices, if the game is put in perspective, we could have come away with a point.

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.

Jay Harris
38 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:07:13
Amen to that, Rob.

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.

John Malone
39 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:25:34
Ash, stop doing squats in the gym and start working on your SAQs – you turn like the Number 20 bus to Aiggy Vale!
Steavey Buckley
40 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:40:54
Everton can't build a team when the defence will always make mistakes while presently being not good enough against the top 6 teams. That's why Everton have little or no chance of beating or even getting a draw against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United in the away games to come.
Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:57:28
Oscar (#25) and Jim (#38), correct. Williams is unspectacular but solid, and makes few mistakes. He wasn't to blame for any of the goals on Sunday.

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.

Brian Furey
42 Posted 07/03/2017 at 15:57:50
Does anyone have any contacts in Juventus or AC Milan? A few of us are going over to the Juve v Milan match on Friday night and so far we can't get any tickets. Do you know can you just show up and hope to get tickets at the ground?
Jim Bennings
43 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:02:17
It's not just the games at Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal that are going to be un-winnable, we've known for years (the one-off at Old Trafford aside) that we don't win those type of away games.

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.

Steavey Buckley
44 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:23:23
Mike, since Everton lost to Liverpool at home, the only top opposition Everton have played away was against Spurs, and Everton conceded 3 goals. So no real defensive improvement on last season against the top opposition.
John Pierce
45 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:38:15
Our away record is putrid this season, despite Koeman finding a way to win at home.

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?

Geoff Williams
46 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:41:09
Williams is not a solid, no-nonsense centre half – he is as much a liability as Fumes Mori. He goes missing at set pieces, and this is nothing new as Swansea had an even worse record than Everton at defending set pieces with Williams at the heart of their defence. At least Fumes Mori can head a ball if nothing else.

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.

Shane Corcoran
47 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:41:17
Brian (#42), hopefully someone on the GAA board will sort you out. :-)
Mike Allen
48 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:42:21
Every man and his dog thought Williams would be a good signing. He doesn't look as good as we thought he was with Swansea but he's not crap. Perhaps a spell with Holgate would have been a better option.

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

Dermot Byrne
49 Posted 07/03/2017 at 16:45:06
I love an away record being "putrid".

But good points made John (#45). My views too.

Brian Hennessy
50 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:20:16
Off topic, but on the subject of building, I see the Echo's latest piece on the proposed new stadium includes the line:

"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.

Andy Meighan
51 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:28:21
So Steavey (#44) – wouldn't you call Man City a top side? Because I seem to remember us slaughtering them 4-0 and that was in January.
Gordon Crawford
52 Posted 07/03/2017 at 17:40:30
If it did turn out to be another Kings Dock, then I don't think I could trust the club ever again.
Tom Bowers
53 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:04:52
Yes, Koeman made a mistake on Sunday but he is only human. A man still working on managerial craft but not doing too badly.

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.

Lev Vellene
54 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:10:26
Gordon (#52),

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

Steavey Buckley
55 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:12:13
Tom, Koeman only human as an excuse to play Barry instead of McCarthy last Sunday?

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.

Robert Leigh
56 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:23:16
Williams is better than Jags, but the longer they both are at Everton, the longer I realise we were spoilt with Distin at CB. How that guy played so well for us at 34, 35, 36 (maybe 37??), I will not know. Absolute giant; underrated but had a mistake in him...

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.

Phil Walling
57 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:26:12
Many of us said – before the season started - that a seventh place finish would, at least, show the Martinez damage had been repaired. And that looks like being achieved for less than the fee received for Stones.

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 㿼M) 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 ?

Patrick Murphy
58 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:27:36
Everton's record away from Goodison this season is about par for how the club have performed since the beginning of the Premier League. There have been variations in the number of wins recorded but the average is circa 4 or 5 per season.

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.

Liam Reilly
59 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:33:15
I just don't understand why Koeman, who sees these players every day in training, can't see what some Toffee Webbers see in 90 minutes.

He should be publicly flogged for not starting with McCarthy who was just back from another injury.

Will Mabon
60 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:33:54
I've got it. We could ship out our entire complement of central defenders, then break the bank for two high quality players befitting an ambitious team – maybe even bid whatever it takes to prise Vertonghen and Alderweireld away from Spurs.

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.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:47:22
Liam, post 59:

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.

Phil Walling
62 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:47:39
You are right in your sarcasm, Will. Why should we complain, we are fecking seventh, after all!
Will Mabon
63 Posted 07/03/2017 at 18:50:02
Not sure if you're being sarcastic there, Phil!
Ian Randles
64 Posted 07/03/2017 at 20:02:37
I know this is a very highly tagged emotional forum, but Jesus whenever we have a bad result (not one for a while) we overreact.

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.

Stan Schofield
65 Posted 07/03/2017 at 20:47:57
Ian, I agree that there is progress. Koeman seems a decent manager overall. That said, imo it's valid to comment on a game, including when the manager seems to have got his tactics wrong. No point in knee-jerk reaction, to be sure, but there's every point in giving balanced opinion.

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.

Bill Gienapp
66 Posted 07/03/2017 at 23:28:49
Ian (64), I agree. There's no doubt we need to look into upgrading at centre-back this summer (and the move for Keane is beginning to feel as inevitable as the move for Schneiderlin in January), but the defense, by and large, has actually been fairly dependable this season.

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.

Mark Andersson
67 Posted 08/03/2017 at 02:22:00
Phil Walling – is your lucky number 7?

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'.

Clive Rogers
68 Posted 08/03/2017 at 09:52:15
Phil (#57),

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.

Clive Rogers
69 Posted 08/03/2017 at 09:56:34
Williams has reached the stage where he is grappling with the opposition and pulling them back persistently. He knows he has lost pace and his positional sense has gone also.
Darren Hind
70 Posted 08/03/2017 at 19:33:38
No team with any ambition should be finding a regular place for Williams. The guy has spent most of his career plying his trade in the lower divisions. Swansea found him a place in a defence which was bargain basement.

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

Mark Stone
71 Posted 09/03/2017 at 00:10:24
Brian (#21), 'I think its interesting that Williams talks about keeping hold of Koeman, yet last week Barkley said nobody was talking about Koeman leaving. Obviously the players, like the fans, are talking about it'.

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.

Peter Gorman
72 Posted 09/03/2017 at 02:40:50
Ha ha, Mark. Quite. Got to love the press.
John G Davies
73 Posted 09/03/2017 at 19:42:27
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 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".

John G Davies
74 Posted 09/03/2017 at 19:58:44
Darren Hind (#47) Posted 02/08/2016 at 00:05:06

"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.

Paul Tran
75 Posted 09/03/2017 at 21:00:36
Two things about Williams:

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.

Andrew Clare
76 Posted 09/03/2017 at 21:14:07
I must admit I was disappointed when we signed Williams. He is just a traditional stopper, not a footballer, not particularly good in the air and slow too.

He has struggled and his distribution is awful, but he does have a big heart and he can be inspirational.

Darren Hind
77 Posted 10/03/2017 at 17:47:22
Just to set the record straight.

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...

John G Davies
78 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:23:38
Wonderful response


John G Davies
79 Posted 10/03/2017 at 19:33:39
Sorry, Darren, I pressed send to early. I meant to add I looked through the threads on the day Williams signed. I didn't come across any of the posts you mentioned above. Not doubting you at all but I would like to read the context of the thread the posts are on.

Would it be too much trouble to ask what threads your comments were on?

Mike Green
80 Posted 11/03/2017 at 01:56:24
I've been waiting years for people to trawl through my posts, didn't know it could be done. I've left cryptic messages for years and not a carnal Little Bo. Town in Norfolk with fresh looking brickwork.

Darren Hind
81 Posted 11/03/2017 at 07:48:19
Not at all.

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.

John G Davies
82 Posted 11/03/2017 at 19:09:22
Very civil of you to trawl back through the posts from 8 months ago Darren. It does indeed clarify.

Thank you, much appreciated.

Darren Hind
83 Posted 11/03/2017 at 21:53:55
Didn't have to trawl. I just looked at the date he signed and went straight to it.

No trouble at all really, especially when it was to prove an allegation to be false.

John G Davies
84 Posted 11/03/2017 at 23:45:32
Allegation, Darren?

Sorry, you have lost me there.

Allegation of what?

Michael Kenrick
85 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:19:55
John (#84), I think the allegation Darren refers to is yours at #73:

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.

He seems almost shy and timid compared to that colossus we bought who so inspired the Welsh team.

David Barks
86 Posted 12/03/2017 at 01:42:14
Perhaps Wales success was more a result of the extreme talents of Bale and being accompanied by Ramsey, than Williams?
Darren Hind
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?

John G Davies
89 Posted 12/03/2017 at 10:34:36
I have consulted my legal team and fully retract my allegation.

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