Where next for Joniesta?

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4 Responses

  1. Wyn James says:

    Great post, and your comments about his tendency to go looking for fouls is very perceptive. In spite of being a massive fan of his, this is a criticism that is so pertinent. It’s great that he’s brave and willing to take the knocks – but why go looking for fouls in the middle of the park or in the defensive half? It shows a lack of discernment – and the risk/benefit calculation doesn’t stack up too often. The bottom line is that he is utterly useless to Wales or his club on the treatment table. Harsh but undeniably true. Yes, he’s had rotten luck, but he should look at Allen and the likes of Leon Britton for inspiration – players with very similar attributes but who have nous to keep out of harm’s way more often than not.

    I have to say that your assessment of his role in the Croatia match is a bit harsh, especially considering that the equalizer should have been saved by Myhill and Jonny Williams wasn’t even on the pitch when the winner was scored. But it’s certainly true that he needs to prove that he can produce performances over 90 minutes at club level week in week out to remove the lingering doubts about his capacity to contribute to the Welsh cause in accordance with his undoubted ability.

    On a tangent – Swansea really should be looking to sign him – as a successor to Leon Britton. Left field maybe – but they share so many of the same qualities – great close control, speed off the mark, bravery on the ball and in the tackle and a silky touch. Britton has shown yet again in the last couple of matches, even in defeat, how essential he is to the “Swansea Way”. But at 34 his days are numbered – and I’ve yet to see an affordable player with such closely matched credentials.

    • Russell Todd says:

      Diolch Wyn. Agree with most of that. For a while he was being used at Palace in a deeper role (I alluded to this in an earlier draft but chopped it in the final edit) so heading to the Swans to play in the role that Britton, Allen, et al have had is interesting. Given since this was published Pardew has come out and suggested that maybe Williams’s future lies away from Selhurst Park (www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/jonny-williams-may-need-a-new-start-away-from-crystal-palace-admits-alan-pardew-a3346766.html) maybe the January window might see something happen. The Swans have severely diluted their Welsh core, so, if nothing else, signing a Welsh player would be welcome whomever it might be.

      The comment I fouind odd was saying I was harsh in my assessment of him against Croatia. I said “he dazzled as the best midfielder on show against Croatia, Modric and all”; that’s no faint praise. He ran out of puff though and his lack of energy in a vital 10-15 minute spell was what let Croatia back into the game. Myhill’s error was clearly not his fault; but that Croatia were sniffing a winner was down to Williams, but only in the sense that Coleman should have replaced him with fresher legs than he did. If anything it’s a criticism of Cookie.

      Cheers for reading anyway

  2. Wyn James says:

    I don’t disagree that he was flagging and should have been subbed, but, although I’m probably being pedantic in picking up on what is a minor detail in your blog, I don’t think he can be faulted at all for the Lovren equalizer. Have a look here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zhFtOlbyRA Jonny Williams covers a lot of ground to get close to Lovren, even though he was marking the player who passed to him at the left-hand edge of the box, and he nearly manages to get a block on Lovren’s shot. Meanwhile King – who was equally far away from Lovren when the ball was played to him, stands still throughout and doesn’t make any attempt to block the shot.

    Sorry for nitpicking, because I think we see things pretty much the same way as far as the big picture is concerned regarding Jonny Williams – but I just couldn’t resist the temptation…

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