Ashley Williams gets the Steve Cooper situation so very wrong
Saturday, 5th Jun 2021 08:00 by Keith Haynes & Steph Thomas
Ex Swans captain Ashley Williams, who was taken out of lower league football by Swansea City has commented on the current situation with Steve Cooper at Swansea. Clearly without all the facts, he has done himself no favours at all with his understanding of exactly what is happening at the club who made him, and indeed where the club find themselves today.
Ashley Williams was more than a decent buy by the swans back in 2008, a player with all the credentials of being the very thing the swans needed at the time. Desperate to get away from Stockport County he joined the swans on loan initially, and then became a record transfer signing. Four hundred thousand pounds is nothing by today’s standards, and literally nothing when you consider what Williams went on to achieve. He was the mainstay of the side as they rose to the premier league, and albeit never really considered a proper Welshman outside of the Liberty gates he went on to lead Wales to a far higher level in the years to come. I can’t tell you how proud we all were.
He always wore his heart on his sleeve and for many jacks he was the epitome of what being a true Swansea great was all about. We can take nothing away from him at all. A born leader, and potentially the best centre half the club had produced since Ante Rajković. Dangerous at set pieces, remarkably brave when it mattered, and the conduit between the referee and the team on the pitch. Everyone loved to see Ash in a swans shirt, however this isn’t the issue today.
Talking to Wales on Line he commented “Steve Cooper's done an excellent job with the players there. Going forward, I would like to see Steve Cooper with a new contract, a bit longer. That allows him to build what he wants to build. I think they probably need a few more bodies in. Wayne Routledge might leave ( wrong ) Andre Ayew. Marc Guehi at the back. Are they going to be there next season? I'm not sure. ( very wrong ) So if Steve Cooper's the man they want, let's get him tied up, because I think he's an excellent young manager, and everyone seems to like him. He obviously has a good relationship with the players. I think he's worked wonders this year. Let's get rid of the conversation, Is Steve Cooper going to be around ? Let's settle that and let him go and do his thing. I think if you look at what Brentford have done, next year could be the year for Swansea. I think maybe it was just one game a bit too far for them at Wembley, and by their own standards, I don't think they played as good as they have done this season when they really needed to”
Well, pin your ears back Ash, Cooper is already under contract. He has one year to go on his contract, the only reason why there is a slight amount of a question mark over his future is because he has been linked with ‘other allegedly’ better jobs. That’s what happens Ash, he has done well, but clearly you haven’t watched one game because it’s been absolutely tiring - and frustrating from minute one to ninety. Cooper is under contract, this isn’t about the club honouring anything, this is about Steve Cooper PUBLICLY stating where HE is at - and what HE wants, a contract is what he has, and for one more year too. The football trough for everyone to snaffle away at when they like, according to when they want to do it isn’t what happens at the club that made you a multi millionaire. It may well have been with two hundred million pounds worth of premier league TV money in the bank, and a chairman lost at sea with an ego bigger than the moon, but not today. Those days are gone.
We, the ones that remain with ( the majority owners, the swans trust included ) cut our cloth accordingly to keep the club afloat, not to afford employees to earn millions, and have no regard as to who and what made them who they are today. Okay, we all recognise Cooper’s achievements, a bloody fool wouldn’t, two play offs is a stunning example of his hard work and ideology. However, what does this statement actually mean, you said it Ash ?
"But they've done amazing to get there ( the play offs ) and I'm excited for next season. I would just like to see a bit more backing for Cooper, really. He's earned that with the job he's done so far."
It’s a head scratching statement that one Ash, the money tree isn’t as full as it was when you became one of the few who doesn’t direct debit his gas and electric bills. Even you will remember a time when a couple of quid tied you over until your next pay cheque ? Maybe at this point we should remind you that the average wage in Swansea is eighteen grand a year, not a day, and the majority who earn that made you in to who you are today.
Pause for thought. Shouldn’t you be standing right alongside the fans by saying “Don’t mess this up Steve, this is the club that made you “ Not ... “ Give him even more money to make him even more happy” Take a dose of 2021 reality mate, it’s so annoying.
Steve Cooper has already been given his reward when nobody knew who he was, he has another year of his contract to run. Your ambivalence to the club that made you, and your lack of true understanding as to what is happening at Swansea is shocking. Andre Ayew ? Marc Guehi, of course they are moving on, why say “ I don’t know “ ? If you did understand you wouldn’t even say it. It’s utter nonsense, and many of the swans support will be angry today, regardless of what you did, and what the club enabled YOU to achieve, it’s actually quite upsetting. “ Wayne Routledge might leave “ ? WRONG !
Know Swansea now, not what you knew when you left.
This isn’t about Swansea City FC showing their hand and supporting Steve Cooper, this is about Steve Cooper showing HIS hand, and to stop pussy footing around and declare HIS intentions for the good of Swansea City. This club has guided itself magnificently through the pandemic, regardless of what people think of anyone in the USA, its as solvent as it can be, it’s got proper financial people at the helm, and knows it’s future. You, on millions, having an inconsequential chat with some journalist from Wales on Line has backfired. You may well come from a time when employees of football clubs took as much as they could from the clubs that made them. But that’s a long time ago.
You need to understand that Steve Cooper is under contract, he either pulls his trousers up and gets on with the job in hand, or says clearly he isn’t interested. It’s not for Swansea City to bow down and go crawling to a man, who albeit has done a remarkable job under huge financial constraints, it’s Cooper who needs to speak up. He knows the score by the way, he has been told clearly, and very plainly - do your job or go but stop messing around the club that has put you where you are today. And to you Ash, a wonderful leader in a white shirt, the message is the same to you. Never forget those that made you, the supporters who paid their last few quid to see you, and the fans who scraped together their pennies to pay for the mini bus to cheer you on - when all you did was walk off the pitch without acknowledging them.
And don’t say you didn’t, I’ve personally seen it.
Whilst swans fans on Monday wonder where the next pound coin is coming from, and there are many, the last thing they need to hear is the entitled few who have coined millions from Swansea City go on some crusade without knowing the facts. You were a fantastic player for Swansea, but then David Jones of Morriston is a fantastic plumber, and works all hours. Ashley Williams never forget those that made you, and when you have an opinion never forget those who care. Your life is transformed, you will never ever be the man without a pound in his pocket, and you are perfectly entitled after the hard work and endeavour you made to get there. And yes of course you are entitled to an opinion.
However, never forget your roots, and never forget the real truth.
Yes Ash, certain people are a tad angry today. This isn’t a trough to dip in to when you want. And by damn it isn’t a time to get your facts completely wrong.
What do you think ? Rightly or wrongly, did Ash hit the nail on the head ? Or did the nail buckle and bend, then fly off through the arched window ?
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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