Williams may blame pitch but previous errors speak volumes (Video)

Wales captain Ashley Williams was adamant post-match yesterday that though he perhaps should have simply cleared his lines, the pitch at the Gradski Stadium in Osijek was at least partially to blame for the under-hit back pass that resulted in Mario Mandzukic slipping in the crucial opening goal for Croatia.

However, the evidence this season appears to point to the contrary. Unfortunately for Williams, he has made two very similar mistakes for his club side Swansea this season. The first of which occurred against Sunderland, when Steven Fletcher capitalised on a very under-hit back pass to steer his side into the lead before a week later, Williams produced the very same error to allow Christian Benteke to seal a 2-0 victory for Aston Villa.

This is not an assassination on the qualities of the newly-appointed Wales captain, who has proven himself to be a solid defender both at Premier League level and on the international stage. The timing of his poor form however, coinciding with being awarded the captaincy from Aaron Ramsey by manager Chris Coleman, could not have come at a worse time for the 28-year-old.

Perhaps the incident should be looked back on as a learning curve for the Swansea defender. Being captain of your country means an added responsibility to say the right things in front of the press and unfortunately on Tuesday night, in the aftermath of a defeat that left Wales’ hopes for qualifying for Brazil 2014 looking near-impossible, Williams slipped up.

Adam Mazrani