The Monday Profile: Rhys Williams

Posted by on Jun 7, 2010 in The Monday Profile | One Comment

Following up last Monday’s profile of Ľubomír Michalík, jettisoned from the Slovak squad, with an analysis of the fortunes of another man cast from the international wilderness might seem perverse, but the furore surrounding Rhys Williams’ eleventh hour denial is worth more than a passing mention.

You’ll recall that Australia’s shy and retiring manager Pim Verbeek “slammed” former World Cup hero Gordon Strachan for over reliance on the needle in attempting to combat Williams’ struggle with osteotis pubis, a condition more commonly associated with Australian Rules football. Ginger Thatch clashed with Baldness Denier and two men not scared to give it a bit of lip indulged in accusation and counter accusation.

Painkilling injections are certainly a dark art and despite Strachan’s assertion that only two were used to treat Williams this past year, with the player afforded an additional three month winter period of rest, their deployment in this case would seem to highlight Middlesbrough’s desperation in a frankly calamitous season, one that famously saw them slip from one place outside the play offs to a miserable midtable position. Indeed, the Welsh-Australian pretty much epitomises the Boro’s campaign: fans of relegated clubs will recognise him as the kind of prosaic talent one is forced to get used to, just as one had come to expect a diet of more mercurial performers.

A thought though for Williams. He has shown enough promise in a season at the Riverside to have been offered a three year contract in January, and he was instrumental in Burnley’s fine run in to promotion a year ago, albeit missing the crowning moment of the play offs. He can play in a range of positions and the gobby and the combative Verbeek, already called into question after a 3-1 hiding by the USA and the omission of the Green and Golds’ brightest young talent Tommy Oar, might in time wish he had opted for the Perth man.
Rob Langham
Rob Langham (pen name: Lanterne Rouge) is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 47 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Football Attic, The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

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