Swindon’s Williams sees himself in £100m Grealish as he gears up for City


ONE was a free switch and the opposite price £100million in the market final summer season.

But Jonny Williams sees a little bit of himself in Jack Grealish forward of tonight’s FA Cup third-round ‘battle of the dribblers’.

Grealish is a player Williams greatly admires

The Swindon midfielder — nicknamed ‘Joniesta’ since his teenage days at Crystal Palace after Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta — loves carrying the ball and drawing fouls from defenders.

Pep Guardiola shall be watching the County Ground tie from residence after testing constructive for Covid.

But the Manchester City boss may discover some traits in Williams that hyperlink to his Nou Camp previous and his current — with Grealish additionally famed for his dribbling abilities.

Williams, 28, mentioned: “We wish to play the sport equally in the sense that we each wish to dribble with the ball and make issues occur.

“Grealish is a really gifted participant, technically excellent and top-of-the-line at what he does in carrying the ball. You can’t inform Grealish he shouldn’t dribble as a result of everybody can see how good he is when he carries the ball up the pitch.

“Dribbling separates him from the rest and that’s what makes him Grealish. Most people have to foul him to get the ball back off him.”


Both Williams and Grealish, 26, are used to getting a kicking from opposition defences.

In truth, the pint-sized playmaker was even booted by Cristiano Ronaldo throughout Wales’ Euro 2016 semi-final defeat by Portugal.

Williams has solely confronted England star Grealish as soon as earlier than, in a Wembley pleasant in October 2020.

That night time, the then Aston Villa captain drew comparisons with Paul Gascoigne for his inventive show.

Williams added: “I keep in mind taking part in in opposition to him however I can’t keep in mind if I kicked him at Wembley or not!

“Dribbling is one thing I’ve all the time carried out since I used to be a child.

“I all the time appreciated watching Iniesta and Gianfranco Zola once I was rising up.

“Now I like Mateo Kovacic and Marco Verratti however Lionel Messi is one of the best at carrying the ball.

“He’s one other stage and an unbelievable participant.

“Plenty of central midfielders wish to move and dictate however the way in which Kovacic and Verratti take the ball, their shut management, dribbling previous gamers in the centre of the pitch is nice to observe.

“I nonetheless get caught by tackles. I’d wish to be a bit faster so I don’t get kicked! I keep in mind somebody informed me once I was in the Championship with Charlton I used to be probably the most fouled participant in the league.

“I attempted to vary my recreation, passing faster or taking much less touches but it surely’s like making an attempt to show somebody a very totally different sport.

“I was advised by people to change because people wanted me to stay fit. I’ve tried to be more streetwise in recent years but it’s hard to change something.”

Williams has the expertise of 31 caps and two main tournaments beneath his belt with Wales.

But he is absolutely conscious of the daunting job forward for his League Two crew after hailing City’s midfield as the ‘most complete’ in Europe.

Williams mentioned: “It’s not simply the starters they’ve, it’s the substitutes in that space, too.

“I really like watching Grealish and Phil Foden due to the way in which they play the sport. They’re prime gamers, correct ball-playing midfielders.

“City have probably the most full midfield in Europe.

“I’ve been fortunate sufficient to play in some massive video games in my profession and play in opposition to some nice midfielders like Luka Modric. I’ve savoured the second and I all the time look again and suppose I did OK.

“The FA Cup is a large deal, particularly for golf equipment like Swindon.

“It’s great to play against the big boys and it doesn’t get much bigger than this.”

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