Ashley Williams was 'out of order' for kicking the ball at Robin van Persie's head, says Ray Wilkins
Last Updated: December 23, 2012 9:37pm
Ray Wilkins says Swansea's Ashley Williams was 'out of order' for kicking the ball at the back of Robin van Persie's head during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with the Swans at the Liberty Stadium.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was incensed after Williams blasted the ball into the United striker as he lay prone on the ground in the second half.
The Scot claimed that Van Persie could have been killed and while Williams told Sky Sports the incident was accidental, Wilkins said that in his opinion the action was deliberate.
"It is dangerous, I'd have to say, because Ashley Williams does blast the ball at the back of his head and it looks as if it is deliberate - I'd have to say that," said Wilkins.
"I think Williams is bang out of order. He knows the situation and he just cracks the ball at the back of Van Persie's head. "
"The fact that Robin doesn't actually know that it's coming is a double whammy; he'll have a very similar injury to whiplash come the morning, I've got to say, because Williams really does whack it - it's as though he's having a shot.
"I think Williams is bang out of order. He knows the situation and he just cracks the ball at the back of Van Persie's head. That's out of order. Mr Chico [Flores] has a little trip up on Robin van Persie - another bang out of order situation.
"I think we should have retrospective action anyway - whether it be that incident or any other that happens on a football pitch. We should definitely look at it because the referee can't see everything and the linesman can't get involved either.
"I think we should definitely look at unsavoury incidents come Monday morning; this incident would certainly come under the umbrella of unsavoury."
United missed out on the chance to restore a six-point cushion at the top of the Premier League table over defending champions Manchester City, who beat Reading 1-0 on Saturday, as Michu cancelled out Patrice Evra's 16th-minute strike and Wilkins said Ferguson would be very upset with a draw.
"After the results of yesterday, I think Sir Alex will be bitterly disappointed that they haven't come away with three points because they must have had three or four opportunities two against two in the second half and they haven't capitalised," Wilkins told Sky Sports.
"I think United could have stayed there until next week and not scored a second; it was one of those days. Wayne Rooney had a disappointing afternoon, it has to be said, but give credit to Swansea as well because they are a very good side.
"They play excellent football, they're well-marshalled and Ashley Williams has come on leaps and bounds. He looks a proper Premier League defender at the moment.
"But I think if you'd said at half-time that this was going to end 1-1, you were barking up the wrong tree because it was a good first-half you'd have thought there'd be a bundle more goals."
Evra put the visitors ahead with his third goal of the season, a header from Robin van Persie's corner - and Wilkins thought United were good value for their lead.
"Manchester United were absolutely outstanding in the first 10-15 minutes and thoroughly deserved to go in front," he said.
"We often talk about superstar centre forwards going out to take corner kicks and Van Persie puts it right on the money. It's a fabulous header by Evra.
"Kemy Agustien, who is spare, should really get off the floor but he takes a stationary jump at it rather than move towards the ball. Leon Britton moves half a yard to his left-hand side as the ball comes in and the ball slips into the area where he was standing in the first place.
"But give full credit to Evra, who's not the tallest man in the world but he really attacks the ball very well indeed."
However, Wilkins clearly identified the goal-scorer as the play at fault when Michu levelled after David de Gea could only parry Jonathan de Guzman's shot.
Evra was caught out of position in the build-up to the goal, allowing Swansea to scythe through the left-hand side of United's defence.
"We've seen some wonderful goals in the Premier League this year but we've also seen some absolutely appalling defending," chided Wilkins.
"For a French international, playing for Manchester United, that was appalling defending from Evra. He could see the run forward from De Guzman from 10 yards away and although there is someone 10 yards to his left-hand side, he should never get attracted to that. He had to come in and block up the area and the goal doesn't materialise.
"I'm taking nothing away from Swansea it was a beautiful pass from Wayne Routledge to pick him out but defensively Sir Alex will not be happy with that.
"When Michu plays up front on his own it's very difficult for him to get the opportunity that he needs to score goals. If you look at a lot of the goals that he scores, they come when he arrives in that situation rather than standing up there and playing up there on his own.
"If he plays slightly deeper he's got that creativity about him as well, where he can set up other people for a chance but when he's up there on his own - especially against someone like Nemanja Vidic, who is a bit of a tough nut - it's difficult for him."