Martinez: Williams not nasty
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says Swansea defender Ashley
Williams is “not a nasty footballer” after striking Robin van
Persie with a ball hit from close range.
The Manchester United forward was lying on the ground following
a foul when Williams kicked the ball into the back of his head
during Sunday’s Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said Van Persie was “lucky to
be alive” after the incident in the 1-1 draw.
Martinez, who managed Swansea before joining the Latics in 2009,
admitted he could understand Ferguson’s reaction but does not
believe Williams, a player he signed and knows well, acted out of
“You see the incident and it is a very, very dangerous
situation,” Martinez said.
“If you see one of your players with a bang on the back of the
head it is really dangerous and it can have bad consequences. You
can understand that.
“I signed Ashley Williams for Swansea and I know his character
inside out. I can guarantee you without even looking at the
incident that he is not a nasty footballer.
“He is a winner and fully committed, a leader and a captain, and
I don’t for one second doubt that he did not do that on
“It is an action of the game. He can show frustration – it is an
emotional game and it is very unfortunate that it hits Van Persie
in a part of the body where he could have been hurt heavily, and
you don’t want to see that.
“But from my point of view, I know Ashley Williams really well –
when you sign a player you find out about a player and I can
guarantee you he is not the type of footballer who would do that on