Williams was made for the role of captain. (©PAphotos)
by Abi Davies
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It was an injury time strike from unlikely source Angel Rangel that rescued a point for the Swans at Doncaster on Saturday. Despite conceding for the first time on the road in the league since September, I don't think this will be the last time we see Ashley Williams skipper the Swans.
Having already shown his leadership capability at international level, captaining Wales on four occasions and set to lead the Welsh side in the Euro qualifiers, the reliable centre half is a rock in the Swans back line and with speculation that Premiership clubs are poised to make bids for his services, Brendan Rodgers is wise to try and secure a deal with the defender that will keep him at the club until 2014.
Williams' talents do not only lie in his defensive ability as he provides a threat at the other end of the pitch from set pieces and often looks dangerous when he breaks out of the back line to create a counter with his great speed and power. Over recent seasons the defender has also largely improved his distribution. With all of these attributes to his game, there is no wonder why Williams is one of the most highly sought after players by teams in the top flight.
With neither Monk nor Tate featuring at the weekend, Williams had an unfamiliar partner at centre back in Albert Serran. The two defensive changes were inevitable before Rodgers announced the starting line up, the surprise inclusion on the team sheet was that of David Cotterill in place of the in-form Scott Sinclair who may have been rested after making his England Under 21 début in midweek.
Despite creating some good chances it was Donny who settled the quicker and after 16 minutes made their early dominance count, as Hayter headed the ball past De Vries to notch up his sixth goal of the season giving the home side a deserved lead. It was clear we were lacking the cutting edge going forward with neither Sinclair or Stephen Dobbie on the pitch and even with Sinclair's introduction at the break we could not find a way to get back on level terms.
With 92 minutes on the clock it looked certain that we were going to rue missed opportunists and were heading towards our first defeat on the road since exiting the Carling Cup at Wigan last month. But with the Swans last attack of the game right back Angel Rangel found himself latching onto an Agustien ball inside the area and firing into the top corner to salvage a point for the Welsh side.
As Monk is likely to still be absent for the visit of Pompey on Friday, Taylor should retain his place out wide while Tate returns to partner Williams in the centre of defence. Sinclair should also return to the starting line up to face league struggler's Portsmouth, and in my opinion Stephen Dobbie should be brought back into the side- possessing more pace and threat in front of goal than fellow Scot Beattie.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.