“My aim is to improve a little every day” - Jetro Willems interview
Summer signing Jetro Williams discusses his start to life in Frankfurt, his impact off the bench against VfB Stuttgart and his improving German.
Jetro, what do you make of Frankfurt’s start to the season?
Jetro Willems: We’ve started well and we’re satisfied with our points haul so far, but we obviously could have picked up even more points. The Leipzig game was the only encounter where a draw would have been a fair result. In all our other games we could easily have left the pitch with all three points. We’ve defended well for the most part, limiting our opponents to few chances. That’s why it’s particularly important that we improve in front of goal. You only win games by scoring goals. We’ve had enough chances to score, so we need to be more clinical. We’re working on these things as a team. We want to keep improving.
How do you assess your own start to the campaign?
Jetro Willems: It’s been ok, but there’s always room for improvement. My aim is to improve a little every day, in training and in games. I want to work on my mistakes so I can cut them out of my game and eventually turn them into strengths.
In what areas do you feel you can improve?
Jetro Willems: I’ve come to Eintracht to learn a new style of play. That includes being able to run more and getting forward more regularly. I’m a player who likes to get on the ball and provide passes and crosses for my team-mates.
You made a real impact as a second-half substitute against Stuttgart. Would you say your chances of returning to the starting line-up have improved on the back of that performance?
Jetro Willems: The most important thing is that the team is playing well. I always put the team ahead of myself, but I obviously want to help them on the pitch. Whether I start a game or come off the bench, I always try to play better than my last appearance, which hopefully benefits the team. We did well against Stuttgart - not only me but my team-mates as well. Medo (Slobodan Medojevic) and Russ (Marco Russ) also came off the bench and played very well.
What did Niko Kovac say to you before your second-half introduction?
Jetro Willems: He wanted me to hug the left touchline. When I have the ball, he told me to take on my opponent in one-on-one situations and to create chances. I’m an attacking player so I always try to contribute to our attack. That was the plan against Stuttgart.
What do you make of the Bundesliga so far?
Jetro Willems: It’s an unbelievably tight league. Bayern have drawn their last two games, which just shows how hard all the teams are fighting to get points on the board. The so-called smaller clubs are getting better and better, while the majority of teams are looking to cement a place near the top of the table. It seems almost impossible for a team to win 4-0 or 6-0. There’s a much greater emphasis on defensive organisation, which makes things much more difficult.
Were you hoping to be called up to the Dutch national team?
Jetro Willems: I’m not thinking about that at the moment. My sole focus is on playing well for Eintracht. I’m working hard every day to boost my chances of securing a regular starting berth. That’s the only important thing.
How is your German coming along?
Jetro Willems: The lessons are keeping me pretty busy, but I’m learning a lot. They’re going well. The differences between Dutch and German really aren’t that great, although German is a little more complicated. I’ve mastered the basics, but I sometimes struggle to find the right words for things. I understand almost everything though. I think I’ll be able to speak good German in four or five months’ time.