The script was written where this supposed to be the game that Bolton’s fortunes turned around. A home game with huge implications for both teams with growing pressure for Parkinson’s head, Phil opted to try a 3-4-1-2 formation and give many of the players who’ve been on the fringes recently a chance to stake their claim for a place. Chances were created but it ended up being a day where the team couldn’t even finish their dinner. It was aggravating and I’m sure that feeling is shared amongst the squad. While the change in formation was an improvement, it didn’t seem to fix the issue that we just can’t put away the chances we create.
One player who really benefited from this switch to 3-4-1-2 was Joe Williams. The Everton loanee provided a real drive to get he ball forward when it came to his possession. Making more than a few incisive passes and dribbles, he started many of the opportunities our team had to get through on goal or set up the potential goalscorer, even having a pop at goal itself. It went wide because of course it did but the point is that he was creating and looked the most effective person on that pitch going forward.
Not to say that he shirked his defensive responsibilities either as they youngsters tireless work ethic and battling nature shone as well when Hull were on the attack. He ran everywhere and frustrated the life out of the Hull midfield, even having Markus Henriksen get in his face because Joe was annoying him so much with his continuous jostling and tackling for the ball.
Williams had his best performance since his Preston debut and looks right at home in a proper 2 man centre midfield partnership (Oztumer was genuinely an attacking mid on Saturday so he doesn’t count to this). He’s had his critics and not everything came off for him. There’s even been accusations about his decision making and inaccurate passing from even myself. Against Hull though, Joe Williams did a lot more right than wrong and deservedly gets credit from me where it’s due. More of the same please Joe.