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MOTM: Middlesbrough 2-0 Bolton Wanderers - Joe Williams

Thankfully our midfield wasn’t complete dross

Burton Albion v Barnsley - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images

In a game where we were set up in a way that might have been more suited to a more rampantly attacking team, Bolton limply played out to a loss that may seem harsh by the very bizarre nature of both goals. Middlesbrough were not at the races but it seems Bolton were never informed of the race to begin with.

A drab 1st half with literally no shots from Bolton may have been the worst 45 minute performance in recent history by just the sheer lack of attacking nous up front. Vela being played behind Magennis yielded no results as the midfield seemed to almost be stapled to the defence at times. The gap between midfield and poor Magennis could be seen from space, it was that large.

Yet amongst that midfield, there was one player who truly tried his hardest to drag the ball out to get forward. However, a lot of his midfield compatriots struggled to string 2 passes together and run into the obviously open pockets of space, which were very strange to see in a normally rigid and organised Pulis side. Poor Joe Williams just can’t do it on his own unfortunately.

Enough about his poorly performing teammates though, Williams exhibited the qualities that made him a popular player at Barnsley and why a few Everton fans are excited about his future potential. While he displayed the great qualities of a battling midfielder at Preston, which in my honest opinion was a stronger performance than Wednesday, his box-to-box skills and running were more openly on display. When Oztumer came, he afforded Joe the space to truly get the ball forward to attack and be a real threat to Middlesbrough. His dribbles had the Boro players on their toes and his passes could truly cut through the defensive line for players to run onto and be effective in the 2nd half.

I can definitely see him building on this against Ipswich this weekend. He just needs more than the one properly attacking option to let him do this. For now, Williams like Terry Crews in White Chicks. The clear highlight in a shower of shite.