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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » Should Wanderers keep faith with Erhun Oztumer at Aston Villa?

Should Wanderers keep faith with Erhun Oztumer at Aston Villa?

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karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Shoulders bowed, frustration etched on his face but applauded down the tunnel by appreciative Wanderers fans – Saturday was indeed a game of mixed emotion for Erhun Oztumer.

No other Bolton player embraced the pressure which had built around Hull City’s visit quite like the pint-sized playmaker, completing just his third full 90 minutes for the club since a summer switch from Walsall.

The 27-year-old’s feisty style has helped him win plenty of fans thus far, particularly as it sets him apart from an industrious but largely defence-minded midfield.

Despite ultimately being a day of near-misses, Oztumer had a direct hand in five goal-scoring opportunities for Wanderers. It was a total bettered by just two players in the whole Championship this weekend – Bristol City’s Niclas Eliasson and Swansea City’s Bersant Celina.

But for all the deserved pats on the back, Oztumer has yet to really convert his easy-on-the-eye football into tangible results for Wanderers in the same way he grew accustomed to doing in League One. Simply put, he is providing enough ammunition but no-one is firing the gun.

Since scoring on his debut against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup Oztumer has started six Championship games, during which Bolton have mustered only two goals.

The general consensus among supporters is that his attacking presence is needed now more than ever in a team already stripped of Sammy Ameobi’s unique skillset. Creating chances has been a problem for Phil Parkinson’s side but Oztumer’s numbers are favourable and show he creates more regularly than anyone else in the squad.

Analysing ‘key passes’ so far this season, he leads the way with 16 in 558 minutes on the pitch, followed by Josh Vela (12 from 666) and Gary O’Neil (11 from 490).

And while that may make a compelling argument for him to start more often for Wanderers, there are occasions when Parkinson and his staff have seemed reticent to throw him in from the start.

It was revealed recently by assistant boss Steve Parkin that Oztumer was dropped from the recent draw at Rotherham United because the game “would have passed him by” – a comment which did not sit well with many Bolton fans.

The game itself was hard to watch, and players with much more physical presence were indeed put out of the equation by the direct football being played at the New York Stadium. Besides, such concerns are nothing new for the 5ft 3ins Oztumer, and have probably accompanied him the full journey from non-league football with Dulwich Hamlet.

Parkinson has also remarked that the midfielder has been getting “up to speed” during the first few months of his Bolton career and is only now looking more comfortable with the demands place on him at the highest level of football he has yet encountered.

Wanderers go to Aston Villa on Friday night looking to pick up a result to lift some of the gloom. Having named an open and more attack-minded line-up against Hull City, it seems unlikely Parkinson will be as gung-ho away from home, which is likely to mean a return to 4-2-3-1.

Jason Lowe is back from suspension and the smart money would be on him returning to his screening role in front of the back four – leaving Oztumer to scrap it out with Josh Vela and Joe Williams for the remaining central positions.

The club’s last TV appearance, a derby defeat against Blackburn Rovers, was a frustratingly familiar tale of ‘nearly but not quite’ for Oztumer and Wanderers. There were positives to take from their attacking play but precious little to show for it at the final whistle.

Parkinson remains convinced fortunes will change and, for now, the manager has Ken Anderson’s backing to continue to working his way out of the slump.

Wanderers have no shortage of perspiration at their disposal and the work-rate among the squad has rarely dropped, despite a long run of confidence-sapping results. Finding that elusive victory will require a measure of inspiration, however, and all signs point to Oztumer as the man best suited to deliver that precious commodity.

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wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
WTF? Incontrovertible proof that Marc Iles follows NUTS. I raised the question yesterday and to my knowledge it's not been asked on any other forum, yet first thing this morning there's an article. 
Marc - if you're after a bit of consultancy re controversial discussion topics just PM me.

gloswhite

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Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
A strange question. To my mind, Oztumer should be in the team. He's only lately getting a decent amount of playing time in Parkinsons ridiculous rotatational, (I still don't know my best team), selections. He appears to be the only attack minded midfielder, and he's improving, so what's the concern?

Natasha Whittam

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Oz was far and away the best player on Saturday, of course he should be in the team.

Although I suspect it will be damage limitation team at Villa with a 4-6-0 formation, with six defensive midfielders.

And we'll still get caught on the break.

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
He should be in the team but as Parky likes to change 7 players per game who knows who will play. I agree with Nat, he will drop him and pack the midfield and hope and pray we don't concede.

T.R.O.Y


Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Clearly our best midfielder with the ball at his feet - has to play and should be given time to build a partnership with Doidge.

wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Has to start producing an end product though. However it's more important that we get back to defending well and stop conceding daft goals.

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