Exeter City have enjoyed a quite frankly superb start to their League Two season, with the Grecians currently topping the table after an unbeaten run of six wins and four draws in their first 10 games of the campaign, yielding a healthy points total of 22 from a possible 30 up for grabs.
Grecians manager Matt Taylor has overseen a great start to his second campaign in charge of the club, with the manager setting his team up in an attacking 3-4-1-2 formation after experimenting with a few other systems so far this season.
Taylor’s playing philosophy encourages his players to play with width and look to control the ball within the opposition half by pressing high up the field as a unit when not in possession of the ball.
Exeter are not largely a possession-based side, they tend to favour more of a direct approach that includes a high amount of long balls and through balls into space that the strikers Ryan Bowman and Lee Martin can run onto either in behind or down the channels, which helps to stretch the opposition defence.
One of the main players behind much of Exeter City’s success this season has been 22-year-old winger Randell Williams, who has been in scintillating form for the Grecians this season, with the youngster’s form attracting interest from a host of Championship clubs including QPR and Nottingham Forest among others.
Given the London-born winger’s form this season, it seemed only natural that we made him the topic of our FLW spotlight this week…
Williams has made 10 appearances for the club so far this season, with the young winger registering an impressive five assists already, it has come as no surprise that he has been attracting interest from Football League club’s higher up the pyramid.
With Williams being naturally left-footed, Taylor has taken the decision to deploy him on the right-hand side of his 3-4-1-2 formation this season, which allows the player to cut inside onto his favoured foot to take shots on from distance, dribble into space and play key passes to his teammates, the latter of which is one of the 22 year old’s main qualities, with the former Wycombe player averaging 1.4 key passes per game.
Besides cutting inside, Williams is equally adept at venturing directly down the flank, with the ex-Watford man possessing good ability with his weaker right side, thus allowing him to both cross and shoot when not on his favoured left foot, making his play less predictable for opposition player’s to defend against, as this clip shows.
Despite moving into strong attacking positions out wide, Williams only averages 1.1 crosses per game, which could be put down to the 22-year-old’s lack of time on the ball during games, which is shown by his passing stats which state that he only makes an average of 20.1 passes per game, yielding a pass success rate of 75.6%.
When further analysing the winger’s game, it is clear that one of his clear weaknesses is his finishing, with the 22-year-old failing to find the net thus far this term, which could be related to the number of shots he has per game, averaging just two per game this season.
Whilst in addition to his lack of goal-scoring prowess, the Grecians winger also regularly fails to contribute defensively for the League Two side, which is backed up by the 0.5 tackles and 0.3 interceptions that Williams averages per game at present.
Lastly, it is important to analyse how the player could potentially fit into QPR and Nottingham Forest’s teams respectively.
By looking in-depth at both side’s styles of play, it would be fair to conclude that Williams would be better suited for Nottingham Forest’s style, due their direct approach which encourages players to create chances through the use of through balls and counter-attacks.
Rather than QPR’s philosophy, which is largely based around keeping possession of the ball for long periods and winning the ball back from the opposition as a unit, qualities which are currently lacking from the player’s overall game at the time of writing.
With Williams only being 22 years-old, there is no reason why a move to either club won’t prove to be a success for the young winger, with the player having his best years ahead of him and still being in the early stages of his development, his signature will surely be widely pursued by many a Championship club come January, should his early-season form continue until that point.