Friday, October 29, 2010

Marc Wilson - A central midfield solution for Stoke and Ireland

Ireland international Marc Wilson will be hoping to see more game time for Stoke in the coming weeks after putting in a solid shift in central midfield for the Potters against Man United last Sunday. And the trip to Goodison Park tomorrow is another opportunity to try and cement a starting place in the Stoke midfield.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has raised a few eyebrows at the Britannia stadium over his sparing use of the versatile midfielder, with Wilson making just his second Potters start since his £3 million move from Portsmouth this summer.

Stoke managed to beat several Premiership clubs to Wilson’s signature, with West Brom boss Roberto Di Matteo & West Ham manager Avram Grant big admirers of the County Antrim born player.

Pulis will have to decide if he sticks with the Rory Delap/Dean Whitehead central pairing, which has had limited success this season or introduce Wilson for one of the two mentioned above.

Certainly the Delap/Wilson pairing sounds more attractive as you combine the industrial work of the defensive midfield with some quality on the ball from Wilson.

Wilson’s ability to use the ball intelligently could therefore make a difference particularly if a ball-winning grafter like Rory Delap was deployed alongside him to give him some protection.

The Ireland international appears to possess the qualities that the Stoke engine room has been lacking. Against Man United last week and in spite of the odd lapse of concentration, Wilson brought composure and vision to a midfield that is in need of some inspiration and flair.

On the international scene, and with Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni reviewing the makeup up of the central midfield positions, Wilson may be just the person to step in and shore up the current midfield weakness in the Irish team.

He certainly offers more than Paul Green and it would be interesting to see him start next month’s Norway friendly in the centre alongside Glen Whelan or even possibly Darron Gibson. Add to that his versatility and experience at right-back and right-midfield positions, and he sounds like an ideal candidate to be part of the Irish squad for years to come.

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