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“He's a good all-round defender” - But what exactly are we getting with Marc Wilson?

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Marc Wilson spent five seasons at Stoke City, so with that in mind we’ve quizzed Planet Football Editor and season ticket holder Mark Holmes on the pros and cons of our new defender.

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RR: Hi Mark! Thanks for sitting down with Roker Report to discuss our of our three deadline day signings, your old boy Marc Wilson. He moved to Bournemouth last year, but just couldn’t seem to get a game for them. What type of player are we getting?

MH: He barely played last season and only started once in the league in his last season at Stoke so it's actually quite hard to say. But before that I'd have described him as generally solid, unspectacular although prone to lapses in concentration.

RR: He’s very versatile. He can play at centre half, right back, left back and midfield. Where is he best suited to? Are there any positions he struggles in?

MH: When he joined Stoke he was thought of as a midfielder that could play centre-back, but he doesn't think quickly enough to play in midfield. They say the best players always have space and never look rushed, but he was the opposite there. So I'd rule out that possibility!

A lot of Stoke fans thought he should have played more at right-back for us on account of him being right footed, but he was a very solid, very reliable left-back under Tony Pulis. He won't let you down there too often, but he was never expected to offer too much going forward under Pulis, apart from long diagonals. If you want a bombarding full-back, he's not your man.

Mark Hughes played him at centre-back, which is probably where he's most suited to. He's pretty good at everything without being outstanding at anything, but he was just so prone to switching off, which contributed to a lot of goals. That shouldn't be as much of an issue in the Championship, though, where you get punished for that a lot less.

Stoke City v Sheffield Wednesday - Capital One Cup Quarter Final
Marc Wilson celebrates a goal with Phil Bardsley during his time at Stoke.
Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

RR: He was a relative regular in the side until he final season. Was it a case of the quality Stoke started bringing in limited his chances, or was his ability waning?

MH: Because Hughes expects a lot more from his full-backs, he was never going to play much there so it was centre-back or nowhere for him, and better players came in there. He was fine as back-up, but he wasn't good enough to play regularly.

RR: I remember he went online and did a fan Q&A on Twitter where he criticised the training methods of Mark Hughes. Did he make valid points? How did the fans react to that?

MH: Stoke had a lot of problems in defence at that time so most fans were obviously annoyed to hear Hughes wasn't really working on it in training. But Wilson didn't have too many supporters by that point, so he got plenty of stick about it too.

RR: It’s a question I wouldn’t normally ask, but after the amount of prima donna’s that have walked through our doors recently I maybe should. What’s his attitude like? Is he a hard worker, and do you think he’ll bring a will to fight for the club alongside some talent?

MH: Whether or not what he said was true, you don't really want your players to speak out against the manager on social media, do you? He seemed like a bit of a moaner generally, but his attitude on the pitch was fine. He worked hard and wouldn't be afraid to tell a team-mate he needed to work harder.

Manchester United v Stoke City - Premier League
Irish international challenges Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera.
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

RR: What are his biggest strengths, and equally his biggest flaws?

MH: His biggest flaw is undoubtedly his concentration. But he's a good all-round defender with a decent long pass on him.

RR: In short, on a free transfer, do you think he’ll be a success at Sunderland?

MH: He'll do fine. He won't win your Player of the Season, but he won't be your worst player. He won't be a disaster, which is something.


Thanks to Planet Football and Mark. You can follow Mark on Twitter here.