When I first started this piece on Mark Little before pre-season it was only a little indication as to Phil Parkinson’s tactical plans. Now that the system has been used in pre-season it is rather obvious, I know, but I liked my headline so I’m sticking with it.
Initially all it took was four simple words. Mediocre right wing back. Firstly hopefully he won’t be mediocre although that was a Bristol City’s fans description of him. We can give him a chance to, hopefully, disprove that at least.
What caught my attention clearly is more the description of him being a right wing back. Phil Parkinson of course utilised a three at the back system during the run in last season. He has kept all three centre backs from that system in Dorian Dervite, David Wheater and Mark Beevers on board which does also help to lay the ground work for such a system, albeit it would be nice to add some extra quality into the centre back position.
Those three all started against Stoke City along with Andrew Taylor and Stephen Darby. That may well of course mean that Little isn’t first choice within this system. But the fact that it fits his skill set far better than being a tradition full back does indicate where he fits into Parkinson’s plans.
It is also slightly concerning should we need him to fit in as a traditional full back or even a centre back where I read he can play. But lets wait until thats a problem and hope he hits the ground running where ever he is played.