Archie Gray, a Leeds United midfielder, put in another impressive performance for the Whites after being picked at right-back by Daniel Farke.
In the build-up to the weekend’s match against Bristol City, much was made of how Daniel Farke gets the most out of £10.5 million addition Joel Piroe this season, with Farke devoting 13 minutes of his press conference to his reasoning.
However, an intriguing aspect was how he organized his back four, with his full-back spots lacking depth, which has been a regular issue for Leeds managers in recent years.
Archie Gray starting at right back?
With Luke Ayling withdrawn following the clean sheet against QPR, and Sam Byram set to preserve his spot on the left side of defense, the squad sheet released at 2pm had no apparent choice to play at right-back.
As the game began, it became evident that Archie Gray was the guy slotting in at right-back, a position he’s not completely unfamiliar with, having played there in England youth fixtures during the summer and having dropped into that position from central midfield most weeks this season.
Bristol City attempted to target Leeds’ right channel early on, but were thwarted almost every time by Gray, who held his own and proved he’s ready for whatever the Championship throws at him.
Leeds’ choice has perplexed Bristol.
This play from Leeds utterly caught the away side off guard, as The Athletic’s Phil Hay explained, leaving the Robins with no answer:
“It was a clever decision made with little time to prepare and one that visitors City had not anticipated, expecting the quick-and-slick Sam Bell to go at Luke Ayling or, failing that, Ethan Ampadu.”
“In open play, Gray’s anticipation and recovery runs held Bell on a leash. After an hour, Bell moved to the opposite side of the pitch to see if he could get more loose change from an equally stingy and savvy Sam Byram. Leeds were already 2-1 up and on their way to their second home win in four days.”
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