It is that time in the season when owners, fans and indeed managers start to take stock of how they have started the new campaign. Ian McFarlane, our Peterborough United Correspondent, gives you his take on the start the Posh have made in League One…
Settled in at third place, level on points with whom I predicted being one of the favourites for the title Bradford City. Before a ball was kicked, if you would have offered me this after 10 games I would have snapped your hand off.
Peterborough United sadly over the years can be quite predictable, a typical winter slump after a red-hot start, usually the way. Let us hope that the past does not replicate to the future this season. However, in my preview I predicted a 16th place finish, that at this early stage should still not sadly be scoffed at. The wheels can fall off in this high-octane division very quickly.
Posh’s last game at a rain-soaked Boundary Park heralded a dramatic, incident filled 3-2 defeat, this culminating in Oldham’s first home victory of the season and Boro’s first away defeat. That coming off the back of the riveting 3-2 victory over promotion-pushing Wigan at London Road on the previous Saturday. This just proves my point about the overall unpredictability of the division as a whole.
Peterborough have been thriving under tactical variation under McCann, using the pleasing on the eye 3-4-1-2, however resorting to pragmatism within a 4-4-2 when playing expansive sides such as Bradford and Wigan for instance. This was also used to good effect to claim a 2-0 home victory over MK Dons, who are also healthy at using the whole width of the pitch.
On the player front, many talented players fell through the exits over the summer, due to MacAnthony’s cull on the high-earners at the club. Taylor, Bostwick and last season’s under-rated top scorer Tom Nichols-to name some of the most note-worthy. Jack Marriott coming in from Luton Town, has been exceptional so far this season and seems £450,000 well spent. It’s not just his goal-scoring ability, but also how he arouses hope wherever he gathers the ball in any area of the pitch-a special player at this level.
Boro have been blighted by bad news this week as Marriott’s regular strike-partner Junior Morias has been sidelined with a torn thigh muscle. Morias another work-horse, who gives his all to the Posh cause and often gets subbed around the 66 minute mark, because he has left everything on the pitch. A great miss for a predicted five plus months, in which means Ricky Miller and Idriss Kanu have now got to step up to the mark for this productive start to continue.
In positive news, injury blighted Jermaine Anderson has penned a new deal at the Posh, keeping him at London Road until 2019. McCann is breaking him back into the first team slowly, this is a very astute move. In short spells he is showing the speed, skill, turns and ball retention in which made him a favourite with the Posh faithful.
Talking of which the support has been very good home and away so far this season. Well over a 1,000 travelling to Doncaster for an away game on September 2nd. Apart from some fans still niggling at Marcus Maddison, who does have very clear off days-however a lot of the time his movement on and off the ball opens up so much play that leads to positive aspects of the game, this sadly falls under the radar. Not to mention he weighs in with his fair-share of goals aswell.
I’ve been impressed with Peterborough’s defence this season, something I didn’t think I would be saying with Bostwick’s departure. I’ve always been high on praise for Ryan Tafazolli, who is having a great season so far. Steven Taylor has proved to be a great signing, showing Premier League defensive guile-rolling back the years and seemingly having the time of his life within League 1. Jonathan Bond in goal needs a worthy mention too, more than adequate replacement for Luke McGhee, just hope we keep him beyond the January loan deal originally organised with parent club Reading.
At the quarter (10 game), point I feel Peterborough United are equipping themselves very well for a serious jaunt at promotion. Injuries will take their toll (already have with Morias), keeping things tactically fresh and avoiding the ‘winter slump’, are all necessities to keep the Posh at their current lofty position.
Jack Marriott, as mentioned in depth not just goal-scoring, but is the driving force in the front line.
Steven Taylor, never doubted his ability, just did not think he could make the adjustment to League 1 as easy as he has.
How well the team has gelled, adopted to tactical variation and the goalscoring days are currently back. Also the defence as mentioned.