Alan Swann’s sport column: A fascinating Peterborough United stat appeared on my Twitter feed the other day.
Back in the 2006-07 campaign Posh lost a club record eight Football League matches in a row, but four of the sides that beat us in the last throes of Keith Alexander’s reign and the early stages of Darren Ferguson’s are now playing non-league football.
Chester, Lincoln (who beat us twice during that run), Darlington and Stockport have all exited the Football League and Barnet will be following them pretty soon I suspect.
It’s a statistic worth remembering when us fans feel down about Posh losing to the likes of Wolves and Leicester.
Posh may be struggling at Championship level and we may well get relegated, but this manager and this chairman have delivered riches that seemed impossible in the dark days of the 1980s.
We should all embrace the trips to superb stadia while it lasts. If it goes on beyond this season on home turn-outs of 6,500 there’s a case for Darragh MacAnthony and Ferguson to be given the freedom of the city.
It could easily have been far, far worse.
We could be one of those teams from 2006-07 struggling to survive in the Blue Sqaure Premier Division or we could even be our former local rivals Northampton Town or Cambridge United.
It will have been noticed, by those of you interested in that sort of stuff, that Cobblers fans, egged on by a local journalist understandably bored by trips to Torquay and Accrington, have been trying to take the mick out of Posh’s start to the season.
I’m sure some of it is intended to be good-hearted banter, but how deluded do you have to be to ignore your own team’s failings in favour of attacking a far more successful club?
Northampton haven’t played in the top two divisions of English football since 1967, that’s 45 years ago.
No wonder they feel so jealous of us and, after last season’s struggle against relegation, they remain nearer to the bottom of League Two than the top.
The Cobblers are now so bad they hero worship a super-sized striker with a super-sized personality and they got over-excited when one of the country’s most consistent non-scoring forwards arrived in the summer,
Clive Platt, by the way, has amazingly yet to score a League Two goal this season and that’s a record I would have glady predicted had Cobblers boss Adrian Boothroyd bothered to ask me.
It must be frustrating for our county cousins that they do not even register as local rivals to anyone in Peterborough under the age of 30.
The younger fans probably dislike Cambridge more, but they are even having to hate the ‘Us’ from a distance as they struggle to avoid, just like Lincoln, relegation into regional non-league football.
No, the Posh derby rivals these days are Leicester and Forest and the latter are at London Road this Saturday when Cobblers are playing Bristol Rovers on a rugby ground.
So don’t worry Posh fans. No matter how bad things get this season, be thankful Posh aren’t Cobblers.
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