Player ratings: Posh weren’t good enough to be at sixes and sevens

Craig Mackail-Smith was the sponsors' man-of-the-match against Bristol City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

Craig Mackail-Smith was the sponsors' man-of-the-match against Bristol City. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.

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The Peterborough Telegraph’s Peterborough United reporter Alan Swann reckoned the entire starting XI against Bristol City delivered below par performances last night (November 28).

Match report: Posh 0, Bristol City 3 - Black Friday for Fergie and his team

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Ben Alnwick: It can’t be easy playing behind a defence that has forgotten the art of tackling, doesn’t mark too well and loses control of the ball in their own penalty area. No wonder he’s started to look jittery under the high ball, with the ball at his feet and is getting beaten by shots from outside the penalty area 5

Michael Smith: His form has become very ragged. He was blamed by his manager for the second goal as he allowed a very good cross to be delivered from a very difficult position and his passing has gone to pieces. A good player at the start of the season who has seemingly been dragged down by others 4

Kgosi Ntlhe: You have to admire the lad’s commitment, but much of his enthusiasm is misplaced as he gets dragged out of position too easily. Didn’t enjoy having Mark Little bearing down on him for the majority of the first-half. Did a solid job when moved to a more central defensive position 5

Gaby Zakuani: Can’t recall too many times when this fierce competitor has looked so out of sorts. Barely won a header or a tackle, was seriously troubled by Agard’s movement and some of his passing was shocking. Goalkeeper saved him from an embarrassing back-pass incident in the second-half 4

Christian Burgess; He worked extremely hard, but was usually outplayed, occasionally out-muscled and generally out-manouevred by admittedly outstanding opposition. At times it looks like he’s trying to do too much, but he’s getting precious little help from his co-defenders 5

Jack Payne: The captain’s place in the team must be under threat as he was hauled off early in the second-half for the third game in succession. He was at fault for the first goal as he failed to control a simple cross in his own penalty area and he never looked like making amends. He continually gave the ball away and very rarely won it back 4

Jermaine Anderson: Some of the positive comments aimed in his direction by the manager early in the season look fanciful at best now. He is not blessed with natural attacking ability and he’s not a particularly strong defensive midfielder either. Didn’t win a tackle, didn’t make anything positive happen with a pass 4

Joe Newell: At least offered some promise in the first-half when he breezed past Little a couple of times, but he disappeared after the break. Had the best Posh chance to score before the interval, but he delayed his shot too long and was tackled 5

Marcus Maddison: A gamble to play him and it didn’t pay off. He ought to be the man to free the ‘Mac Attack’ but he concentrated instead on dribbling and shooting, neither of which he was very good at. Substituted midway through the second-half to no-one’s surprise, but he at least has an excuse because of injury and rustiness 4

Aaron Mclean: Showed up some of the others with his workrate and his appetite for the game. He didn’t play well and never looked like scoring, but at least he gave the impression that he cared 5

Craig Mackail-Smith: Not quite the homecoming that he wanted or probably expected. Busy in the first-half and played one delightful touch pass to Newell, but otherwise he struggled to make an impact. Never looked likely to claim his 100th Posh goal and faded badly after the break. Sponsors’ man-of-the-match may well have been decided before the game again 4

Substitutes:

Michael Bostwick: (for Payne, 58 mins) Battled a bit harder and with a bit more success than the starting midfielders 5

Harry Beautyman: (for Anderson, 58 mins) A couple of decent touches and passes 6

Erhun Oztumer: (for Maddison, 65 mins) Very bright, albeit against a team that had eased down considerably 6

Have your Posh say: by emailing alan.swann@peterboroughtoday.co.uk, or on Twitter @PTAlanSwann or tweet using #PUFC

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