HALF-TERM REPORT: A lovable midfielder, '˜Steady Eddie' and Peterborough United's enigma
We're just past the halfway stage in the League One campain so time for a half-term report on Peterborough United's players.
Grades are from A to E. A is best obviously.
Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Appearances and goals are for all competitions. (Substitute appearances added in brackets).
The second half of this feature will appear online at 11.30am today (December 28).
Appearances: 7 (11)
He needs to be cut some slack as coming back from one serious knee operation would be hard enough and he has suffered two. Clearly he is nowhere near full pace yet and his contribution has been limited as a result. Expect improvement next season. A spell out on loan (if Posh manage to recruit in January) might be a good option.
Appearances: 24 (2).
Off the field he’d get an A grade. The club captain is a superb ambassador for Posh.
But he’s been accident prone on the pitch, making clumsy and unnecessary tackles at times.
He plays with a great attitude though and he can pass the ball quickly and effectively from the back.
The on-loan ‘keeper had a tough act to follow in Luke McGee, but he’s been as consistent, and he’s made as many quality saves as last season’s number one. And he is less prone to unseemly outbursts at his teammates.
Might not stay beyond January 3 unless a deal can be cut between player and his parent club, Reading, which would be a blow given the inexperience of the albeit talented back-up.
Appearances: 0 (2)
Injury hasn’t helped, and nor has a surfeit of central midfielders, but this neat and tidy passer of the ball is on his way to the National League for a reason.
Leo Da Silva Lopes
Appearances: 25 (6)
The squad’s enigma. Loved and feted by the management team (and chairman) and not so loved by many fans.
I have to confess I’ve seen little in his actual performances to suggest he will live up to his hype, but he did okay in an unfamilar position of wing-back in the first few matches of this season.
He needs to brush up his passing and his decison-making if he is to make a success of the attacking midfield role he prefers, but has the pace and skill to become a reliable force one day.
I reckon he’d be more of a force if he stopped rolling the ball under his foot and just raced past defenders a la Gwion Edwards.
Appearances: 25 (3)
I did think Posh had signed the fine attacking midfielder who turned up at London Road with Swindon on a couple of occasions in the past, but he was used more defensively while Posh persisted with wing-backs in the early stages of the season.
He did ok, but his form dipped for a while. He stopped tackling, he looked slow, but he’s been deployed in a more advanced midfield position in recent games and the goals have started arriving thanks to a couple of well-timed runs. He was excellent at Bradford on Boxing Day
Appearances: 25 (1)
My pre-season tip to be player-of-the-year at the ABAX hasn’t let me down, even though his injury absences are a nuisance.
He was excellent as an attacking wing-back and he’s set to really prosper now he’s playing higher up the pitch, if he can knock the improving Danny Lloyd out of the side that is. His pace and commitment ensures he will always be a threat to League One defences.
Appearances: 11 (7)
Fleetingly in late November and early December the former skipper looked to be returning to his best, that is a crisp-passing, smooth-running midfielder.
One bad mistake in a game against Blackburn, after he’d played pretty well for 45 minutes in the same match, prompted his return to the substitutes’ bench.
That was a disappointment, but he was outstanding at Bradford earlier this week. If he’s back to his best it would be like signing a new top player. Here’s hoping.
Appearances: 27 (1)
I love this all-action midfielder. I’d love him even more if he would shoot with his stronger foot occasionally and complete a greater percentage of his forward passes.
But what an attitude. What a work-rate. What a tough tackler. What a genius at winning free kicks when his team is under pressure. What an inspiration to the rest of the side.
Wonderfully consistent, but 10 yellow cards and one red card before Christmas is a concern.
Appearances: 23 (8)
The chairman calls him ‘steady Eddie’ which is fair. He’s the sort of reliable, no-frills player successful squads require.
Very good defender of the back post. Not so good when rushing forward, although he has assisted a couple of goals this season, notably Jack Marriott’s hat-trick tap-in at Bristol Rovers.
Appearances: 2 (19)
As is often the Posh way, too much hype accompanied this teenage forward’s summer arrival. He’s quick, but raw. One for the future rather than now.