HALF-TERM REPORT: The Peterborough United A team, a rapid improver and a huge disappointment
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 first half of this feature appeared online this morning (December 28).
Appearances: 10 (8)
News that this attacking midfielder had been made available for transfer six months into a three-year contract shocked us all. He can look limited technically, but he’s a bundle of energy and aggression with an eye for a goal.
He’s hit top form in recent weeks, combining hard running with some excellent finishing. All of a sudden he looks a key player.
Appearances: 32 (0)
A player who regularly sprinkles stardust on the dullest of matches with one high quality pass (see Fleetwood away), a brilliant cross (see Fleetwood away), or a stunning goal (see Shrewsbury at home).
The key player in this squad as even our free-scoring striker would probably admit. Only minor quibbles over his play-acting and occasionally obvious disgruntlement with teammates.
Appearances: 31 (2)
He’s currently scoring goals as quick as Craig Mackail-Smith at the start of his Posh career and faster than Aaron Mclean at the start of his. That’s the sort of company the summer signing is keeping.
Marriott’s form has been a revelation given he came from the Luton Town substitutes’ bench. He’s missed a few chances as well, but he doesn’t hide and he works hard for the team.
One small complaint would be his habit of shooting when others are well placed, but maybe he only trusts himself. Magnificent overall and the top player over the first half of the season.
Appearances: 5 (8)
He was never going to live up the ridiculous expectations (mainly from his city-based mates), but few would have predicted he’d still be goalless at Christmas, even with all his off field problems.
He has threatened goals in some of his brief appearances. He hits the target regularly, and he had a goal wrongly chalked off for offside early in the season, but overall a huge disappointment and looks set to leave.
Appearances: 10 (2)
His September injury was cruel as he’d returned to Posh at the start of the season a new man, a much slimmer one as well, and a much better player as a result.
Two goals against Wigan catapulted him into the spotlight and he was forming a fine strike partnership with Jack Marriott when his body collapsed on a cold Oldham night.
A cannonball of a shot.
Appearances: 8 (0)
He looks like a very competent and composed goalkeeper. One bad error in eight games at Rochdale and I wouldn’t be unduly worried if Bond departed.
Appearances: 8 (1)
His enthusiasm and spirit is to be applauded. There is work to be done on his defensive positioning, but he’s getting better by the game after a very dodgy start. Very good at Bradford considering the standard of opposition, although the chairman’s comparison to Mark Little is a little over the top, at the moment.
Appearances: 6 (2)
He looked a decent specialist right-back in his early starts, but struggled with the wing back role. His injury was ill-timed as he’d probably have played some recent matches as a right-back ahead of Alex Penny and Jack Baldwin.
Appearances: 30 (2)
He has all the physical attributes to be a strong League One centre-back. Good in the air and he reads the game pretty well.
Just recently, as Posh have adopted a more attacking midfield system, Tafazolli and Steven Taylor have looked more exposed and neither are that quick, but generally they’ve both been above average.
Tafazolli really should score more goals though by attacking Marcus Maddison’s set-pieces as powerfully as he attacks the ball is his own penalty area.
Appearances: 29 (3)
This summer signing wasn’t greeted with universal acclaim on his account of his previous injury record.
But he’s confounded any critics, not just by playing regularly, but by playing well regularly. Cool, calm and collected and he can make the game look easy thanks to his vast experience.
Only player to have played every minute of every League One match this season.