Fortress London Road, talent all over the pitch, set-piece optimism and will Posh change their transfer window priority?
In the last three Posh promotions from League One they have won 15, 15 and 14 of their matches at London Road. Discounting the daft 1960s when defending was often an optional extra Posh have only surpassed 15 home wins twice, and not once since the 1981-82 season.
Three wins out of three and nine goals scored without reply then is a most encouraging statistic and the forthcoming fixtures at the Weston Homes Stadium suggest the 100% run could be come much larger very quickly. Certainly if the form of Saturday’s 4-0 win over Lincoln City is repeated.
On current form Posh don’t meet a realistic promotion contender at London Road until the new year, but their next three away games are perilous at Derby County, Portsmouth and Bolton Wanderers.
Once they are out of the way 10 League One matches will have been completed and we should have a decent idea of how the season will pan out. Posh have been awesome in August before (including once before under Grant McCann’s management) so keep those dreams in check.
OTHER TALKING POINTS FROM LINCOLN WIN...
1) It’s inevitable us lazy journalists seeking an easy headline will focus on the deadly/dynamic duo currently leading the Posh forward line. And Jonson Clarke-Harris and Jack Marriott are worthy of praise as they are very good at the hardest job in football, namely scoring goals. But if there was an early-season vote for player of the year, Luke Bergstrom, Joe Ward, Ben Thompson and Jack Taylor would be leading contenders as well as the big two up top. This is far from a two-man squad, although if anything bad did happen to one of them the first XI would be considerably weakened.
2) Sir Alex Ferguson said clubs should improve a squad at a time of strength rather wait for the team to start struggling. Like most things the great man has said it’s undeniably true. In an ideal world Posh need a more experienced back-up than Ricky-Jade Jones and Joe Taylor to the front two as it’s hard to see either of the two teenagers, as promising as they are, succeeding as starters just yet. One wonders whether or not Posh might switch their main transfer window focus to another out-and-out forward rather than a Sammie Szmodics type? Ben Thompson has been outstanding so far so might the Posh hierarchy gamble on he and Kwame Poku filling the hole left by Szmodics?3) Marriott has looked a class above League One level. Ironically only his finishing has let him down. He could have had a hat-trick in the opening 15 minutes against Lincoln, but then scored from a harder chance than the ones he had missed. Marriott’s experience has taught him not to worry about missed chances and just to make sure to get into scoring positions at every opportunity. When Marriott was with Posh previously his speed and finishing were his strengths. He is now far more accomplished technically and it wouldn’t be that big a surprise if he finished as Posh top scorer ahead of Clarke-Harris, injuries and penalty kicks aside.
4) Lincoln’s tactics were baffling. The press of the Posh defence was understandable and even Ronnie Edwards was hurried into passing errors, but the high defensive line was suicidal against forward players with the movement and speed of Marriott and Ward. Even Clarke-Harris, who has rarely been compared to Usain Bolt, found it easy to outstrip his markers. The range and accuracy of the Posh passing was still impressive though. The midfielders, Ben Thompson, Jack Taylor and Jeando Fucs were very good in tight areas, but they were also able to play the longer pass effectively.
5) If Marriott’s early header had been a couple of inches lower we might have heralded the Posh goal of the season on August 20. Clearly much work has gone into set-pieces and the one involving a long, accurate pass from Edwards, a terrific cushioned volley from Harrison Burrows and Marriott’s header was a beauty. Set-piece goals are vital. McCann’s League One winning Hull City side were good at them and Posh have enough height to trouble opponents if the delivery is good.