Peterborough United’s player-of-the-year, but only just
My own Twitter poll suggests there has been one outstanding candidate for Peterborough United’s player-of-the-year.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the choice of Marcus Maddison whose influence on matches since Darren Ferguson returned to the club has been immense, until last Saturday at Walsall at least.
At a time when everyone else appeared to give up on scoring goals, Maddison started popping them in on a regular basis. Inspired by the man who signed him for Posh in the first place, he carried the strike force at the most important stage of the season.
There is no doubt he is the most naturally gifted player in the squad, but player-of-the-year should be given to the most consistent performer over a season and Maddison has been no Jack Marriott. Seven of Maddison’s 10 goals arrived post-Steve Evans.
Maddison didn’t even start a game this season until the 4-2 win at Gillingham on September 22 and the team were second in the table without much input from the main man at all.
Clearly shouting at him from the sidelines is not the way to get the best out of Maddison though.
So, with some misgivings about his form pre-Christmas, it’s Maddison for me also, an opinion based on his impact when the pressure was at its greatest.
In order of how I’d place them in my player-of-the-year table, other worthy of a mention in despatches are...
2) Joe Ward. I wouldn’t have shed a tear if Evans had included the former Woking wideman on his list of unwanted players last summer, but boy I’d have been wrong so fair play to the former boss whose judgement in this case was sound.
A work ethic should be a given in a professional footballer, but Ward combined his with some skilful, pacy displays on the right side. His form and attitude was a reason why Maddison didn’t get a look-in for the first coouple of months.
3) Siriki Dembele was an excellent capture by Evans and it’s encouraging that Ferguson, a man who has improved forward players before at this club, rates the young winger highly.
He’s quick, he’s tricky and he can score great goals. His first season at League One level following a summer move from Grimsby was a minor triumph, until injury got in the way.
4=) Ivan Toney and Matt Godden have had frustrating lean spells, but both have enjoyed fine scoring runs. With the help of a third striker, they could kick on again nexct season.
6) The defence performed well as a unit at the start of the season and it’s been a similar story in recent weeks, until Walsall at least.
Centre-backs Rhys Bennett and Ryan Tafazolli have been excellent in some games, but the best defender over the whole season has been right-back, and occasional centre-back Jason Naismith, a whole-hearted performer.
Your comments and choices for Posh player-of-the-year can be seen in Thursday’s PT (May 2).