Inadequate recruitment was a big part of that as was giving contract extensions to players who helped the club win promotion from League One. The signing of goalkeeper Dai Cornell from the Ipswich Town – a League One club remember - substitutes’ bench was baffling as was starting the season with Christy Pym between the sticks just three months after he’d been gleefully replaced with a superior performer for the key games in a promotion run-in.
Recent history makes the concern shown by Posh fans after the dragged-out unveiling of 20 year-old Harvey Cartwright and 19 year-old Lucas Bergstrom as the club’s number ones for the coming season understandable.
It doesn’t make it right though. In fact I find it strange there is criticism at all as I’d bet the Posh owners’ wealth on none of the moaners having seen either goalkeeper play. They can’t have done as Cartwright and Bergstrom have just two Football League appearances between them. Cartwright is reponsible for them both at Championship level for Hull last season.
I’d argue until the cows come home that experience at Championship level should have been vital for the Posh recruitors last summer. For next season in League One (just the one hopefully) not so much. Remember Pym, who looks to be heading back into League Two, played 40 games in Posh’s last promotion without making too many crucial interventions just two seasons ago, so hiring the next David Seaman is not absolutely necessary.
And speaking of England’s second greatest goalkeeper, Seaman was just 19 when he signed for Posh from Leeds United in August 1982 without a single Football League game to his name.
He didn’t turn out too bad did he?
I’m confident there was criticism of that signing 40 years ago, but it doubtless took place in the pub rather than on Twitter so thankfully we weren’t aware of the rantings of serial knockers and they could avoid the shame when forthright opinions were exposed as utter nonsense.
With all recruitment there is a risk and it could be that a Hull City rookie and the fourth-best goalkeeper at Chelsea turn out to be dodgy, but they, and those making the signings, deserve the benefit of the doubt for now. We’ll all have a moan if they turn out to be Scott Cooksey rather than Ian Bennett, but having a pop now seems a bit premature. The new boys are probably on social media, hopefully with the notifications turned off.
I agree with Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony’s view that money is best spent positions other than goalkeeper. I’m hoping the inevitable sale of Ronnie Edwards is followed by some play-making, goal-creating newcomers to cover for some injury-prone forwards.
Posh will probably get by in League One with the defenders they already own – even without Edwards – and the goalkeepers they have borrowed, but they need someone who can unlock stubborn and packed defences.
They need a Siriki Dembele-type to produce a goal or an assist out of nothing and I don’t see one of those in the squad yet. New midfielder Ben Thompson appears to be an all action type rather than a passing maestro like Grant McCann.