HALF-TERM REPORT: Who has made the grade at Peterborough United and who must do better

Posh players Joe Ward (left) and Siriki Dembele have enjoyed a decent first half of the season.
Posh players Joe Ward (left) and Siriki Dembele have enjoyed a decent first half of the season.
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Peterborough United have reached the halfway stage in League One and here is the half-term report on the players.

Appearances and goals are from all competitions. (Substitute appearances in brackets), but don’t include the Boxing Day game.

Skipper Alex Woodyard is battling to get back into the Posh side.

Skipper Alex Woodyard is battling to get back into the Posh side.

A total of 31 competitive matches have been played.

Grading key: A=Excellent, B=Good, C=Average, D=Poor, E=Awful.

RHYS BENNETT

Apps: 30 (0)

14 goals before Xmas is a great effort from Matt Godden.

14 goals before Xmas is a great effort from Matt Godden.

Goals: 3

The centre-half is one of two ever-presents in League One and he’s generally been solid. Delivered an outstanding personal performance at Charlton, although his defensive partnership with Ryan Tafazolli has started to creak. His goals have been a bonus.

Grade: B-

AARON CHAPMAN

Apps: 26 (0)

Goals: 0

A tough man to grade. He was well protected by the back four at the start of the season, but he’s wobbled in recent games as defensive solidity deserted the team. He’s 6ft 7ins tall, but he doesn’t command his area. Just four clean sheets, but obviously that’s not all his fault. Unconvincing so far even though he’d started every League One game until last Saturday.

Grade: C

CALLUM COOKE

Apps: 8 (3)

Goals: 1

His goal at Gillingham after emerging from the substitutes’ bench was wonderfully well finished, but he has failed to kick on. One start in League One for a player who shone at this level for Blackpool last season is very disappointing.

Grade: D.

GEORGE COOPER

Apps: 13 (10)

Goals: 1

No starts in League One tells the story of a player inherited by the current manager. Good technician, but appears to be a victim of the desire to stick with a 4-4-2 formation. He’s never going to get up and down a flank. Quality free-kick goal at MK Dons in the Checkatrade.

Grade: D

JASON CUMMINGS

Apps: 25 (10)

Goals: 8

Six League One goals in August (three penalties) smacked of a striker who was too good for the division. His link up play with Matt Godden suggested exciting times ahead, but then he was filmed, by a teammate remarkably, causing damage to his flat after a night out and he’s not been the same since. Very one-footed and not scored in League One since August 25.

Grade: C

COLIN DANIEL

Apps: 24 (0)

Goals: 1

The left-back was one of the stranger signings of the summer. The 30 year-old been a steady rather than spectacular performer in the lower divisions for most of his career and he’s carried on in that vein here. His tackling has been suspect enough to concede three penalties and he only occasionally delivers moments of quality going forward.

Grade: C-

SIRIKI DEMBELE

Apps: 28 (3).

Goals: 6

Don’t let the recent dip in form disguise the fact this young player has enjoyed a strong start to his Posh career. Six goals including a couple of stunning efforts is a great return for a winger and he helped create plenty of others in the early stages of the season. Manager is keen to improve his defensive form. I’m keen that he drops the fancy tricks in favour of utilising his great pace.

Grade: B

TYLER DENTON

Apps: 7 (0)

Goals: 0

The fact the on-loan Leeds left-back hasn’t been able to displace Daniel on a regular basis is a concern. His League One debut as Scunthorpe was excellent, but too many perceived defensive difficulties have counted against him.

Grade: C-

MATT GODDEN

Apps: 29 (6)

Goals: 14

He’s no Jack Marriott, but then who is? A superb start to the season - he scored in the second minute of the first match - has led to an impressive first half of the campaign. He’s missed a few chances in recent games, but 14 goals before Christmas is a terrific number. Makes intelligent runs.

Grade: B+

MARCUS MADDISON

Apps: 23 (8)

Goals: 2

Posh delivered their best run of results before the maverick winger came out of a personally motivated exile (probably after failing to get a move in August). He’s behaved himself admirably in recent matches though and won the game against AFC Wimbledon with a brilliant goal while creating regular chances for others. Manager has him working hard as well so he will be a key man in the second half of the season, if he’s still here.

Grade: C+

JASON NAISMITH

Apps: 24 (2)

Goals: 0

A powerfully built right-back who looked strong defensively and decent offensively during a fine start to the season, but he slowed down well before losing his starting place to a converted right winger.

Grade: C+

MARK O’HARA

Apps: 26 (10)

Goals: 4

This tall midfielder started the season with a bang scoring three goals in the opening two matches and he followed up with a brilliant finish against Blackpool, but he’s been quiet since with games largely passing him by. He’s a good athlete and a hard worker, but he’s lost out as the manager tries to improve the team in possession.

Grade: C

CONOR O’MALLEY

Apps: 5 (0)

Goals: 0

The back-up goalkeeper had been used exclusively in cup competitions until last Saturday and his form has been mixed. Showed good heart to save three penalties in an FA Cup shootout in Bradford after performing erratically in the previous two hours. He achieved something similar against Walsall at the weekend, playing superbly late on after an indifferent start to the game.

Grade: C

LOUIS REED

Apps: 19 (7)

Goals: 0

The beneficiary of an attempted switch of emphasis to a more controlled passing game in midfield. He’s not been able to impact the game further forward though which is a disappointment. A small man, but he doesn’t shirk the midfield defensive work. Rarely plays 90 minutes.

Grade: C+

RYAN TAFAZOLLI

Apps: 29 (0)

Goals: 1

A centre-back who started the season in commanding form, but he’s been unable to keep those high standards going, certainly in the last few weeks. It’s still been a strong campaign so far for another League One regular though and it would become better if he made more of some promising positions when attacking set pieces.

Grade: B

IVAN TONEY

Apps: 30 (12)

Goals: 13

It took a while for the £600k striker to get into the starting line-up, but he’s been a revelation since becoming the number one forward in the squad. He’s a big unit, but hardly a target man. He has scored some high class goals notably at Gillingham and Bradford City and a goal against Walsall on Saturday made it 10 in his last 10 games.

Grade: B+

JAMIE WALKER

Apps: 17 (9)

Goals: 2

This attacking midfielder looked a class act when he made a scoring debut as a half-time substitute in the Checkatrade Trophy tie at MK Dons, but that initial promise soon faded. The on-loan Scot is another unsuited to a 4-4-2 formation. He’s been tried just behind a sole striker without success.

Grade: D

JOE WARD

Apps: 28 (4)

Goals: 3

Arguably the Posh player-of-the-season so far. He’s certainly been the most consistent either as a winger or a full-back. Tidy on the ball and a hard worker, a player who received a huge boost to his confidence by claiming his first Posh goal at Sunderland.

Grade: B+

ALEX WOODYARD

Apps: 29 (1)

Goals: 0

The captain patrols the area in front of the back four where his tough-tackling and ability to snuff out potential danger are handy attributes. He has been part of a midfield which is often outnumbered so it’s a tough gig, but one he has carried out with great discipline. He’s not likely to offer much in the opposition half though. The other ever-present in League One.

Grade: B