Six things we learnt from Peterborough United’s 1-0 defeat at Oxford today (August 10).
1) Mo Eisa’s selling point was his pace and yet two games into his Posh career he was deployed behind Ivan Toney in a 4-2-3-1 formation meaning he never had the opportunity to run in behind the home back four.
I’ll tell you how ineffective he was by admitting I had no idea he wasn’t playing right up top in a 4-4-2 formation, and I wasn’t alone. He barely influenced the contest before he was understandably withdrawn after 45 minutes.
Eisa cost a small fortune and the pressure on him to succeed will be all the greater as a result. Play him in his best position, not one where you think he can play.
2) The Carabao Cup tie at Oxford on Tuesday has just become a little more important for Posh who won’t want to start the season with three straight defeats, not with League One title fancies Ipswich and Sunderland to play before the end of August. Posh could well field a first team. Eisa should play though. He scored twice in a League Cup tie at Oxford two seasons helping Cheltenham Town to a shock win. He needs a goal.
3) Did you see the League Two play-off final last May between Tranmere and Newport? The best player on the pitch was Newport left-back Dan Butler who bombed up and down the pitch and delivered some fantastic crosses.
His signing impressed me almost a smuch as Mark Beevers’ arrival at London Road, but whereas the latter bounced back from a poor debut today, Butler didn’t and he was taken off at half-time and replaced by Frazer Blake-Tracy, an under-the-radar summer capture from King’s Lynn Town who did well.
Butler has hardly ventured forward in two matches. Is he under instructions to sit back? is the Posh management concerned he’d get in Siriki Dembele’s way? Whatever the reason he has struggled and that’s a problem that needs solving.
4) The George Boyd midfield experiment already seems pointless. He hasn’t got the legs to play in a two-man midfield in my opinion. Play him in the middle of a three-man attacking midfield to get the best out of him and potentially dangerous wingers Marcus Maddison and Dembele. Eisa could even replace Ivan Toney in such a formation. He’s more likely to get on the end of through balls. And Josh Knight should have started this game in midfield. He had the athelticism to shut down a talented set of home players who bossed the first-half.
5) Football should be banned at the three-sided Kassam Stadium in high winds.
6) Please make referees learn the new laws. Michael Salisbury allowed Oxford midfielder Cameron Brannagan to walk to the dug outs after being substituted from the other side of the pitch which has now been outlawed. Brannagan had already been cautioned, but Salisbury indulged him and then laughably only added three minutes on at the end of the second-half when the home side had been time-wasting for the previous 45 minutes. Hopeless after a good first-half showing.