Alan Swann’s thoughts on Peterborough United’s first 10 games of the 2017-18 League One season.
It’s been a good start for Posh. A haul of 20 points from the first 10 games is a decent return for a team with new players in key positions and with an intention of playing a new system.
But it’s just a start and it’s hard to make firm predictions based on less than a quarter of the League matches played.
It is, however, the best start for four years (working backwards the recent 10-game points tallies have been 20, 13, 11 & 19), although in 2013-14 Posh opened with 24 points from 10 games and finished sixth.
In the last two League One promotion campaigns of 2010-11 and 2008-09 Posh had 19 & 17 points respectively at this stage.
Posh are the top scorers in League One with 21 goals which suggests they are well-off for forward players.
Jack Marriott has been a revelation since swapping the Luton Town substitutes’ bench for the ABAX, Junior Morias is much improved on last season and I am confident Ricky Miller will go on a run of goals once he gets his first. He tends to hit the target whenever he shoots which is a useful trait in a striker. Throw marvellous Marcus Maddison into the mix and it’s a strike force capable of winning promotion.
Defensively Posh also appear sound.
If we include Andrew Hughes Posh have four decent central defenders and a goalkeeper who has played well since he arrived in the summer.
But the need for Bond to make several good saves in most games hints at defensive issues that will need addressing.
Posh have let in 13 goals in 10 matches, more than AFC Wimbledon who are fifth bottom and 10 more than Scunthorpe who have conceded just three goals.
The main Posh problem to have surfaced in the opening salvoes is in central midfield.
Anthony Grant challenged Marriott and Maddison for the right to be called the best Posh player of the first six games, but he’s become a walking caution.
He enjoys the dirty part of the job, but needs to be available more as Chris Forrester and Michael Doughty can look a little lightweight together.
I would imagine Jermaine Anderson’s return to full fitness can’t come soon enough for manager Grant McCann.
Anderson is a big, strong-looking unit these days and Posh need some midfield power.
I predicted at the start of the season Gwion Edwards would be Posh player-of-the-year. I still believe that.
His absence at Oldham on Tuesday appeared to restrict Posh attacking options, even against the worst defence in the division. He must get fit and stay fit.