Marcus Maddison’s re-appearance as a first-half substitute was about the only thing worth cheering as Peterborough United slumped to a 3-2 League One defeat at Chesterfield yesterday (December 26).
Ben Alnwick: Couldn’t really be faulted for much apart from some pretty ropey distribution. He’ll soon be a nervous wreck if Posh keep defending like this though 6
Michael Bostwick: Took his headed goal well, but the good news ends there. He lacks the speed to be an effective full-back, although asking him to fulfil the role is a managament error as much as his own. Gary Roberts turned him inside out at times 5
Michael Smith: Another to play in a position (left-back) that is not his best. He actually popped up in some promising attacking positions in the first-half, but he always has to cut back inside onto his right foot and momentum is immediately lost. Over-run defensively as Newell offered him very little help 4
Gaby Zakuani: Busted a gut as usual, but the rock-solid defender of previous Posh campaigns is struggling to lay a boot on some of the better strikers at League One level. Conceding an early, and very unfortunate, own goal can’t have done a lot for his confidence 4
Christian Burgess: His passion and commitment is obvious (it earned him a caution for a rather childish show of dissent) and if anything he suffers from trying to cover for the deficiencies of others. His desire to pass the ball out of dangerous areas can cause problems, but he’s worth persevering with 5
Jack Payne: The skipper was struggling with his passing before he went off after 28 minutes because of illness 5
Harry Beautyman: Spurned a glorious last-gasp opportunity to claim a thoroughly undeserved point when losing a one-on-one battle with the Chesterfield goalkeeper, but the fact he had the energy to get on the end of the chance is encouraging. He has qualities which need nurturing and he is yet to get on the same wavelength as his team-mates, but he should be happy with the start to his Posh career 5
Joe Newell: Too timid and too easy to beat when playing in the midfield diamond. Hardly seen in possession until the final 20 minutes when moved to left-back. He should be played out wide as he doesn’t appear to enjoy tackling. Very disappointing compared to recent performances 4
Erhun Oztumer: You can’t help but admire Oztumer’s willingness to accept the ball, carry it and try to find a decisive pass, but he’s not being helped by the poor form of others. Getting him and Maddison working effectively in the same side is a key to a prosperous 2015 6
Aaron Mclean: Apparently feeling a bit under the weather and it clearly affected his display. There wasn’t the spark of recent games and he was substituted in the second-half 4
Luke James: Made a clever run to assist on Maddison’s goal and his attitude can’t really be faulted, He tries to get on the end of things and he challenges for headers he’s not likely to win, but it was another game that he didn’t really influence. The service to the front two was appalling though 5
Marcus Maddison (for Payne, 28 mins): He’s not at his most fluent or fittest, but he created a goal and he scored one. Remains the most important player in this squad by a country mile 7
Conor Washington: (for Mclean, 61 minutes): Won the free-kick for the first Posh goal, otherwise anonymous and offside a lot 5
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing: (for Smith, 72 mins): Couldn’t retain possession in that crucial last quarter of the game 5
Joe Day: (not used).
Kyle Vassell: (not used).
Jermaine Anderson: (not used).
Ricardo Santos: (not used).