You might have noticed optimism doesn’t come easily to me, particularly when discussing Peterborough United.
But I can’t shake off a feeling of excitement for next season. Posh have a relaxed and confident (without a hint of arrogance) manager and a set of owners who appear to have a sound plan for the immediate future and beyond.
They are backing that vision with hard cash which is always helpful.
Problem areas in last season’s squad (weak left-backs, no pace up top) have been rectified already and once a creative midfielder arrives I’d be surprised if Posh odds for the League One title don’t plummet further.
Caution should be applied though. Spending in excess of a million pounds on a striker guarantees nothing and the pressure will be on Mo Eisa as soon as the League One season kicks off.
He needs to be the next Britt Assombalonga rather than the next Tyrone Barnett.
It’s quite the gamble on Eisa bearing in mind he’s had one successful season in League Two followed by a season in the Championship when he didn’t start a single League match. He’s relatively inexperienced for his age (24) so let’s hope the due diligence from Posh was sound and trustworthy.
Eisa, who has taken a 40% pay cut to move to London Road, may well be the speedy striker Posh need, but he might also need time to get up and running again.
He hasn’t scored a first-team goal since April, 2018 after all and Posh appear to be basing their confidence in him partly on a friendly performance two seasons ago when he made Jack Baldwin look ordinary, something Baldwin often managed on his own.
Chucking a seven-figure fee at a forward will automatically make Posh one of the hot favourites to go up. That in itself will bring pressure and make our opponents even more determined to put one over on us.
It’s worth noting Sunderland spent £3 million on Will Grigg and £1 million on Charlie Wyke in the last 12 months and finished fifth. Let’s hope Posh’s recruitment turns out to be better.
The best Posh signing of the summer so far cost nothing, other than a considerable wage.
Centre-back Mark Beevers is the real statement signing of the close season as far as I’m concerned. I’m told he had offers from clubs to stay in the Championship and yet chose to move to London Road.
His record at League One level is strong and if Posh can find a Ryan Bennett-type player to start alongside him, clean sheets could arrive more regularly than we’ve been used to in recent seasons.
Left-back Dan Butler’s performance in the League Two play-off final for Newport suggests Posh can finally erase the memories of Daniel, Denton and Lafferty, while goalkeeper Christy Pym comes highly recommended.
Pym is not the biggest, but then 6ft 7in goalkeepers are not automatically successful as Posh have recently discovered.