Fourth in League One, the third highest goal scorers in England’s third tier. If you’d have offered that 20 games in at the start of the season to Posh supporters I’m sure they would’ve been more than pleased. But I haven’t experienced quite a contrast in emotions amongst a fanbase despite Peterborough United’s fine start to their campaign. I’m saying this as a neutral, a local football fan who usually watches live Premier League football on a regular basis but will happily go down when possible to watch the football league action for it’s usually more enthralling action and competitive matches.
When Steve Evans was hired as Posh boss I was quite impressed with the appointment, someone I had grown to like purely for his passion and knowledge the man possessed about the game. When his Rotherham team played my Watford side back in the Championship he would rave about every foreign import like he’d gone to watch them as a scout himself. His enthusiasm and honesty always appeared refreshing and something that would make Peterborough an engaging team to follow. His appointment went against the grain when it came to the DNA of what owner Darragh MacAnthony was about, maybe Peterborough would be bit more street smart, a group of winners who could win ugly as well?
Having stood on the terraces at the ABAX Stadium seven times this season, one of the most entertaining spectacles is actually watching Evans act like a lunatic on the touchline. Without beating around the bush, the football is dire. Throughout the years I’ve always enjoyed watching Peterborough. You knew there could be goals on any given day. If the game on Saturday vs Oxford follows suit and is another dull affair I will probably find something better to do in future.
I continously scratch my head at how this side is in contention for promotion. I am more often that not bored as I leave the stadium. The lack of invention and ability to build calculated attacks is painful viewing. In many ways I think this is due to the team of inviduals Evans has assembled as well as the fear he has struck into his players. If you are fully aware you could be in for a public roasting or bit of abuse from the touchline you’re less likely to express yourself.
That being said it’s ultimately not about pleasing me. But despite the results and even considering the poor home form there is no inspiration for the home fans to cheer about. The atmosphere has been lacklustre more often than not with fans looking completely disinterested. I can’t blame the fans for any disgruntlements, sometimes winning isn’t completely everything as we want to be entertained.
When I attend I wouldn’t say my expecatations are that high in terms of the standard of football. But there is a genuine lack of ability to play from the back and it’s certainly not encouraged. Probably the right decison when I see Rhys Bennett and Colin Daniel try and kick the ball.
Despite this negative outlook, tactically Evans is no mug. His record as a manager speaks for itself and shouldn’t have to defend himself that’s for sure. He knows if you are combative and resolute first and foremost you stand a good chance in League One. I would say he has installed his winning mentality at the club no doubt because the table proves it. He’s bizzarrely having to win over his supporters though and me, and his post match interviews haven’t helped. His constant blame on officials is quite tiring and his emphasis on his sides dominating matches have been quite delusional from what I’ve seen. The fans aren’t stupid and they can surely see through that.
All in all though Peterborough will struggle to find a better man for them right now. I don’t think fans have any choice but to back him as they aim for promotion. This is where the club wanted to be come the start of the season and they are in with a chance at promotion to the Championship. There are a lot of qualities installed by Evans that have been missing in previous Peterborough teams so hopefully as his tenure continues the football will improve and they can get back to the second tier of English football.
What do you make of these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!