After the first week of the season I remarked how different Chris Wilder was from Nigel Adkins in they way he arrived early (in the pre-season) at what he believed to be his best eleven and stuck to it. But I also wrote “That may now change”.
And how it has changed. The team that played the second half against Peterborough contained just one of the back five (including the goalkeeper) who played in the first four games. And that player, Jack O’Connell, was playing in a different position.
Those who have come in – Jake Wright, Kieron Freeman, Ethan Ebanks-Landell, Daniel Lafferty and Simon Moore – have made a big difference, as did the change of formation to 3-5-2.
But Wilder has also shown he can change formation within a game, reverting to 4-4-2 for the second half against Peterborough. This is where he is similar to Adkins, who sometimes changed formations three or four times within a game, but whereas our former manager seemed to do it without any conviction, in the process confusing his players, Wilder was firm and precise, his players slipping straight into the new system and looking as though they knew what they were doing.
Peterborough were good opponents, the best we have faced this season. Some Posh fans in the pub before the match reckoned they would need to score three to win. I said we hadn’t yet kept a clean sheet. But it didn’t work out like that, thanks to good defending and goalkeeping on both sides.
Leaving the Lane someone said that we ought to sign Peterborough’s best player in January. I said Peterborough’s best player, the on-loan midfielder George Moncur, actually plays for Barnsley, but that shouldn’t stop us from signing him.
But the someone said, no, he meant Marcus Maddison. We’d have him too. He can pull off some left-footed versions of those Ronaldo free kicks.