Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United have so far enjoyed an up and down start to the campaign, with the Midlands-based side having begun the season with two defeats against Fleetwood Town and Oxford United.
After missing out on the playoff spots by one point last season, Ferguson went about strengthening his side in the summer with no less than 14 players coming in through the door at the London Road Stadium, as 16 departed out the other way for pastures new.
The Peterborough boss has so far laid his squad out in a 4-3-1-2 formation with star man Marcus Maddison playing in the hole behind the two strikers, this allows the 25-year-old to have free roam to play in the space behind the opposition’s midfield, and helps to cause an overload in the middle, which a four-man defence will be disrupted by.
Partnering new signing Mo Eisa is 23-year-old striker Ivan Toney, who has hit the ground running so far this season with a goal return of four goals in six league games, averaging an impressive one goal every 135 minutes, a statistic that has perhaps gone under the radar amongst fans of Football League clubs, with most of the attention at Peterborough drawn to Maddison.
Toney signed permanently for the Posh at the beginning of the 2018/2019 season after a somewhat underwhelming spell at Premier League Newcastle United, who continually loaned out the young striker to various Football League clubs after signing him from Northampton Town for £324,000 back in 2015, with the youngster making six temporary moves in total.
The striker’s impact at Posh has been nothing short of brilliant, with Toney adding the quality to not only run in behind but also win aerial duels, which help to move the team up the field when playing against a side that likes to press high up the pitch.
This is something Ferguson has had to adapt his tactics to suit, given that they are traditionally a side that likes to play short passes.
Despite possessing a tallish frame of five foot 10 inches, Toney provides great dribbling abilities, which means he is capable of drifting out wide to run the channels, to either hold the ball up or in more stretched matches, provide an option on the counter-attack.
With Maddison operating behind Toney and Eisa, Peterborough possess a talented attacking trident that can unlock most defences within the division.
With Maddison capable of playing accurate through balls through the middle as well as drifting out wide to whip in crosses, the Posh possess an unpredictability in attack that should get the best out of Toney’s talents.