Championship football is now looking like a formality for Peterborough United next season after a hard-earned three points against big spending Leicester City moved us up to 17th in the table. This has been an extremely encouraging season for the current squad and as a fan you would hope that the club could kick on to bigger and better things.
Big money has been received for the likes of Ryan Bennett and Craig Mackail-Smith and with a few top quality additions to what appeared to be an already stable squad we could have gone into the Championship next season with plenty of optimism. That optimism won’t go away over night, but the killer news regarding Paul Taylor and George Boyd, two key players who have played an integral part in the clubs success this season, is certainly a cause for concern.
The club has informed the footballing world that both players have refused to sign new deals, and as they only have one year left to run on their current contracts they will both be put on the transfer list in the summer. This information will be hard to take for Peterborough United fans, however, I wholeheartedly agree with the chairman and the manager for opting to put both players on the transfer list after they stated that they will not be committing to the club. There is no point in keeping players at a club when they feel their future lies elsewhere, whether it is at a higher level or just because they are in need of a fresh challenge.
A positive is that the club will obviously profit from the sales of the duo, allowing Darren Ferguson to bring in replacements and build for the future rather than keeping both Boyd and Taylor for another season until their current deals expire and then allowing them to leave for nothing.
It goes without saying that George Boyd has been a fantastic servant to the club; he was bought in by Darren Ferguson and has been a consistent performer who has helped bring the club a huge amount of success over recent years. We have won three promotions while Boyd has been at the club and he will be sorely missed. At 25, Boyd obviously still has his best playing years ahead of him and I can imagine that his goal is to one day play Premier League football.
Paul Taylor has made his desires known; he wants to be playing top flight football now and obviously feels he is ready to make a big step up in his career. Darragh MacAnthony made it known that Taylor was offered a contract bettering anyone else’s at the football club, which would have been deserving after his performances this season, but the fact that Ferguson was prepared to give him a chance, allow him to play football and prove himself at this level and then for Taylor to refuse to commit to the club must be a bitter pill for the manager to swallow. I wouldn’t disagree with anyone who said that Taylor is lacking loyalty after refusing to sign a new deal but it is better that the club cashes in on a players that don’t want to be there.
Despite the club being forced to sell two of its prized assets due to failed talks regarding contract extensions, I still feel as though we can build upon the season we have had. New players will come in, we didn’t think Mackail-Smith could be replaced but as always Darren Ferguson has the ability to bring out the best in players and unearth new talent, often young, fresh hungry individuals and I am sure that next season we will see more of the same.