Posh have unearthed a few diamonds during the MacAnthony era, but also signed a few shockers too…
As Peterborough United fans, we’re blessed to be backed by a chairman who possesses a strong football knowledge and owners who are willing to reach for their wallets.
In recent times, we’ve unearthed some top talents – the likes of George Boyd, Ryan Bennett and Dwight Gayle who’ve gone on to grace the Premier League – but we also can’t deny that we’ve been scorched on a number of occasions too.
By Posh We Are’s reckoning, there is a team’s worth of players, during chairman Darragh MacAnthony’s reign, that have proven to be a waste of time – but some have been truly embarrassing.
While harsh, Dave Hibbert’s horror injury extremely early in his Posh career ruined his chances of being a success at London Road, while Nicky Ajose and Tyrone Barnett simply couldn’t live up to their price tags.
A catch up with Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony from his Florida home during the Coronavirus pandemic
Kane Ferdinand was never cut for the Championship – proven by the fact his peak years are now spent with semi-pro outfit Woking – and Andrew Fox also proved ineffective in Posh’s drawn-out bid to return to the second tier.
And, sadly, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts – who joined from Manchester City in 2018 – failed to make a single appearance and now finds himself without a club at 22 years old.
But to save the blushes of all those names we’ve mentioned, these players may serve as a throwback to the worst, and most embarrassing, signings made by Peterborough.
Following the sacking of Darren Ferguson in his first spell in charge and the appointment of Mark Cooper from Kettering Town, the new boss decided to sign defender Exodus Geohaghon from his former club.
But Geohaghon quickly became unpopular with Jimmy Gannon and Gary Johnson, both managers who succeeded Cooper after his three-month stint at Posh, resulting in him being transfer-listed at the end of the campaign.
Renowned for his long throw ability – arguably the only valuable asset the defender/ midfielder did have – Geohaghon was way out of his depth for Posh in the Championship.
The quality of Geohaghon epitomised why Posh finished bottom that campaign.
As big spenders in League One, Posh’s £500k fee for the Hartlepool striker may not have seemed too unreasonable, especially given his hype upon arrival.
Luke James had scored 13 goals in 42 league appearances, which was a reasonable return for a 19-year-old, but would score just twice in 34 appearances before leaving on a free transfer three years later.
He returned on loan to Hartlepool between loan spells at Bradford City and Bristol Rovers, before his free transfer from Posh to Forest Green Rovers where he then was shipped out on loan to non-league Barrow.
The 25-year-old is now back at boyhood club Hartlepool in the National League. From a business perspective, Posh made a misjudgement and were truly stung.
Posh had been pursuing Nichols for a year before capturing the 22-year-old on a four-and-a-half year deal from League Two Exeter City, who’d scored 34 goals in 113 appearances.
But in truth, we may as well not have bothered. Netting once in the second half of the campaign, followed by just 13 in 51 appearances the following season.
After a year and a half, Nichols joined Bristol Rovers for £350,000 – just £2,000 less than he was purchased for from Exeter, according to MacAnthony on Twitter.
And Nichols has since been remembered for saying upon his arrival at Rovers “it’s their loss” in response to Posh’s decision to sell. Was it, Tom?…
Ironically, Nabi was signed for £1 as a part of a legal formality to allow the then 21-year-old to leave boyhood club West Bromwich Albion for Posh. And still that seems too much.
Eight of his 10 appearances during his time at London Road came in the league, producing no goals, and would later see his contract cancelled in June 2018.
What’s remarkable is that it took two-and-a-half years for the club to realise it was time to let him go. He would go on to last six months with Dundee United and West Brom would never get their sell-on fee they’d agreed.
Posh can be held accountable for the previous four signings but this is the most embarrassing signing, on a personal level for the player as well.
Yorwerth would last just half a season at Posh, making three appearances, and had suspiciously gone under the radar for no apparent reason.
It would later be revealed that the former Wales Under-21 had dodged a drugs test after having taken cocaine and was both sacked by Posh and suspended from all football-related activity for four years.
As reported by talkSPORT, Yorwerth said: “I’d go three days straight, hardly any sleep, no food at all, drinking and doing drugs.
“What am I going to do now? I haven’t got any training, I’ve never done anything else.”
So there’s proof that, while Peterborough are often nifty in the market for young and talented players, Posh aren’t adverse to a stinker of a signing.
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