Footballer commentator Tim Alban went to London Road to watch Peterborough United play Aston Villa in a pre-season friendly. He saw Posh go down 3-2 but he reports they put up a creditable show and did themselves some good. Tim gives some more details to Paul Stainton in his report which was broadcast at 08:37 on Tuesday 20th July 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL: Now another defeat for the Posh yesterday at the hands of Premier League opposition. They lost three two against the Villa, the Posh goals coming from Arron Davies and Charlie Lee. We’ve been desperately tring to find somebody who actually went to the game, because attendances were pretty poor, but then again it was very expensive to go, wasn’t it? But we have found somebdy, Tim Alban. Morning Tim.
TIM: Good morning Paul. Seems like more people were interested in Aston Merrygold than Aston Villa.
PAUL: Too true. The scoreline’s not that important, pre-season friendlies and all that. The performance Ben (Stevenson, Producer) tells me was pretty good.
TIM: It was, and I think, going back to the scoreline, Posh can consider themselves a bit unfortunate. I think there was more than a hint of offside about Villa’s second goal, and had Davies and McCann taken their chances, which they were really good efforts, and Brad Friedel not tipped one of McCann’s over on the bar, they could have been level going in at half-time.
PAUL: McCann looks a good signing, doesn’t he?
TIM: He was so impressive last night. As you know I’m not a Poah fan but I don’t know where Gary Johnson snapped him up from, because there must have been other people after him. I can’t believe nobody else was after him from Scunthorpe. He looked so impressive. He controlled his midfield, he went forward, he attacked, he tackled. He looked the part. He looked as though he’d been there for a season and a half, not a month and a half.
PAUL: How impressive were Villa? Who was in their side?
TIM: Well missing were Heskey, Agbonlahor, a couple of others. I had Andy Burrows sitting next to me saying who was missing and who wasn’t. Downing was playing. He looked a bit hit and miss, a bit hot and cold.
PAUL: Yes that’s Downing for you, that’s Stewart Downing. That’s what he does, hit and miss.
TIM: Coming back to Posh, Boyd was the same. I thought he was a bit hit and miss last night. He went close late on, but he was in and out of the game. Friedel played last night. He pulled off a couple of good saves, but then so did Joe Lewis. I thought both keepers looked impressive. The second half Friedel didn’t play. They brought on their second string keeper who I can’t remember, (Elliott Parish) but considering Friedel’s age he was still pretty agile and still controlling his box well. Although Posh beat him twice and beat him well.
PAUL: I heard Villa’s goal was pretty special, the first one, wasn’t it?
TIM: It was. I was talking to Joe Lewis afterwards and I said what’s it like when you’re chipped like that? Do you just have to hold your hands up or is it gutting? And I don’t think any keeper likes to let goals in, but from where I was sitting, which wasn’t that far away from Ben, he was a bit off his line. But Joe Lewis is a big bloke, and he was chipped in the smallest of spaces into the top corner. Joe Lewis said he’s going to look at the video and see whether he could have done anything a bit different, standing a foot different to where he was. I don’t think he could have done. I think he was well beaten by a classic strike. I think the problem was beforehand. He wasn’t shut down. And one of the criticisms I would have had of Posh last night is that they were a bit naive, a bit slow at times in shutting Villa down. That shot should have never got away. And Lewis wouldn’t have been in a position of having to think well could I have done anything better.
PAUL: What do you reckon then? Having a look at Posh, what do you reckon for the new season? Everybody seems full of promise, full of aspiration.
TIM: It’s always dangerous, isn’t it, when you’re a football fan, having too much optimism, because you’re there to have that optimism stuffed out of you. But if I was a Posh fan I would be really chomping at the bit to get going, and getting into Bristol on the first game of the season. I think they’ve got a cracking manager. They’ver got a good squad. He’s strengthened. He’s brought in players well. He’s shuffled his pack well. And if I was a Posh fan I think I’d be really confident, looking forward to next season. I would say, at this stage before the season starts, I would say Posh should be looking at play-offs at least.
PAUL: And Baby Ben, announces at the Posh of course. (Ben Stevenson, Producer)
PAUL: Automatic promotion, isn’t it?
BEN: I’d be disappointed with play-offs, and I mean that honestly. I know last year I said we’d go up.
PAUL: What did you say to me this morning before I came on air?
BEN: It’s in the bag Paul. It is in the bag.
PAUL: And you said about the squad .. ?
BEN: I said this to Gary Johnson last week. I am convinced that this squad is stronger, it’s got more depth, that the first eleven’s better, than we had last year, in the Championship. Gary Johnson a miracle worker. Because he’s not spent a lot either. In fact he recoups transfer funds. So we salute him. He’s working miracles already. Automatic promotion or the title. There is one bookmaker Paul, sixteen to one you can get.
PAUL: (WHISTLES) Take a bit of that. And of course, talking about new signings, you’ve got your shirt now haven’t you, with your name on the back?
BEN: Yes there will be. I’ll get ninety five point seven on the back with Baby Ben as well.