The undisputed king of assists

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Last Updated: 17/09/19 6:26am

Marcus Maddison was named Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for August last week
Marcus Maddison was named Sky Bet League One Player of the Month for August last week

Marcus Maddison’s assist record for Peterborough over the past six seasons has been second to none.

True, that is often a hastily-attributed idiom, but for the 25-year-old, thankfully, it’s a fact; since the start of the 2014/15 season, his astonishing tally of 71 league assists is 18 more than any other player in the top four tiers of English football.

If that wasn’t enough, his 119 goal involvements in that time place him close to the esteemed company of Tottenham’s Harry Kane (144) and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (147).

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“It’s probably just knowing where the ball should go,” he modestly told Sky Sports ahead of Posh’s trip to Tranmere on Tuesday evening.

“I’m relying on my team-mates to know where I’m going to put the ball. It’s not about looking where they are, it’s about putting the ball in the position they should be in. It’s about game knowledge.”

Marcus Maddison scored 10 goals and assisted 15 more for Peterborough last season
Marcus Maddison scored 10 goals and assisted 15 more for Peterborough last season

Capable of playing anywhere across the frontline, the 25-year-old has, almost exclusively, been deployed as a No 10 this term and Posh boss Darren Ferguson is reaping the rewards as a result of the positional alteration.

The statistics grow more impressive by the week: Maddison has already scored five goals and laid on a further six assists, helping his team – who have won four on the spin without conceding – up to sixth in the table, three behind leaders Coventry.

Marcus Maddison’s Peterborough record (all competitions)

Season Appearances Goals Assists
2014/15 30 8 4
2015/16 45 13 14
2016/17 48 9 18
2017/18 53 12 22
2018/19 46 10 22
2019/20 7 5 6
Total 229 57 86

But, for a player who returned for pre-season training several weeks later than his team-mates, just what has sparked the relentless start that resulted in him being named League One Player of the Month last week?

He continued: “I’ve had a lot of catching up to do. I came back to training a lot later than all the other boys – potentially a month later. But I think it’s the belief in all my team-mates, and the manager who has looked after me very well. I’ve worked with the physio team to keep myself in shape and I think I’m just living my life right at the minute.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony and director of football Barry Fry are both keen to keep Maddison at the ABAX Stadium beyond this season
Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony and director of football Barry Fry are both keen to keep Maddison at the ABAX Stadium beyond this season

“It’s a long season. We had an OK August. We started off a bit rusty, things clicked and then we’ve scored 11 goals and not conceded (since risen to 17 in all competitions), things are going well. If we get complacent, it can easily go back to getting defeats. I think we’ve just got to keep our foot on the gas and keep going.

“I’d really like to get promotion. I’ve been here a long time and we’ve failed every year, probably unfortunately. Last year as well we were just on the outskirts. I’d like to win a promotion as a team. I’ve got a few individual trophies but it’s hard to not do it with the team.”

But as the saying goes, success breeds contempt.

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Highlights of Sky Bet League One match between Peterbrough and Sunderland
Highlights of Sky Bet League One match between Peterbrough and Sunderland

On the final weekend of August, boyhood Sunderland fan Maddison scored two goals in a comprehensive 3-0 win over the Black Cats at the ABAX Stadium, the first of which was a stunning 30-yard free-kick.

A night out at Peterborough’s Red Room bar followed, though several members of the public contacted club chairman Darragh MacAnthony via Twitter to inform him of the player’s presence, accusing him of unprofessional behaviour in the process.

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However, MacAnthony hit back in defence of his prized asset, and even claimed he’d asked the venue to send the bill to him in order for him to settle it from his own pocket.

“Yes, it was very nice to score against my boyhood club,” Maddison says. “It’s not disheartening at all. The public are down to say what they need to say. If I go out and enjoy myself after a good result, or I go out any time and enjoy myself, I’m sure people have got something to say.

“Because we are public figures, they think it’s OK to go and tell other people. I’m glad the chairman had my back and understood what I was doing. We have a really good relationship and I think that’s why I’m here six years on now, still doing what I’m doing, because me and him get on so well.”

That said, it remains to be seen how long he’ll remain in Cambridgeshire. Of course, consistently reaching the statistical heights the Durham-born forward has done over the past few years has attracted interest from around the EFL. For more than a year, incidentally, Sunderland have been linked with a move, while Hull displayed an interest earlier this summer.

Darren Ferguson is in his third spell as Peterborough boss
Darren Ferguson is in his third spell as Peterborough boss

The fact of the matter is, should things remain as they are, Maddison’s contract will expire in the summer, leaving him free to sign a pre-contract agreement with another club from January. But he maintains a calm exterior as he addresses the recent speculation.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Peterborough United and Rochdale
Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Peterborough United and Rochdale

“Of course, you hear speculation every year: “This person’s in for you” or “you could be going here”, I think you’ve just got to keep your head down. Unless something happens and I’m getting a phone call saying I’m going somewhere, I’m contracted to this football club and I’ve got to give my all for this football club.

“It would be nice to try at a Championship club, whether that be Peterborough or somewhere else, but that’s not down to me, that’s for other managers, other directors to make the decision, pay the money and get me in. But as of now, I’m at Peterborough United and I’ll continue to do what I do.”

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Source : Sky Sports