August’s Loan Watch: Ryan Tunnicliffe and Scott Wootton
Peterborough’s start to the Championship season has been surprisingly good by all accounts. Okay, so we haven’t trounced one of our biggest rivals 8-2, but by God we won 7-1 last weekend and were on TV. Being a Posh fan is just the best!
Onto the pressing matters though. These being the performances of our two borrowed Manchester United boys.
Scott Wootton has arguably had the biggest impact of both loanees so far, having been called in as a replacement for the injured Gabriel Zakuani.
Being partnered with young Ryan Bennett in the centre of a back four where the oldest member is 23 year old Craig Alcock. Yes United have done it, but Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra cost a shade more than the £500k our back line cost us.
Wootton therefore had to step up and fast. With no experienced head to guide him he either needed to find his feet quick or prepare for a lot of stick from the London Road faithful.
Regrettably what I have seen of the lad has been poor. Wootton appears to have a weakness in standing off his opponent, which has led to Peterborough conceding goals via long range efforts. This may suggest why his partner Bennett looks increasingly frustrated with the United defender. His poor communication with Mark Little led to Kevin Philips’s opener against Blackpool and continued for his second.
On the plus side, as all United players do, he looks comfortable on the ball and in our rout of Ipswich could not be faulted. Mainly since we were in their half of the pitch for 90% of the game but that is by the by!
Wootton is also a danger from corners and while he may not have scored yet he appears capable of being a goal scoring threat.
Ryan Tunnicliffe’s fate has regrettably been a number of cameo appearances from the bench. What we have seen of ‘the next Roy Keane’ though has been very promising.
Tunnicliffe is tough, not afraid of a tackle and has bags of energy (He is only 18 minds). In our game against Brighton he replaced our skipper Grant McCann who plays at the base of a midfield diamond, dictating the play and shielding the back four. He was displacing arguably one of our star players, however we looked more assured at the back. It may be an option that for future tough away games? We shall see anyway.
What the lad really needs is an extended run of games, but I cannot see this happening without an injury to our midfield. He looks a talent though!
Verdict so far: Wootton 5/10 Tunnicliffe 7/10