After an international break, the domestic football scene returned with a vengeance this week, and as Chelsea’s loan ranks swelled to near double figures over the transfer deadline, there’s a lot to take in.
Michael Mancienne remained the club’s only Premier League loanee and started his first match in his third spell at Wolves in defensive midfield away to Fulham. It appears he struggled for the first hour of their 2-1 defeat, picking up a booking, but came into his own later in the game, which Fulham won in stoppage time.
Some quotes emerged on Sunday in The People concerning Mancienne’s future at the club, which if taken at face value suggest that the young defender has written off his future at the club, but it is worth noting the source’s lack of credibility, and therefore they should perhaps be read with a pinch of salt. For now.
In The Championship, Jack Cork continues to prove himself something of a lucky charm for Burnley. Coming on as a second half substitute as Brian Laws’ men trailed 1-2 at home to Preston, the Clarets turned the game on its head to win 4-3 in stoppage time.
Whilst Jack wasn’t directly involved in the turnaround, he impressed the home support, with claims that he should be starting ahead of Dean Marney abundant in reaction to the result. The same happened during his spell at Turf Moor last season and he broke into the team towards the end of the campaign, hopefully the same happens sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, for Ryan Bertrand and Nottingham Forest, the start of the season has not been quite as they had imagined. Favourites for promotion in pre-season, another draw arrived at home to Millwall on Saturday, leaving them struggling at the wrong end of the table early on with four draws and a defeat from five games.
Nonetheless, the England Under-21 left-back is a regular in the side and has been doing a solid job in a division he knows well. The aim must surely be to continue in such fashion until the turn of the year, when he may be able to make the jump to top flight football.
Someone who will be spending the remainder of the season at a temporary home is Rhys Taylor, who extended his deal at Crewe Alexandra during the past fortnight to take him through the entire campaign.
Chelsea’s official website claimed that the deal ends on March 21st but Crewe will extend his stay beyond that date on an emergency loan, facilitating flexibility with their long-term loan slots.
The Welsh stopper has earned rave reviews from supporters, who favour him keeping the starting job when Steve Phillips returns from injury, and he kept another clean sheet this weekend with a 3-0 win over Bury, a result which takes the Railwaymen into 9th place in League Two.
In Scotland, Ben Gordon is firmly entrenched as Kilmarnock’s starting left-back and his side picked up their first home win this season courtesy of a 2-1 win over St Mirren at Rugby Park. He has quickly become a supporters favourite, with claims that he has been their best player so far this season, and perhaps the best in his position in the SPL.
In the Netherlands, all three Blues loanees were in Vitesse’s matchday squad for the trip to Heerenveen, with Serbian duo Nemanja Matic and Slobodan Rajkovic both completing the 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat. Matej Delač was named as a substitute, but is expected to push Eloy Room for the starting gloves before very long.
Finally, we check in with Tomáš Kalas, who has enjoyed an international break without so much as a B Team fixture, but will this week be Sigma Olomouc’s representative in a local sporting parade, encompassing personalities from the full sporting spectrum in the Czech Republic.