With the loan contingent reaching double figures this week, the loan report will suddenly become a lot longer. With that in mind, let’s dive straight in.
The story of the week was undoubtedly a trio of Blues youngsters joining Vitesse Arnhem in Holland under a relationship forged between the two clubs as a result of friendly relations between Roman Abramovich and new Vitesse owner Merab Jordania.
Nemanja Matic, Slobodan Rajkovic and Matej Delac will spend the season in the Eredivisie, but only Matic was able to debut on Sunday against Feyenoord, with the other two awaiting work permit clearance. There are rumblings that the hold-up with Delac is due to Dutch FA rules regarding overseas loans from one club, but those are thought to be close to being ironed out.
Unfortunately for Matic, Feyenoord came away emphatic 4-0 winners, giving an indication at just how much work there is ahead for the rebuilding Arnhem outfit.
He made a mistake which led to the Rotterdam side scoring their third but largely appears to have had an impressive showing, with one report claiming that his technical ability was wasted amongst teammates who were unable to take advantage of it.
In domestic news, the club added a Premier League loanee to their ranks when Michael Mancienne returned to Wolves for a third tour of duty at Molineux. Unfortunately he arrived too late in the week to take part in their hard-fought 1-1 draw with Newcastle – who also sought his services – and watched the match from the subs bench.
Jack Cork and Ryan Bertrand may feel that they should be featuring in the top flight but instead are consigned to further time in The Championship, and Cork got his first start of the season in his second spell at Burnley on Tuesday night away to Morecambe in the Carling Cup.
The England Under-21 midfielder impressed and helped lay on a goal for Kevin McDonald in the second half, but was back on the bench for the weekend trip to Swansea.
Going up against former youth and reserve team coach Brendan Rodgers and former teammate Scott Sinclair, he came off the bench midway through the second half to try and turn around a lead given to the hosts by Sinclair, but was booked as the Clarets fell to their first defeat of the campaign.
It’s been a tough start for Ryan Bertrand and Nottingham Forest though, and they dropped two more early-season points at home to Norwich in a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.
The young left-back was unable to do anything to block Andrew Crofts’ acrobatic equaliser just before half time, desperately trying to cover some woeful defending by the other Forest defenders, but watched as the effort looped into the back of the net.
Bertrand is however established in the starting line-up, as is Rhys Taylor at Crewe in League Two. A last-minute unstoppable goal from David Norris knocked the Railwaymen out of the League Cup on Tuesday night after the Welshman had appeared set to take a clean sheet into extra time, and at Lincoln four days later, he was beaten by another blockbuster.
This time it came courtesy of Albert Jarrett, who beat three men on a mazy dribble before lashing a ferocious drive home from the edge of the box. Taylor has played well so far and is at the very least making a case to stay as the incumbent when Steve Phillips returns from injury. If the club wants to go in a different direction, he is likely to find other suitors.
Daniel Philliskirk, meanwhile, was once again nowhere to be seen for Oxford’s match against Accrington Stanley, and it’s safe to assume that his spell at the Kassam Stadium will end at the end of the month and not be extended after receving just twenty minutes of league action to date.
A 90th minute goal from Jamie Hamill gave Kilmarnock their first win of the season as they stole all three points away to Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League. Ben Gordon completed his third match of the campaign and has slotted into the team in a confident and professional manner.
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