After a weather-affected first week of December, the loan report returns this week after a near-full calendar of fixtures was fulfilled.
Unfortunately, Michael Mancienne was an enforced absentee from a rare and much-needed win for Wolves on Sunday after picking up a knee injury against Blackburn last weekend. The extent of the issue is not yet known, but it was enough to keep him out of contention this time around.
Ryan Bertrand was one who saw his match this weekend called off due to conditions at Scunthorpe, but Jack Cork was in action at Turf Moor as Burnley hosted Leeds United.
Despite leading 2-0, the Clarets fell to a rare home defeat after a poor second half performance. Cork’s own display mirrored that of his team, with an excellent opening 45 minutes before fading badly after the restart.
Concensus on his overall game so far this season is that he is very accomplished in possession but has some work to do when defending, particularly with regards to tracking back and covering runners from deep. He remains there all season, so should receive plenty of opportunity to round out his game.
League One has suddenly become Chelsea’s most populous loanee division with a trio of youngsters currently plying their trade there, led by Conor Clifford. The Irishman has a week left in his current stay at Plymouth Argyle and continued his ever-present league run in a 2-0 home win over Exeter.
Not for the first time, Conor leads the Man of the Match voting at the PASOTI forums after another impressive show, and Pilgrim supporters are hoping Peter Reid can secure his services beyond next Monday (20th).
Adam Phillip is yet to start a match at Yeovil since heading there for a month but saw most of the second half in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Colchester. He has apparently done well and was only denied a first professional goal by a desperate save from Ben Williams in stoppage time. His deal also expires in the coming days and it will be interesting to see if the Glovers bring him back.
Michael Woods, meanwhile, remained as an unused substitute on Notts County’s bench, after seeing a potential FA Cup debut last weekend snowed off.
Rhys Taylor had another up and down game with Crewe, who tend to feature in goal-heavy matches. Saturday was no exception, with a 3-3 draw away to Shrewsbury.
The Welshman doesn’t have the strongest defence in front of him and was typically busy, making some good saves, but he was unable to save what would have been his fourth penalty of the season, being beaten by David Artell, although he did get close.
In Scotland, Kilmarnock’s trip to Celtic was another postponement, thus denying Ben Gordon football this weekend.
Vitesse faced one of their sternest tests of the season in hosting an Ajax team which had lost manager Martin Jol in the build-up to the fixture, and Albert Ferrer’s side lost their recent unbeaten run to a solitary Christian Eriksen goal in the eleventh minute.
Nemanja Matic and captain Slobodan Rajkovic both played 90 minutes, with Matej Delac ever present on the bench, still without an appearance this season.
Tomáš Kalas and Sigma Olomouc are now on a winter break in the Czech Republic, and the teenage defender has arrived in England to train with Steve Holland’s reserves over the Christmas period.