The first week of November was a quieter affair than usual on the loan front, with little by way of notable action. Nevertheless, it’s all here in detail as usual.
Starting as ever in the Premier League, Michael Mancienne was limited to thirteen minutes as a substitute at Old Trafford as Wolves visited for the second time in a matter of weeks.
Whereas the England Under-21 captain played the duration of their Carling Cup defeat, he was left out on this occasion, being introduced late on to attempt to shore up the team and earn the point they were on course for.
They might well have won the game, as Michael laid on a fine assist for Steven Fletcher, but the finish was wildly over the crossbar, and Mick McCarthy’s men were punished deep into stoppage time by Park Ji-sung’s late winner.
Ryan Bertrand was restored to Nottingham Forest’s team after a recent absence and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw away to Watford, but Jack Cork remains consigned to Burnley’s bench after Graham Alexander’s return to fitness.
He played a little more than ten minutes in a 2-2 draw away to Norwich, and must be concerned that despite impressing regularly in his starts, he has been unable to command his position going into the winter stretch.
There was no League One or Two action this weekend because the FA Cup First Round Proper rolled around, and Chelsea denied permission for Conor Clifford to play for Plymouth, who lost heavily at home to Swindon.
Conor did feature earlier in midweek league action, however, and impressed once again in a 3-1 win over Bristol Rovers. He has provided a much needed energy and enthusiasm to the midfield at Home Park and has quickly become a favourite amongst Pilgrims fans.
Rhys Taylor also saw midweek action, in a 2-1 home defeat to Shrewsbury, and was allowed to feature in the FA Cup, but was unfortunately involved in an upset defeat away to Tamworth.
The Welsh stopper was at fault for the opening goal, coming for a cross and getting nothing of it, allowing a header at the far post, but was unable to do anything about the winner, a stunning long range effort.
Ben Gordon’s SPL weekend took in a trip to St Johnstone, who are attempting to put together something of a Chelsea old boys club. Michael Duberry, Jody Morris and Sam Parkin all ply their trade at McDiarmid Park, but it was current Blues player Gordon who came out on top in a 3-0 win.
He was heavily involved in the opening goal, taking advantage of some poor defending, and would have had his first career goal as a professional were it not for Duberry, who diverted it into the back of the net to ‘steal’ the goal.
Albert Ferrer took over properly for Vitesse Arnhem in Holland this week, but the picture remains the same at the moment. A 1-1 draw at home to AZ Alkmaar saw involvement for Nemanja Matic again, but Matej Delac remains kicking his heels as a substitute.
Slobodan Rajkovic did return from injury and once again captained the side, looking good in the process.
Finishing up with Tomas Kalas, he was back on B Team duty this week, playing at centre-back in Sigma’s 1-1 draw with Vitkovice.