Irish Under-21 midfielder Conor Clifford joined the loanee ranks this week in an otherwise largely uneventful seven days which saw more of what we’ve seen all season from young Blues playing elsewhere.
Clifford joined Yeovil Town on Friday morning for a third career spell in League One, having spent time with both Plymouth Argyle and Notts County in England’s third tier last season.
He went straight into the Glovers’ starting eleven for the trip to Chesterfield the following day and completed a satisfactory hour in a hard-fought 2-2 draw. It was a typically tenacious and energetic display fron Clifford, but he may not be able to feature against Hereford next weekend as he is set to be away on international duty.
Elsewhere it was a case of maintaining the status quo as Patrick van Aanholt failed to make the cut for Wigan’s 18-man matchday squad for the fifth straight week, but the Latics once again crashed to defeat away to Wolves.
Under-fire manager Roberto Martinez has failed to publicly comment on why the Dutch full-back has been cast aside, and quite frankly the sooner Chelsea bring him back to Cobham the better.
Perhaps the same can be said for Gael Kakuta, who was left on the bench again for Bolton as the Wanderers secured a spot of revenge against Stoke City, beating them 5-0 in a reverse scoreline of last year’s FA Cup Semi Final.
Whilst the performance was clearly an impressive one, the points were secured well before full time but there was still no sign of the French midfielder as both Tuncay and Darren Pratley continued to get the nod over him.
Kakuta has made just two league appearances since joining on deadline day – both coming as substitute – and it appears to be heading the way of so many poorly judged loan deals before it.
It wasn’t the best of weekends for Sam Walker at Northampton either as he conceded a season-high four goals in a seven-goal thriller away to Gillingham. The young stopper was beaten twice from close range in addition to two spot kicks but was absolved of any blame by manager Gary Johnson, who noted that his defence should be playing better:
“You’ve got to look at the back four’s defending. We look like we’re going to score now, we’ve got a shape that looks good going forward but we have to start making teams work for their goals.”
The same can be said for Atlético Madrid’s back line, as Thibaut Courtois conceded three away to Getafe on Sunday night in a wild game in which the hosts came from two goals down to take all three points.
He too was beaten from the penalty spot and was largely in good form but received little by way of support from his defenders and the loss heaps further pressure on beleaguered manager Gregorio Manzano.
Los Colchoneros did beat Udinese in emphatic fashion in their midweek Europa League clash by a 4-0 scoreline in which Courtois was able to record his seventh clean sheet of the season, and did so by spectacularly palming Almen Abdi’s long range effort onto the crossbar.
In the Netherlands, Vitesse and Tomas Kalas experienced a rare defeat away to NEC Nijmegen on Saturday in a controversial affair heavily impacted by the performance of the referee.
Kalas had another impressive outing but was unable to prevent John van den Brom’s side from slipping to a third reverse of the campaign. Mexican winger Ulises Dávila was an unused substitute again, but has featured in reserve team football of late and grabbed a goal in a 4-3 midweek victory.
Moving onto Germany, Jeffrey Bruma missed HSV’s trip to Leverkusen with a hamstring problem which will sideline him for 2-3 weeks. Thorsten Fink’s side picked up a credible point in a 2-2 draw which featured starts for former Chelsea players Michael Mancienne and Gokhan Tore, whilst Jacopo Sala was in the squad for the first time this season having suffered with injuries since moving in the summer.
Finally, Ceske Budejovice lost 4-0 away to Slovan Liberec in Czech Gambrinus Liga action with Matej Delac no closer to replacing Zdenek Krizek in goal.