Currently we have the following players out on loan:
Jon Obika – Millwall
David Button – Shrewsbury Town
Adam Smith – Torquay United
Adel Taarabt – QPR
Steven Caulker – Yeovil Town
Mirko Ranieri – Ipswich Town (U18s)
Giovani dos Santos – Galatasaray
Jamie O’Hara – Portsmouth
Kyle Naughton – Middlesborough
Alan Hutton – Sunderland
Robbie Keane – Celtic
Now returned from loan:
Adam Smith – Wycombe Wanderers
Ben Alnwick – Norwich City
Lee Butcher – Grays Athletic
Dean Parrett – Aldershot Town
David Button – Crewe Alexandra
Sam Cox – Cheltenham Town
Danny Rose – Peterborough
Lee Butcher – Leyton Orient
Oscar Jansson – Exeter City
Sam Cox – Histon
Jake Livermore – Derby County
Andros Townsend – Leyton Orient
Calum Butcher – Barnet
Jamie O’Hara – Portsmouth
John Bostock – Brentford
Troy Archibald-Henville – Exeter City (now joined Exeter permanently)
Kyle Walker – Sheffield United
Sam Cox – Torquay United
Jake Livermore – Peterborough United
Andros Townsend – MK Dons
Ryan Mason – Yeovil Town
Jonathan Obika isn’t getting too much action for Millwall, with their strikers (Morison, Batt and Harris) all in decent form, and the team winning.
After his goal in the game against Yeovil (goal on around 1:10), Kenny Jackett singled him out for some praise:
“It was good to see Jon get his goal. He is a good finisher and his goal-per-game ratio is good.”
He has now made 11 sub appearances for Millwall, scoring twice. His other goal – 1:20 in. He comes short for the ball initially, and then sweeps in with a nice finish at the near post.
David Button has had a promising spell at Shrewsbury, keeping nine clean sheets for them (twelve all season) in 26 appearances.
Paul Simpson’s praised Button in the local press this week:
“Dave Button’s played a huge part in it, as have all the back five,” said Prostar chief Simpson.
“We’ve had a lot of situations where the opposition have got in behind us but Dave’s stood up really strong.
“Three clean sheets is a great achievement and now we want to make it four and then five.”
Simpson insisted he had been delighted with the impact of the big England under-20 international since drafting him in on loan from White Hart Lane in November.
“I think Dave’s a hell of a good goalkeeper,” he said. “He’s a good size, he’s a real presence in the 18 yard box and he’s an excellent kicker which is a big part of a keeper’s game now.
“He’s been much more positive over the last month or two as Dave Timmins has been drumming into him the need to get on the front foot, and we’re seeing the benefit of that.
“Whether or not he’s going to get in at Tottenham over the next year or two, I don’t really know, but he’s got a great chance from what I’ve seen.
“He’s done himself no harm at all coming here and he’s had a run of games which has done him the world of good.
“He’s grown in confidence and I would imagine there will be clubs at a higher level who will want to take him next year.”
Adam Smith is supposedly unofficially back at Spurs, after losing his place in the Torquay United team. It’s a shame for Adam, as he was a regular for them earlier in the season, was popular with the fans, and has made 16 appearances for them in total. It will be interesting to see whether we hang on to him and try to get him out on loan again next year.
Adel Taarabt came off injured in QPR’s win against Watford in midweek, and therefore missed this weekend’s match. He is still having a mixed time – drawing interesting comment from Neil Warnock:
“Adel, I don’t know what you do with Adel really,” Warnock told Sky Sports News.
“I play a system for him really and I don’t think you can do that in the Premiership.
“I think he’ll probably leave Spurs in the summer, if it’s not us, it will be somewhere else.
“He’s got a tremendous gift if you can find the right place for him. He’s done well for me and I’d like to keep him, but I think finances will dictate that.”
Warnock, who left Crystal Palace to take charge of QPR last month, is expecting a summer of rebuilding following the club’s fight against relegation.
He added: “I’ll be looking at all the situations and if I don’t think they are going to be in the squad next year I will try and move players on.
“That’s always the case and the whole club needs a bit of a look at.”
And this just a few weeks after these comments:
“Adel has tremendous skill. I said if he played well today he could have a few days off.
“He is shooting off to catch a train. I think he is going to France, I can’t tell with him. He is a rogue.”
He is seen as a Marmite player on the QPR forums – this thread is worth a read.
There are rumours suggesting that we will want over £4m for him in the summer, and Sevilla have been strongly linked.
Steven Caulker continues to impress at Yeovil Town. He consistently does well in the Player of the Month polls on Yeovil fan-site Ciderspace, often winning them. He should comfortably win their Player of the Season award, and I’d imagine that he will either be sent to a Championship club, or be involved in our cup matches next year.
Unfortunately for Steven, arguably his worst game for Yeovil came in the defeat by Leeds, live in Sky Sports. He managed to keep Beckford quiet, but his man scored twice from set pieces, which will have disappointed him.
Over the course of the season with you playing week-in, week-out, how much do you think you’ve learned over the past six, seven, eight months?
SC: Massively, physically, technically and also on the mental side of things. You’re learning how to turn out game after game, whereas before if you were feeling tired you could just take a game out. But here, with the points at stake, you just have to be ready for it week-in, week-out.
Giovani dos Santos has been a regular for Galatasaray, playing alongside the likes of Elano, Harry Kewell, Lucas Neill and Milan Baros. In fact, it probably tells you a lot that Milan Baros has been free-scoring, and Lucas Neill is currently being viewed as one of their best players.
A fortnight ago, Milan Baros scored a hat-trick for them in a 4-1 win, with Lucas Neill getting the other goal. A report – there’s also a decent clip there. Giovani got an assist for Neill’s goal. Some of the defending is unbelievably bad.
I would imagine that he will be on his way in the summer, but we shall see.
Jamie O’Hara is currently sitting it out for Portsmouth with a back injury, but is hoping to be fit for the FA Cup final.
Kyle Naughton‘s spell at Middlesborough hasn’t worked out as well as we’d have hoped, and I do wonder why we’ve left him there. He is currently struggling to get selected ahead of Justin Hoyte and, when he has been picked, it’s normally been as left-back cover in recent games.
Alan Hutton had a bit of a nightmare for Sunderland yesterday. He was sent off for an incident involving Altidore – I think he can feel slightly hard done-by, but he should also be embarrassed at his behaviour. Sending off incident at 5:18. Hutton throws the ball at Altidore, and then goes down like a sack of potatoes when Altidore “headbutts” him.
Although, frankly, Hutton could have been sent off for the tackle on 3:35, which is a shocker.
Also worth checking out his defending for the penalty incident, 3:50.
Steve Bruce’s comments on the sending off are worth a read:
Alan Hutton was a bit silly to throw the ball at Altidore’s back, but that wasn’t going to hurt him.
The letter of the law is apparently that if you throw the ball then it is a red card, but that, for me, doesn’t warrant the same punishment as a headbutt.
It’s a good job that Hutton managed to get out of the road as much as he did, but he has still ended up with a cut eye, a smashed nose and a chipped tooth.
He was close to having really serious facial injuries. In a way, he was lucky because it could have been far, far worse and he could have been in hospital now.
The last thing you want is somebody to headbutt you – that’s GBH, not a sending off.
However, on the whole, his loan move seems to have been a success, and Bruce is keen to keep him:
We’ll do our utmost. We’ve got to respect Tottenham and see if they want to sell him.
He’s been fantastic since he’s come here. He gives you so much going forward, so we’ll see what develops. I’d love to make it a permanent move if I could. He’s been excellent.
Robbie Keane has been named Celtic’s Player of the Year, and has now scored 13 goals (9 in the league).
Vs Dunfermline: Keane’s penalty
Vs Aberdeen: Keane assist on 20 secs, and goal on 40 secs
Vs Dundee United: Keane’s goal
Vs Falkirk: Keane’s two goals
Vs Kilmarnock: Goal 1, goal 2, goal 3.
Vs St Johnstone: Keane’s penalty.
Vs Kilmarnock: Keane’s first goal, Keane’s second goal.
Vs Hibs: Keane’s penalty.
Vs Hibs: Robbie Keane’s goal.
In terms of players who are now back from loan, we played West Ham in a reserve friendly last week. The team that started was:
K Walker Caulker Livermore Smith
Townsend Parrett Jenas Rose
We won 5-2, with Andros Townsend scoring twice, and John Bostock, Steven Caulker and Adam Smith also getting on the scoresheet.
In other news, a few of our young players have attended the Premier League exit trials, and Sam Cox has had a trial at Exeter City. I saw this on an Exeter forum…
Sam Cox looked impressive, doing the best last ditch challenge ive ever seen in my life by sliding and heading the ball away… amazing