May 22, 2012
This season’s loan moves in full:
Steven Caulker – Swansea City
Kyle Naughton – Norwich City
Steven Pienaar – Everton
Sebastien Bassong – Wolverhampton Wanderers
Jermaine Jenas – Aston Villa
Yago Falque – Southampton
Tom Carroll – Derby County
Ryan Mason – Millwall
Harry Kane – Millwall
Andros Townsend – Birmingham City
David Button – Barnsley
David Bentley – West Ham United
Ryan Mason – Doncaster Rovers
Andros Townsend – Leeds United
Adam Smith – Leeds United
Bongani Khumalo – Reading
David Button – Doncaster Rovers
Jon Obika – Yeovil Town
Kudus Oyenuga – Bury
Nathan Byrne – Bournemouth
Adam Smith – Milton Keynes Dons
John Bostock – Sheffield Wednesday
Dean Parrett – Yeovil Town
Ben Alnwick – Leyton Orient
David Button – Leyton Orient
John Bostock – Swindon Town
Oscar Jansson – Bradford City
Jordan Archer – Bishop’s Stortford
Vedran Corluka – Bayer Leverkusen
Mirko Ranieri – FC Esperia Viareggio
Kudus Oyenuga – St Johnstone
Oscar Jansson – Shamrock Rovers
Simon Dawkins – San Jose Earthquakes (end of June)
26 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 1 assist
Last season could have been described as Caulker’s “breakthrough season” – starring as he did in The Championship for Bristol City. He was named their their ‘Young Player of the Year’ and impressed anyone who watched him. To move up to the Premier League, then, and settle in pretty instantly and play with the assuredness and confidence with which he has, is pretty remarkable. Swansea attempt to play out from the back 99% of the time, so the pressure has been on Caulker to keep the ball and find a midfield player, which will certainly suit our style when he returns to the club next season.
Steven Caulker started the season superbly and his consistent form has ensured he starts every game for Swansea. Defensively he is very solid, but recently he has been showing what he can do going forward – making several surging runs and causing opposition defenders problems. He has fit in well with Brendan Rodgers plans this season and has been the ideal replacement for our ageing captain, Garry Monk. I can probably see him going back to Spurs this summer – they can offer him more in the shape of silverware – but we at Swansea would hope he’s enjoyed it enough to consider staying with us permanently.
I must also recommend this fantastic article on Caulker’s season for Swansea.
29 starts, 3 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Naughton has without doubt benefited from being on loan at Norwich, despite finding himself out of the starting line-up in recent weeks. 32 appearances are far more than he would have managed at Spurs, and most have come in his favoured right-back position.
A few months back my friend @soulwaxer offered his opinion on Naughton, and he has provided the following – a wonderfully detailed piece on Kyle’s progress:
Kyle Naughton has enjoyed a successful season at Norwich, playing a big part in ensuring another year in the Premier League.
Like most of the Norwich defenders, he has made the odd mistake along the way which have resulted in losing important goals (for example against Liverpool at home), but his performances in general have been of a consistently high standard.
However, I think he will be disappointed not to have featured as strongly in the second half of the season as he did before Christmas. He completed 90 minutes in 16 out of the first 19 games, coming on as a sub in 1 and being ineligible for another (against Spurs). In the second half of the season, he has started only 12 of the 18 games so far and hasn’t looked quite the same player as before Christmas.
It’s tricky to say why he hasn’t been a regular in the team since Christmas, but I think it’s a combination of factors. The obvious one is fatigue, which perhaps contributed to a perceived drop in form. He played a lot of games before Christmas and covered a lot of ground in those games. When his energy levels dropped, his occasional lapses in defensive position were more exposed (see Duff’s goal at Fulham).
Ironically I also think that he has suffered through injuries to other players. With Tierney out for the rest of the season and Drury ageing, Naughton was most often forced to play at left-back. Whilst still competent on the left, he is clearly not as confident going forward nor as comfortable defensively. During this period, Russell Martin re-established himself as the first-choice right-back, making it hard for Naughton to get back into the team in his preferred position.
He eventually got back in the team at home to Liverpool, picked at right-back having not started the previous 4 games. Sadly an injury to Drury meant he had to play 80 minutes at left-back, which was desperately unfortunate for him. He gifted the ball to Suarez for the game-killing second goal and never really seemed to get over it, with Downing and Bellamy both giving him problems.
Away to Arsenal in the next game, his confidence may have been low. However, playing in his preferred right-back position again, he delivered a solid individual defensive performance against a fluid attacking side. He would have been disappointed with the first Arsenal goal but responded with a surging run from inside his own half to get onto a through ball and square it for Hoolahan to equalise.
Paul Lambert made it clear that he would like to have signed Naughton permanently, but it became obvious that this would not be possible. This may also be a contributory factor in him not featuring so often since January, but I’m not convinced of that.
I would love to see Naughton stay at Carrow Road, but I think that finances will make this impossible. His experience at Norwich will stand him in good stead for next season should he decide to stay at Spurs and provide competition for Kyle Walker (who might well benefit from not having to play so many games). Kyle can hold his head high as a valuable member of the most successful Norwich team for nearly two decades and I’m sure that every Norwich fan would welcome him back, should the opportunity arise.
Likewise, the consistently excellent @Holtamania has passed on the following:
Consistent and unsung. If I had to sum up Kyle Naughton’s season with us it would be that. He’s proven himself a promising right back at this level, and wouldn’t look out of place at most teams. His flexibility has proven invaluable as other players, notably Marc Tierney, have gone down with injury, and he’s popped up at left back on more than one occasion, putting in reliable performances whenever asked. It’s at right back that he’s clearly at his best though, though sometimes he’s found himself behind Russell Martin in the pecking order. This is no reflection on his talent; for me Naughton is clearly the better full back. It’s probably more down to Lambert trying to breed confidence in players he knows are going to be here long term, and as much as we’d desperately like to turn Naughton’s loan into a permanent move, the chances aren’t high. It’s a testament to how much he’s impressed up here that if you ask any Norwich fan who they want to sign in the summer, one of the first responses is always ‘let’s bring Naughton in permanently’. Can’t give him higher praise than that. After a season of football though, he’s sure to want and expect regular action, so whether he’s prepared to go and be backup back at Tottenham is up in the air.
14 starts, 0 sub, 3 goals, 7 assists
If you read the brilliant DearMrLevy.com you’ll already have seen this ITK from Spooky which says that within 6-8 weeks of joining Spurs, Pienaar was desperate to leave and re-join Everton. The comparison of his rather lacklustre showings from Spurs and his talismanic displays for Everton backs up this theory.
My friend David Mason has watched Pienaar’s performances and come up with the following:
The last seconds of the 2012 January transfer window saw the return to Goodison Park of a lost son. Okay, that might be a little melodramatic; however the Pienaar second coming is now viewed by many toffees as the fulcrum of the now annual second half season up-turn. Yes this transfer window did see the intake of other successful squad members namely Donovan, Gibson and Jelavić but our favourite South African really has been the heartbeat of Everton since January. I for one didn’t expect this much of an impact and I had forgotten that he was our reigning player of the season when he left. It’s now very clear why. When Steven Pienaar plays, Everton plays. It’s a simple as that. Yes many of us were upset with his decision to leave us in January of 2011 for what was always likely to be a bit-part at White Hart Lane, however his immediate goal on his second home debut against Chelsea quickly silenced the doubters. His other three Premier League goals and 7 Premier League assists turned an Everton team skirting with a dicey season into a team with a late charge for Europe.
His energy, technique, invention, partnership with Baines, ball retention qualities and contagious enthusiasm have 100% lifted the early season Everton doldrums. It really is now inconceivable that David Moyes could enter this summer without planning to pick up the phone to Harry or Daniel (someone remind me who deals with Spurs transfers) and discuss Steven’s availability. Clearly if Harry/Daniel demand a number considerably higher than the £3m we reportedly lost him for, then we may need to look elsewhere. Look elsewhere not because he’s not worth more, just because it’s likely that we won’t be able to afford more. I for one though really wouldn’t like to see the 2012/13 season kick off without a left-side partnership of Baines & Pienaar. And maybe more importantly, I think this is where Pienaar wants to start next season. And if he doesn’t sign for us, I really hope he is given the opportunity to showcase his talent somewhere worthy.
1 start, 2 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
A terrible season for Jenas, primarily due to his wretched injury problems. He ruptured his Achilles tendon against Manchester United in his first start for Villa in early December, having already had some issues which delayed his debut. At 29, next year is huge for Jenas – does he stay and fight for his first team place at Spurs or, more likely, does he move on and try to prove himself all over again? Personally, I think he will leave us.
9 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Bassong needed games, and felt he had to move on to get regular football. He managed nine games for Wolves – less than he would otherwise have played, due to the red card that he picked up against Arsenal.
Many thanks to Wolves blog for providing me with this superbly detailed piece on Bassong:
I had high hopes when we managed to get Bassong in on loan. We’ve lacked pace and composure at the back for a very long time indeed and I was confident he’d bring these ingredients to our back four. In this respect, he didn’t disappoint. He covers the ground quickly and his distribution is infinitely better than the other center-halves we’ve got on the books. I can see why Spurs signed him in the first place.
The only problem is he hasn’t made us any better. If anything, we’ve been even poorer defensively since he arrived. Timing probably has a lot to do with this, as we sacked our manager, lost Frimpong and Henry to injury (our only two defensive midfielders) and generally defended woefully as a team. So in this respect, it’s hard to judge Bassong fairly.
However, my gut feeling is that he is a talented player, who would have been a useful signing for Wolves had we retained our Premier League status. But now we’re heading for the Championship, I can’t see him wanting to hang around.
I think he’s good enough to be in a 25-man Spurs squad as a back-up defender at the very least. Failing that, he’d fit in well somewhere like Swansea, Fulham or dare I say it West Brom, where they actually get the ball down and pass out of defence. Quite often at Wolves he would receive the ball, get his head up to look for a pass and appear bewildered that every player had ran away up field. In this respect, he was too good for us.
On a minor note, he does seem a little injury-prone. He’s done his hamstring twice since signing in January and missed nearly as many matches as he’s started. Given the problems Spurs have had with injuries this season, you might do well to get shot of him if you can’t keep him on the pitch.
1 start, 0 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
This move didn’t work out as we’d have thought – mainly due to Southampton’s success and largely unchanging first XI. He made his debut soon after joining them, but was substituted at half time in what was a poor team performance; he only played for their reserves after that.
It will be interesting to see how Falque is used next season, as he will presumably be too old for the Under-21 league.
8 starts, 3 sub, 1 goal, 0 assists
Things started well for Tom at Derby, but after a couple of poor performances he found himself on the bench. I previously asked the superb Derby County Blog (@derbycountyblog on Twitter) for his thoughts on Carroll, and he has very kindly provided this in-depth analysis this time around:
Tom Carroll joined Derby County on a half-season loan from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the January transfer window. He came with a reputation as a serious young talent, with great technique and a range of passing, but untested at Championship level, with only a loan spell at League One Leyton Orient on his CV.
Carroll’s signing came in slightly unusual circumstances. After he joined, Derby’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder Paul Green was left out of the squad for a game at Barnsley, which fell on transfer deadline night, in case an offer came in for him from another club. It didn’t. In Green’s absence, a Derby side which had conceded one goal in the previous six games went to Oakwell and collapsed in dismal fashion, trailing 0-3 by half-time.
Derby started that game in a 4-4-2 shape, with Carroll playing centre midfield alongside the energetic Craig Bryson and Eire U’21 midfielder Jeff Hendrick shifted to the right, from his natural central berth. This had the effect of completely unsettling the balance of the Rams line-up and pretty quickly, Hendrick was moved back into the centre to make a three, with Sunderland loanee Ryan Noble moved from striker to wide right. By then though, it was too late and Barnsleylona’s serenely unpressurised midfield trio had already done the damage.
This could have been put down to teething problems, a blip as the Rams tried to integrate a new player into the team. However, the Rams, who had been in great form through December and January, promptly slumped disastrously through February, a poor run which ultimately cost them any chance of making the play-offs. With the diminutive Carroll shoehorned into the team, everything ceased to make sense and results suffered.
Carroll is so small and slight that it is very difficult for him to impose himself on games at this level. His best moments came when he managed to find time and space for himself to receive the ball and pick a pass. He is capable of some lovely football and it’s obvious why Clough fancied him, but unfortunately, he was a midfield luxury we couldn’t afford in a tough Championship campaign.
After the embarrassing defeat at Oakwell, Derby failed to score in their next four games. A 0-0 draw at Millwall was as good as it got, as Reading beat us 1-0 at Pride Park, promotion-bound Southampton trounced us 4-0 at St Mary’s, then, most aggravatingly of all, Leicester completed a league double by handing us a 1-0 home defeat.
The slide was arrested with two good results – a 2-2 draw at Birmingham and a 2-1 home win against Blackpool – but then Watford visited PP and strolled into a 2-0 lead within 15 minutes. Derby were appalling in that first half and Carroll was withdrawn from his central midfield berth at the interval. My mate Tommo suggested to me that it was a good idea from Clough to spare him the trauma of having a substitution mid-half applauded by the home following.
After that, we welcomed local rivals Nottingham Forest to Pride Park and I must admit, I spent the whole week leading up to the game praying that Carroll would be dropped. He was and it was absolutely the right decision. As you’ll know from North London derbies, the atmosphere in these games is generally pretty caustic and it was no place for an inexperienced kid. Clough simply had to leave Carroll out and Derby toughed their way to a 1-0 win, with a headed goal from a set piece in stoppage time.
A move to Derby was a step too far for Carroll at this point in his career. If he was moving to the Championship, it should have been to one of the smaller clubs with lower crowds, where there is less pressure and expectation.
From Derby’s perspective, there was actually no need for us to sign him, with hindsight. He was clearly intended to cover for the departing Green, but Green never departed. Even then, it seemed slightly odd, as Green had been playing on the right of midfield, or even covering at right back, whereas Carroll is obviously a central midfielder.
Carroll’s place in the side meant that our own James Bailey was left out and more importantly, meant that Bryson, our eventual Player of the Year, often ended up being moved out to the right flank, where he simply didn’t belong.
I believe that Clough is very keen to add a genuine ‘passer’ to the Derby squad. He has no problem with giving a chance to small players – he previously signed Barry Bannan on loan from Aston Villa – while Derby fans have no problem with dinky technicians, with previous favourites including Kris Commons and probably the most successful loan signing we’ve ever had, Leon Osman. Unfortunately, Carroll was unable to make a similar impact.
At one point, Clough did mention the possibility of Carroll returning to Derby next season, but this now seems highly unlikely. After the Watford game, he never started again, as Hendrick and Bryson proved themselves to be our most effective and best midfield partnership in a 4-4-2 formation, which the manager has said he intends to stick with for next season.
In total, Carroll started eight games for Derby this season, scoring one goal. Our record in those games was W 1 D 2 L 5. However, it should be added that those five defeats included some of the toughest games of the season – Southampton away, Reading at home and Leicester at home – and from a Spurs perspective, the experience he’s gained from playing at a high level will be invaluable. It’s just a shame that the loan wasn’t quite so fruitful from the Rams’ point of view.
3 starts, 2 sub, 1 goals, 0 assists
Ryan’s time at Doncaster was, to put it lightly, disrupted by injury, which pretty much sums up his professional career so far. He only managed three starts, scoring once, although impressed once he got going and started to show what he is capable of.
4 starts, 2 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
He moved to Millwall along with Harry Kane in January and, although he made six appearances, he didn’t make the same impact as Kane and found it tough to break into the side.
24 starts, 3 sub, 9 goals, 3 assists
A remarkable season for an 18-year old making his first appearances at Championship level. Much was said by Spurs fans about Kane after his Europa League appearances – I have read numerous people write him off – but I think that what he has achieved as an 18 year old is very, very encouraging.
Millwall fan and writer Alex Aldridge (@accordingtoaldo) has provided the following on Kane and Mason’s performances:
When Millwall signed Ryan Mason and Harry Kane on loan at the start of January, it was perhaps the arrival of the former rather than the latter that really caught the eye.
After all, Mason had played in the Championship before, with Doncaster, whereas Kane’s Football League experience had previously been limited to a stint at Leyton Orient in League One.
Of the young Spurs duo, Mason was the headline act and Kane the risk-free punt.
But it quickly became clear that it would be Kane, rather than Mason, who would have the greater impact.
His nine goals in the second half of last season, within the context of a relegation battle, will surely fast-track him to a loan move to a bottom-half Premier League side next season.
The sheer volume of shots he takes is quite something. Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. And if you’ve seen any clips from his loan spell, you’ll already know that he has quite the cannon of a right foot. A handy combination.
But it’s his physical attributes which, at the age of 18, are arguably more impressive. His ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play is more befitting an experienced forward in the prime of his career, at the top of his game, than a youngster making his second-tier debut.
As for Mason – well, what of him? Admittedly, his spell at The Den was hampered somewhat by niggling injuries, but his five appearances in comparison to Kane’s 27 tells its own story.
The main problem? Nobody seemed to know what he is. A winger? A central midfielder? An attacking midfielder? He played briefly in all three roles without great effectiveness in either. A full season in the Championship will be the next step for him.
6 starts, 1 sub, 1 goal, 0 assists
Although he started six games, Andros clearly didn’t settle well at Leeds, and it wasn’t long before he was recalled and immediately sent on loan to Birmingham City.
12 starts, 4 sub, 0 goals, 4 assists
Many thanks to Blues fan @jon72bcfc for the following on Andros’ performances:
Andros Townsend signed for Birmingham at the end of February, leaving a loan from Leeds to join us. To be honest this was a funny time for Blues as a couple of other players came in at the same time (which was a bit of a shock as we hadn’t done anything in the market until then), only to discover a couple of days later that we had been placed under a transfer embargo and the rush of players in was a good move by Hughton.
Townsend made his debut in the next home game, 3 days after signing and took the number 11 shirt – that game was February 25th against Nottingham Forest. Sadly that game resulted in Birmingham’s only home league defeat of the entire season with a 1-2 scoreline, but an eye catching debut from Townsend nonetheless with some clever link-up play with left-back David Murphy. Until Townsend’s arrival the left side of midfield had been taken by the 17 year old Nathan Redmond, a player that had started the season brightly, and it was no coincidence that after Townsend’s arrival, Redmond’s chances were limited to substitute appearances. Starting nearly every game from his introduction, Townsend’s turn of pace and his ability to use both feet certainly helped Birmingham’s final push into the play offs. One game that springs to mind is Brighton at the Amex Stadium; Townsend’s performance that day helped us to a decent 1-1 draw and he was, for me, the Man of the Match, ripping up the left side. Only our poor finishing that day spoilt a good win.
If I had a criticism then it would be the players overall fitness; whether that is down to training, pre-season, or not being given the right chances I cant comment, but that could be a factor in why he was regularly subbed late on in most games. But he’s young with bags of talent and is definitely one for the future. It’s worth noting that he’s had a few loans for a young player – whether that’s down to being played out of position or not given enough chances, I’m not sure, but from what I’ve seen in his 15 or so games then for me definitely one for the future and he is a player I would welcome back for our promotion push next season.
Many thanks to Wilky (@OnThePontyEnd) for his thoughts on David Button:
– What are his strengths?
Button’s distribution was clearly better than Luke Steele’s. He’s an accurate kicker in dead ball situations, rarely handing simple possession back to the opposition.
– What are his weaknesses?
He seemed to lack assertiveness, especially in those rough and tumble fixtures that sometimes crop up in the Championship. In fairness to him though, the Reds’ confidence was beginning to fracture before his arrival.
– Did he settle quickly?
I would say he did. Extremely professional, having been thrown in to the first team with little preparation with regulars.
– Where do you think he will be next season?
I can’t see him making the grade at Spurs, but deserves regular first team football somewhere in the top two divisions. With Steele fit, Button would become second choice by default. At 23, he’s primed for Championship football, but under contract until 2013 with Spurs. My verdict is that he will have a further season on loan. Destination unknown!
Paul Goodwin @paulgoodwinDFP, a Sports writer at Doncaster Free Press tweeted the following to me back in February about his loan spell at Rovers:
“Influential in keeping 3 clean sheets out of last 4. Good shot stopper, confident, calming influence. Only weakness: kicking.”
His kicking is clearly inconsistent!
David’s time at Orient was ended prematurely due to injury, so he only made two appearances for them.
Finally, I need to point you in the direction of this excellent piece of work from zin (from GloryGlory/The Fighting Cock forum) – a blog on Button’s season.
West Ham United
2 starts, 3 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Bentley has had a deeply disappointing season, ruined largely by injury, but also by simply being out of favour at Spurs after his recovery. His spell at West Ham was short and not particularly sweet – being asked to play from the left, and not being given an automatic starting berth. He will surely be looking to prove himself at pastures new next season.
Milton Keynes Dons
22 starts, 0 sub, 2 goals, 2 assists
Adam started the season at Karl Robinson’s MK Dons, and made 22 starts, playing as a very attacking full back. He scored two goals, both fantastic efforts from distance, and his good all-round performances helped him to force his way into the England U21 squad.
3 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Smith’s spell at Leeds was cut-short presumably due to Corluka being sent out on loan. He was, I believe, brought back to be Walker’s cover, and eventually got his chance on the final day of the season against Fulham, coming off the bench in the 76th minute to replace the injured Kaboul. In this excellent interview with Ben Pearce, Adam tells of what it is like for a young player waiting for his chance:
“It’s been a frustrating journey, it’s been up and down. You think you’re not going to get a chance [at Spurs] and then you think you are. It’s been a long ride so it was great to get on at the weekend.
There are a lot of good players in the Tottenham reserves and the youth team, and we do produce a lot of players. It’s just about getting a chance really, because Tottenham’s a massive club with a lot of players.
I’ll come back for pre-season and see what the club want me to do. If they want me to go out on loan obviously I’ll do that, and if they want me to stay then I’ll be happy to stay.”
5 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Bongani started the season for Reading, but a string of below-par performances meant that he was quickly on the sidelines. We eventually recalled him at the beginning of February, and he was involved in several Spurs XI matched in the latter part of the season.
24 starts, 2 sub, 4 goals, 4 assists
Another season of regular games for Jonathan, although he did not score as many goals as he may have hoped. In February, Vyse (@vyseofhr) from Green And White Blog wrote the following piece for me Obika’s progress:
Jon has had a season that has been severely interrupted by injury, although he is just beginning to show signs of the form he displayed during his earlier loan spells. His two goals this season have both arrived since Christmas, and his bicycle kick against Charlton was a display of technique often missing in strikers at our level.
That said, he remains frustrating. His work rate is often the source of terrace jeering, and whilst he remains our best natural finisher, his off the ball work is at best reactive, and sometimes plain not good enough; he often doesn’t make the ‘right’ runs and never seems to be very good at anticipating how play will develop. This is something that can be taught though, and perhaps another good half season at Yeovil will begin to see Jon realise his potential.
Obika does have talent, but his inconsistent displays could lead to him being sold this summer – or perhaps he’ll get one more year and another loan move.
9 starts, 1 sub, 1 goal, 1 assist
After a decent spell at Charlton last year, Dean might have hoped for more appearances this season, but the sheer number of loan players at Yeovil meant that he was released back to Spurs – presumably because the other players were seen as potential signings for the club.
Vyse wrote the following on Parrett in February:
Dean on the other hand, appears to have arrived at Huish Park almost as the finished article; so much so that I find it amazing that Spurs have today announced that he’ll spend the rest of the season here. He has gelled fantastically with one of our brightest talents, Ed Upson, and fans have been waxing lyrical about the similarities with a club legend, Darren Way, in his tigrish approach and eye for a pass and goal.
Yeovil’s recent upturn in results and performances have occurred since Dean joined the club, and it’s no coincidence. Like Ryan Mason and Steven Caulker before him, he’s been fantastic.
12 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Nathan’s season was ended prematurely due to a very nasty injury that required an operation, but 12 starts in the football league is definite progress for him. He didn’t have an entirely positive time, taking some time to settle and adjust to the physicality, but just prior to the injury he was showing signs of being more comfortable and was starting to win the fans over.
2 starts, 2 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
John had a pretty turgid time at Sheffield Wednesday, only starting two games before the manager that brought him in, Gary Megson, was replaced by Dave Jones two months into his loan spell. Jones clearly didn’t fancy him, and he was eventually recalled by Spurs in mid-March.
3 starts, 1 sub, 0 goals, 1 assist
Having been recalled, he was sent to Swindon to work with Di Canio. He came off the bench in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to make his debut, but then didn’t play in the next four matches. He did force his way into the side for the final three matches of the season, though, and managed to show glimpses of his ability.
Not a great campaign for Alnwick, who is now 25 and will surely be released this year. He supposedly put in some steady performances for Orient, but was only ever there as cover, and failed to find another loan club after his return. The comments on Orient’s forums about his performances were generally quite positive:
“Had me worried a few times in the first half and his kicking don’t seem all that. However made a couple of cracking saves in the second.”
“Exactly, one or two stray kicks, his throwing is excellent and his eye for a quick release is great. Very good keeper who played at championship clubs and done well.”
1 start, 3 subs, 0 goals, 0 assists
This move didn’t really work out as planned and, after just one start (in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy) and two substitute appearances in the league, Kudus returned to Spurs.
0 starts, 2 sub, 0 goals, 0 assists
Sadly, the same can be said for his other loan. Still, he got the experience of being in match day squads, of training in a squad of men rather than a younger, development squad, and of playing for the St Johnstone reserves (!).
Oscar moved to Bradford as cover, and was thrown into a local derby with Leeds in the League Cup, where he had a decent game and wasn’t at fault for any of the three goals conceded. He was released by Bradford after they signed the experienced Matt Duke at the end of the transfer window, with manager Phil Parkinson making relatively positive noises.
14 starts, 1 sub
Oscar’s start at Shamrock Rovers has been somewhat rocky, with some heroic penalty saves but some errors too. He saved two penalties in the shoot-out as Rovers progressed in the cup against Cliftonville.
Jansson was dropped after Rovers lost 5-1 to St Patricks Athletic but has since found himself back in the team, and will hope to stay there for the rest of the season – a full season of football will be of great benefit to him.
Despite “only” being the Conference North, 36 starts in competitive football, in front of crowds (albeit small!) will be fantastic experience for Jordan, who only turned 19 in April.
I contacted the Sports Editor from the ‘Herts and Essex Observer‘, Alan Scott, and he kindly gave me his opinion on Jordan:
I would say Jordan has grown in stature as the season has wore on.
Next season it would probably help him to be on loan at a League Two club for the season. He makes great saves and his command of the box and confidence is much greater than it was back in October.
He also pointed out that Jordan received the Manager’s Young Player of the Year award, which is an excellent achievement.
8 starts, 0 sub, 0 goals, 2 assists
Unfortunately Corluka has been able to make the most of his loan move due to injury problems, but he still managed eight starts, including one against Barcelona in the Champions League.
It seems likely that he will turn his loan into a permanent move, and I for one will be sorry to see him go, and wish him all the best for the future.
FC Esperia Viareggio
Having started a glut of games at the start of the year, Mirko was dropped after some below-par performances and has since not even been making the squad since January. It is difficult to keep track of his form, as he is at a Lega Pro Prima Divisione A club (third tier of Italian football), but with 12 goals conceded in his last four matches for them it is clear to see why he was dropped.
San Jose Earthquakes
5 starts, 4 sub, 1 goals, 1 assists (NB: as of 09/05/2012)
Simon remains on loan at San Jose Earthquakes, initially until the end of June, but I would not be surprised to see that extended either until the end of the season, or even permanently.
I am hoping that @robertjonas will be providing his thoughts on Dawkins, and will update this article once I have them.
A big thank you to all of the contributors to this article.