A busy midweek football schedule saw eight of Chelsea’s loanees play for their temporary teams, with Shaun Cummings making his West Brom debut and Jacob Mellis starting his first senior match.
Premier League action this week is on the thin side, but at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night, Michael Mancienne and Scott Sinclair came head to head. Sinclair started as a sub whilst Mancienne started, and at centre-back despite Richard Stearman playing at right-back. Wolves took an early lead through Andrew Keogh and held on for their first away win as a Premier League team (they won none in their first try at this level). Wigan pressed for an equaliser but failed to find one, and Mancienne dealt with a number of aerial bombardments quite well. Sinclair came on after 62 minutes but to little effect, until two minutes from time when he headed a gilt-edged chance wide from close range.
In the Championship, Shaun Cummings has been the man to move this week, heading up to West Brom on a short-term deal to offer cover for the injured Gianni Zuiverloon. He made his debut at right-back away to Peterborough United in a 3-2 win for the Baggies. Roberto Di Matteo’s team were 3-0 up and almost had their lead pegged back, but held on for a win. Reports on his performance are split, with some suggesting he was at fault for the Peterborough goals in not closing down his man, but others are more forgiving, and he was well involved in the move for Chris Brunt’s goal to make it 3-0. He may well have to improve, but can also be given some benefit of doubt for being at the club for such a brief period of time.
More successful, again, was Patrick van Aanholt. Already looking a regular in an improving Coventry City defence, they kept a clean sheet away to Doncaster, but a goalless draw ended their 100% start to the season. Doncaster dominated throughout and had heavy pressure but the Sky Blues withstood their best efforts, and there appear to be no negative comments regarding van Aanholt’s performance, so things are currently looking quite good for him. Also featuring in a 0-0 draw at left back was Ryan Bertrand for Reading away to Swansea. The England Under-21 international was booked for unsporting behaviour which kicked off a brief skirmish, but the Royals failed to score for a third league match running and were only saved from defeat by an Adam Federici penalty save in the first half.
If defenders are the subject of attention in the Championship, it’s midfielders in League One. At Edgeley Park, Tom Taiwo lined up for Carlisle from the start once again, but Liam Bridcutt wass still unavailable for Stockport. Because the club is in administration they have a limit on the number of staff they can employ, and Liam cannot officially play for them until somebody departs. For now he remains training with them, and watched on as his new team lost 2-1 courtesy of goals from Kevan Hurst and Joe Anyinsah. Taiwo was subbed a minute from time, and by reports he was fantastic without the ball, but struggled when in possession.
Lee Sawyer, meanwhile, was an unused substitute for Southend’s 1-1 draw at Wycombe, where he spent a short spell on loan last season.
At Swindon’s County Ground, Jacob Mellis was named in a senior starting line-up for the first time, in Southampton’s midfield after a weekend debut as a substitute. The Saints turned in another disappointing defeat as they failed to win again, losing 1-0 to an early Sean Morrison goal. Mellis created a chance for Adam Lallana and had a moment for himself at the end, but his performance is best described by manager Alan Pardew:
“I thought Mellis started slowly if I’m honest. I think the pace of the game caught him out, but he got better and better as the game went on and grew into it.
“He had a great moment at the end, but unfortunately lost his footing, but his energy and quality will ultimately come through when we have a stronger unit around him.”
You can also read an exclusive interview with Jacob about his loan move at Southampton’s official website.