It's better to get this to you late then never I suppose. After the shock of seeing Matej Delac actually play on Monday and the Benfica game yesterday, I'm just finally getting around to finishing this report for you. So without further ado...
Kevin De Bruyne - De Bruyne had only one game this past week, and boy did he make it a good one. It was the last week of the Belgian regular season, with the final ten fixtures being the Jupiler League playoffs. Genk needed a win to qualify, and De Bruyne did his best to make sure that Genk did their part. A goal and two assists later, Genk were in the Jupiler playoffs. Genk will now have at least ten more fixtures, these including home and away ties against the remainder of the top six teams in Belgium. All told, it will be nice to have these games against better quality opposition for the development of our youngster. Here's the highlights from his wonderful performance:
Gael Kakuta - Kakuta and De Bruyne have seemingly been attempting to one up each other with every performance this spring. Since establishing himself in Dijon, Gael has become one of the most exciting players to watch in Ligue 1. Kakuta lined up on the right wing against Caen, and with the relegation implications of the game it was a bit of a defensive affair. Gael was generally quiet, but looked ok in his 90 minutes as Dijon won 2-0. The highlights can be found here.
Jeffrey Bruma - Bruma was on the bench as HSV tried to change things up after a poor recent run of results. The changes didn't seem to work, as HSV looked poor defensively en route to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg. HSV are now sitting in the relegation places in the Bundesliga, so I'm sure they'll be looking to select their best 11 for every contest from this point forward.
Matej Delac - Delac played. Really. Not only did he play, he started twice this past week. After keeping a clean sheet in his debut against Jablonic, Delac was thrown to the wolves as his club traveled to Pilzen. He was under a constant barrage in that second game, and they ended up losing 4-0. I thought he was decent enough while watching it, hopefully the manager feels the same. There is no word if he'll start again as they have a Czech cup replay tomorrow.
Thibaut Courtois - Courtois had a pair of La Liga games this week. He let in one as Atletico defeated the fun to watch Bilbao, he had a generally quiet affair in that one. He was a bit busier in the 1-0 loss to Zaragoza over the weekend, and all in all he looks like he's improving on his command of the box. Atletico now find themselves in a similar situation to Chelsea...it will take some solid play for the rest of the season to ensure European play again next year.
Sam Walker - Walker had a bit of a rough week, conceding four times over the course of his 180 minutes played. While only one of the goals was really attributable to a mistake he made, he didn't look very strong at all in dealing with crosses and set pieces. That's why we've got him on loan though, hopefully he continues to learn.
Rhys Taylor - Taylor was excellent in keeping a clean sheet midweek, but going into the weekend Rotherham decided to make a managerial change. While that always leads to speculation over the new lineup, Taylor kept his place for a weekend affair with Crawley as the club were beaten 3-0. Taylor was faultless in that affair, but it will be interesting to see if he remains number one going forward.
Kenneth Omeruo - The young Nigerian continued to be a regular at right back, and he was again impressive in a 1-1 draw with Twente. I doubt Omeruo ends up at right back in the long term as he doesn't offer much going forward, but for now it's just nice to see him playing and playing well.
Milan Lalkovic - Unlike Omeruo, Lalkovic has had a hard time establishing himself to date. He was again an unused sub and spent the 90 minutes watching from the bench.
Ulises Davila - Davila played twice for the Vitesse reserves this past week. I'd have much rather seen him learning at Cobham, but work permit laws can be bothersome.
Tomas Kalas - Kalas was generally solid throughout Vitesse's 3-1 loss over the weekend. He hasn't looked as good as he did early on in his loan spell, but he's hardly been at fault for Vitesse's suddenly poor looking defense. He doesn't seem to have anything resembling communication with new left back Patrick van Aanholt though.
Patrick van Aanholt - PvA was poor against Roda. He scored an own goal which put Roda ahead, and didn't look particularly dangerous in attack. He certainly doesn't appear to be having much of an impact in the Eredivisie, it's certainly been a disappointing season for the young Dutchman.
Ben Gordon - Gordon continued to start and play well as Killie beat Motherwell on the weekend. He's been solid since returning to Scotland for his second loan spell there.
Josh McEachran - Josh was let out of the basket for a 25 minute cameo this weekend. Swansea were already down 2-0 to Everton, but Josh looked effective in his time on the pitch. As usual his passing was excellent, and his defending wasn't really called into question as Everton seemed willing to sit back, absorb the pressure, and secure the three points.
That's it for this week, we'll have more for you in about a week's time. Hopefully Lalkovic joins Delac in the ranks of the playing soon, and if Vitesse are eliminated from European consideration (or secure it) it would be nice to see them take a look at our young Mexican. They still sit comfortably in the playoff spots though, so I'd guess they continue to go for it for now. Stay tuned...