Thursday, September 17, 2009

Georgian on my mind

If you were told a Georgian had pitched up on Tyneside, you might have been forgiven for thinking the recently unemployed Temuri Ketsbaia had made a dramatic return to terrorise the St James' Park hoardings as a new member of the coaching staff. But no - it's Blackburn Rovers centre-back and sworn enemy of Spellchecker Zurab Khizanishvili.

As an assured international defender with 55 caps and plenty of experience in English football, Khizanishvili - who was once a team-mate of Ketsbaia's at Dundee - represents a very astute temporary addition to the squad. Last night aside, the partnership of Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini has looked solid, but we desperately needed cover - Danny Simpson may be able to read the game well but he's not the tallest, and when wet-behind-the-ears Hungarian Tamas Kadar made his one start of the season, against Huddersfield, we conceded three. I'm not sure what I'm most surprised about - a sensible signing in a position for which we needed reinforcements, or Fat Sam's willingness to help out a club he loves badmouthing.

In other loan news, the Mirror reports that Roy Hodgson has refused to sanction Diomansy Kamara's move to Newcastle on the grounds that he's still an important member of Fulham's squad - and, as though to underline that point, Kamara was selected to start in Thursday's Europa League game away to CSKA Sofia and scored with a cool finish that secured the Cottagers a point.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports are claiming that we're vying with Derby and the Smogs for the temporary services of Everton striker James Vaughan. When he first broke into the Toffees' first team, I seem to remember Vaughan being idly touted as the next Rooney, but since then he seems to have been overshadowed by his contemporary Victor Anichebe (not to mention Jo, Louis Saha and Yakubu) and may well be looking to kick-start his career away from Goodison Park. From our point of view, the Xisco Kid being out on loan himself means we're left with three very similar strikers in the shape of Big Lad, Bigger Lad and Nile Ranger, so Vaughan would fit the bill for a pacy complementary forward to feed from the flicks and knock-downs.


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