102017_ap_robinsonantonee_ap_17263384229040 Associated Press
Americans Abroad

Robinson surging, concern for CCV & Cameron

The new year has just begun and a bunch of Americans in England find themselves at a crossroards as the season reaches its midpoint. Meanwhile, Bundesliga teams are now opening up winter camps ahead of the season's 2nd half. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 02, 2018
9:00 AM
The congested season in England moved on over the weekend and it was a productive time for some Americans while a setback for others. Meanwhile, the January transfer window is now open and that could see some activity.

Rough patch Continues for Carter-Vickers

On New Year’s Eve, Cameron Carter-Vickers turned 20 years old but unfortunately for the U.S. international, neither his birthday nor the arrival of 2018 brought much good news. Carter-Vickers has found himself in a rough patch the past two months on loan for Sheffield United. During that time he has made several critical errors and Sheffield United has tumbled from second place to seventh in the Championship.

On Saturday, Carter-Vickers was exposed on the game’s only goal against Bolton and was substituted out in just the 32nd minute. Then on New Year’s Day, he was benched in a 1-1 draw against Derby. He has been receiving a great deal of criticism from local media and team supporters.

All this has left Tottenham pondering the possibility of recalling him from his loan. Carter-Vickers is obviously not ready to play at the Tottenham level yet but if there is concern about his playing time the rest of the way for Sheffield United, perhaps Spurs can find a better option.

What is happening with Carter-Vickers is not unusual for a young player. He has hit a rough patch and he has to find a way to fight through it. Unfortunately, while on loan he is a team that does not have any vested interest in his development. He will only play if he can help the team win right now. If Carter-Vickers is not the best option for that, he will not find minutes.

This is essentially the first major test of his professional career. Early in his loan he showed he can play well at this level. If he can return to that level and remain consistent, the sky is the limit. But it will be a huge mental test to get to that point.

Robinson surging

While Carter-Vickers struggles, another British-American on loan in the Championship who is doing well is Bolton left back Antonee Robinson. On loan from Everton, Robinson had a delightful New Year’s weekend. On December 30th, he assisted on Gary Madine’s goal in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United. Then on New Year’s Day, he went a full 90 in a 1-0 win over Hull City.

With the six points, Bolton clawed out of the relegation zone and into 20th place. That is an impressive feat after sitting in last place as recently as November.

Robinson’s loan to Bolton expires this week. The Bolton News reported last week that multiple other Championship clubs have made inquiries to Everton about taking Robinson on loan for the second half of the season but Bolton desperately want to keep him back. The signs are positive he will remain with the club in its pursuit to avoid relegation

“The indication is that it will be okay with [Antonee Robinson],” Bolton manager Phil Parkinson said. “We’ve had a positive indication from Everton...We’re in talks with the clubs and the players’ agents. We’ll make the calls again in the coming week, between the Hull and Huddersfield games because, like I have said before, we cannot weaken the squad, we have to strengthen it.”

No matter what, 2017 was very good for Robinson as he made the transition from the youth level to becoming an effective first team professional. Perhaps 2018 will be the year he makes strides internationally.

Stoke nearing drop zone

One American player who has his work cut out for him in 2018 is Geoff Cameron. Stoke City has had a very difficult start to the 2017/18 season and the last two games over the weekend have made the situation even worse.

Few were expecting Stoke City to pull off a result against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but Stoke looked particularly bad in a 5-0 loss. In that game, no one – including Cameron – played well. Then on Monday Stoke lost a very winnable game against Newcastle at home by a 1-0 score. Cameron went the distance again. Stoke City now has a Premier League worst -24 goal differential and is just two points from the relegation zone.

Cameron and his teammates will have to turn things around quickly. After an visit to Old Trafford next week to take on Manchester United, Stoke will then have a pair of home games against Huddersfield and Watford where attaining points will be critical.

Newcastle approaching midtable

After flirting with the relegation zone in December, Newcastle United have rebounded and could potentially push towards the top 10 in January. United States national team right back DeAndre Yedlin continues to be a mainstay and helped Newcastle secure four points over the weekend with a win over Stoke City and a draw against Brighton & Hove.

Yedlin, 24, was particularly effective defensively against Stoke where he helped shut down his side of the field from dangerous chances. Now in 13th place, Newcastle will host last-place Swansea on Saturday and its next five games will include other winnable games against suddenly slumping Burnley and Crystal Palace.

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