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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Lee Camp's Future and the Question of Who Comes Next?

So what does the future hold for Lee Camp? He has been told he can leave the club for free this January. His contract is up in June and clearly the club have decided to let him go now. Now whether this is because he has flat refused to discuss a new deal, or simply McLeish wants his own man is unclear. Maybe it’s a combination.


Camp has a strange relation with fans at the moment, and the reaction on Twitter was extremely mixed. There was a distinct camp (no pun intended) who wanted him out, and have now become vocal in their dislike of him. The reasons cited are how he sulked when turned down for his move to Swansea under McClaren, and his form has suffered since becoming an International. Almost as if some of the drive in his career had gone and he has plateaue'd. Rather than pushing on and the try and make it at the top, he has realised he is at his level, playing for a nation that have little or no hope of qualifying for a major competition. Basically his drive to prove has gone. And now he is a shell. At this stage in careers usually the big pay day to sit on a bench comes along. It seems that is right on time.

Because essentially that is what he would become. Reading are the main club being linked, and what you could see Camp doing is being one of these capable Championship keepers who keep a Premiership bench warm for a nice cushy pay day. It’s happened before, and it will always happen again.

There are those who would like to see Camp stay, but the problem for this side of the argument is that it’s pointless. He is clearly off so to try and argue the merits of keeping him serves no purpose. However I will say that for me he is a capable keeper. Good at commanding his area and good at shot stopping. Not the biggest keeper in the world, he has more merits than not. But it seems his relations with the club have collapsed to an untenable point.

As well his good performances in the Billy Davies years, it has also been pointed out he was helped a lot by an extremely capable defensive line up, that since the departures of Wilson and latterly Morgan, he has been left looking, depending on whose arguing this point A) looks like he’s worse because he has a worse defence in front so more clear cut and unsavable chances are made. Or b) that the quality defence made his record of clean sheets and reliability look better than it actually ever was. A lot of people really got on Camps back last year for his failure to give quick delivery. This completely overlooks and negates team orders. It was clearly an order to get the ball sent long to the strikers and get forward quickly. But everyone decided this was Camp who was to blame, which I found extremely frustrating.

There have been a number of names suggested as his replacement, and seeing as we have told Camp he can go, we need to move quickly. Can you really imagine having a keeper in net that has care of what happens as he’s off? It’s not worth thinking about (however he does now have something to prove to potential suitors so may “up” his game.) Rob Green, Craig Gordon and Lukasz Fabianski have all been linked. All have Premiership experience. Green everyone knows was England’s first choice at the start of the previous World Cup. Because of a high profile error he is now tagged as being not good enough, which is hilariously misguided. People who aren’t thinking for themselves and have a typical knee jerk reaction are the ones who claim he’s not good enough. He’d be more than good enough. Fabianksi has made errors, but that’s in a top level Premiership team. Craig Gordon was a £9million keeper a few years ago, he’d now be free, but he has been out the game for a while. But all three would be quality additions. You don’t get where they are without quality and ability. Camp has never been a first choice Premiership keeper. That needs to be remembered in this.

But overall it will be a shame to see Campy leave, but then players often out stay welcomes or only last at a place so long. I think Camp needs a new challenge and new surroundings. His has stagnated somewhat. For him his next move is either a huge pay day move for 2-3 years on a Prem bench tripling his wages. Or it’s a fresh new challenge with another Championship club. Either way it’s definitely not here, not now anyway.

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