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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Now that the ridiculous January transfer window has closed, it’s perhaps best to sit down, relax and forget all the hogwash that was talked in those last few hours and concentrate on some positives.
Okay, Gary Hooper didn’t make that flight from Glasgow to Norwich and Ricky van Wolfswinkel was perhaps out of City’s price range as well. But the disappointment of not luring the marquee names to Carrow Road shouldn’t be taken out on those who did arrive.
Luciano Becchio, Kei Kamara and goalkeeper Lee Camp have joined the squad, to varying degrees of enthusiasm from some supporters. Becchio came from Leeds in return for some cash and Steve Morison – a good deal I’d suggest. Camp is here to end of the season to give Mark Bunn some competition and back-up – and if Bunn’s performance at QPR is anything to go by, the results of that particular deal are already being felt.
Then there’s Kamara. A communique from America, where Kamara has been playing with Sporting Kansas City (SKC), suggested I had been a little harsh on the lad by suggesting he wasn’t the signing that will solve City’s goal scoring problems. And he isn’t. But I don’t believe he has been bought with the intention of making a sudden impact and ensuring City’s Premier League status for next season.
The fact that Kamara is here on loan until the end of the season tells the story: wisely, City are having a good, long look at him to see if he can cut the mustard.
It’s easy to jump in with both feet and suggest a young lad from Major League Soccer wouldn’t be good enough for the Premier League, but how many critics can truly say they watch MLS week in, week out and have an intimate knowledge of its players and its strengths? Probably the same amount who claimed to know all about every league in Europe.
Kamara will need some time – time that wasn’t perhaps afforded young Harry Kane, who got a slating from, some quarters which would have done wonders for his confidence. Not.
Even then it’s easy to get it wrong. Those who made their way to Scotland in the summer of 2009 for City’s pre-season tour will have been impressed by the efforts of one Goran Maric. Sadly, he left everything he had on the pitch at St Andrews University. First impressions were way, way off line.
Perhaps it’s best to ask someone who knows to give an opinion on Kei Kamara.
Tod Palmer covers SKC for the Kansas City Star newspaper: “Kei is a tremendous physical specimen and extremely athletic. He didn’t want to move to right wing initially, but he’s flourished in that outside channel. He regularly overmatches the opposing team’s left back, forcing defenders out of position to help and creating space in the box. He’s not a clinical finisher, but he’s very dangerous on balls in the air, because of his height and leaping ability. With the ball at his feet, he can work over defenders and consistently generate chances for this team.
“Talking to Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes, he’s convinced Kei can play in the EPL. His athleticism, speed, strength and leaping ability make him a threat on any soccer field he sets foot on, be it in America, his native Africa or even England.”
“Sporting Kansas City fans have mixed emotions, because Kei’s departure is a blow to the club’s chances to win the MLS Cup, the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. At the same time, Kei is so beloved, nobody can be that an angry that he’s getting the chance to live a lifelong dream.
“From that standpoint, the fans here understand, but it’s still bittersweet. Most are secretly hoping that he does well and enjoys himself, but that the loan never materialises into a full transfer and Kei eventually returns to Kansas City. If he winds up staying at Norwich City, though, the Canaries will have a lot more fans in middle America moving forward.”
Give him a chance – he’s not in Kansas any more.