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so farewell then...
So farewell then Henri Camara, or more like good riddance.
It's widely recognised that over the last few years MON's purchases have been a bit hit and miss. This one was definitely and from all points of view a miss.
Safe to say that many people saw this one coming though. The player's track record with Wolves didn't exactly make inspiring reading; he barely made a contribution to their season before realising that if he didn't start to shake a leg he'd be stuck in a lower division for a long time. Cue a glut of goals in last few games.
It was made clear from the start that he wasn't a replacement for You-Know-Who (despite the fact that he was eager to claim the coveted number 7 jersey for himself) but we'd worked that one out pretty quickly for ourselves. Frankly he never looked the part. There isn't much doubt that he has some talent, but he doesn't have the application or team spirit that makes players such as Sutton, Hartson or Larsson.
The moment that convinced me that Camara would never be the answer at Celtic was the opening game against Rangers this season; Juninho was making his debut and probably having his best game for us. Having worked some space for himself he played a 1-2 and burst into the box. Just as he was about to shoot he had the ball whipped from his toe by the sliding Camara, desperate to score himself and grab the glory. Celtic scoring didn't matter to him, the only priority was Henri scoring. What a muppet.
His one moment of glory came against Barca when he provided the cross for Sutton's goal.
He has scored a couple of goals, but really if you think about them they were the kind of chances that Sutton, Hartson, Larsson, Maloney, Petrov etc. etc. would put away in their sleep.
On the other hand if you consider the chances he squandered, particularly at Dens Park when we dropped 2 points, then you realise that he may yet have a bearing on how the league finishes. He was missing chances that day that any of the other players mentioned would have almost certainly taken.
And of course we haven't even mentioned his performance at Ibrox in the league. Now there were a couple of players who didn't exactly cover themselves in glory that day, but Camara deserves a special mention as possibly the luckiest ever Celtic player at Ibrox. Having been brought down in tussle with Vignal he struck out with his foot, catching the Frenchman flush on the knee. Happily, however, Vignal's head had popped up blocking the linesman's view of the incident, which the referee also couldn't see. Of course the whole thing was caught on camera (geddit?) and a hefty ban soon followed.
His influence on the team can be nicely judged by the fact that we barely missed him.
I suppose you could say that the club deserve some credit for seeing which way the wind was blowing and getting rid of him the first chance they could, but realistically he shouldn't have been at Celtic in the first place. Now he's down at Southampton and he's managed two goals in two games, although anyone who saw the match from St Mary's against Everton will have had a wry smile on their face when, during the first half, Southampton striker Crouch had a great chance to score, only for Camara to come haring in and wildly swipe the ball over the bar. The look on Crouch's face said it all and despite the fact that Camara went on to score a superb goal in the second half I know we've done the right thing getting shot of him.