The latest blow in what will be recorded in Latics’ history as the “Great battle of gloves in April” has been struck. Not surprisingly it’s come from the player’s (well his agent’s) corner, with that bastion of loyalty Henri Camara being linked with a move to Portsmouth. Not only that he’s had the cheek to refer to Latics as “not a big club”. Of course this has cause consternation amongst keyboard warriors everywhere, how could he be so disloyal?
First off, nothing I’ve seen says that the player is looking for a move. His agent says that Portsmouth are interested, suggests that he’d fit into their squad well and (being a bit naughty) hopes that the player wouldn’t need to put in a transfer request if he wanted to go. The player has said that clubs are interested, but who’s told him that? His agent of course. Latics’ take on it is that he’s our player, we not had any bids for him, if we do we’ll deal with that then. At the end of the day, it’s all paper talk and the fact that Harry Redknapp is supposedly good mates with Mackay suggests to me that there’s a good chance it will stay that way.
Now onto the other matter, how could he say that we’re “not a big club”? Well first off it’s true, we’re not a big club, there are clubs playing in the second flight of football that can lay claim to that title better than us. As I see it, we’re currently struggling to get up to the level of “a good little club” set by Charlton. As a buying club, we have little to commend us over other clubs, but we’re not trying to buy Camara, surely we can expect some loyalty from him. If Matt Jackson, Paul Jewell or De Zeeuw had said the same thing, would you question their comittment to the cause? I guess not and you’d right it off as either a fair assessment of the club’s plight or a case of getting the excuses in early. In that Camara is a victim of reputation.
Whatever your take on that, my gut reaction is that Camara has been hard done to. His English is poor which makes him easy to misquote or misinterpret, either accidentally or otherwise. “Wigan are a small club and they need to strengthen greatly” isn’t a critism, it’s something we were all saying over the course of last season. The squad is small and we need to have a bigger one, go figure. If his agent wasn’t a bit pissed off with the club then we would probably never have seen the quote in any shape or form, let alone presented in a way that benefits no one but the man who would take a cut from any deal.
If Camara does go then now really isn’t the time to panic, there’s been a few deals done, but the majority of action will happen after the World Cup. Afterall why would a player sign now when he could command double the wages in a month’s time? Selling clubs won’t sell because a player may be worth more to them after a good world cup and buying clubs will be holding off in case the tournament unearths a previously unknown gem. Even if he doesn’t go, we still need to strengthen the forward line, if that’s not happened by the end of July, I’ll give you permisssion to get as mad as you like.
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