Controversy is never too far away where our Mr Camara is concerned. He joined the club with a reputation and his actions since have done pretty much nothing to shake it off. Last season , his sulk after being substituted, his late return from the African Nations Cup and his agent’s constant chirping about opportunities elsewhere marked him out as the moody bugger that many had expected and despite quotes that he had now found his ‘spiritual home’ Henri still had much to prove.
Early indications were that he might just be about to settle down and muck in, the obvious promise supplied by his burgeoning relationship with Emile Heskey making it look like Jewell had found the partnership that had so often been missing since the departure of Ellington the previous summer. Then it all went wrong. With six goals under his belt and nothing to suggest that there wouldn’t be plenty more, Camara got himself injured against Sheffield United and we wouldn’t see much more of him for the rest of the season.
That’s not to say he didn’t play, but when he did he might as well not have. The obvious reason, backed up by copious amounts of strapping on the affected knee, was that he was still injured. Certainly when he first attempted a come back in February this must have been true. He clearly couldn’t run, but with a fit Aghahowa available you have to wonder what Jewell was doing selecting him.
Come March the strapping had gone, but Henri was still off the pace. Two months out is a long time to recover from, but just as Latics needed players who would go the extra mile Camara seemed unwilling to push himself, to really test his recovery.
It was around this time that the rumours of a summer move started surfacing. With Anelka possibly leaving Bolton at the end of the season, Henri had been earmarked as a possible replacement or so the papers said. Of course the conclusion was natural; Camara wasn’t going to try for Latics if he was leaving us in May.
Things did get better for Camara, but not much. Some of the pace came back but he never really looked like the player we had seen last season and with Jewell appearing to only pick the striker when he had to, the feeling that he just couldn’t be bothered spread like wild fire. The remained the possibility that his knee was still bad, but if we believed that we’d have been short of a scapegoat and something to moan about.
Following the final game of the season, Henri upped and left for Paris. His family are there and with PSG apparently considering a move, you can work out the rest.
Yet in the days following the 13th of May a glimmer of hope appeared. An interview in French, first thought to say that Camara was off to Paris to be with his family and he was never coming back, ner ner ner ner, turned out to say that he was in France having his knee looked at, that he was happy at Wigan and that the victory at Bramhall Lane made him feel part of something special.
Did that stop the rumours? Did it heck, PSG are still said to be interested, as are clubs around the continent, he may even stay in England. Or so say the representatives of his agents, Sport Entertainment Management. Did you think he was represented by “that Scottish fellow”, so did I.
It seems that Henri has got himself a new agent, and as anyone who has been around for a bit can tell you, a new agent invariably means trouble. Whether it’s through pushing for a new deal or seeking a move for the player, a new agent will want to make their mark. After all, part of their job is to raise a player’s profile, and what better way to do that than getting his name plastered over the papers.
As always, I’m going to take the sensible line on this one. I’m going to believe that it was injury and not disinterest that affected Camara’s performances this year. I do believe that the talk of a transfer has been generated by his agent and (at the moment) there could be little substance to it.
That doesn’t mean that I think that Camara will be at the JJB next season. We’ve seen what happens when agents clash with Dave Whelan, it’s not pretty and the club have nearly always lost out. Why should it be any different this time?
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