Tom Head’s Nottingham Forest Blog: Tying down Lee Camp is key to Forest’s ambitions
First and Foremost, In the wake of last year’s inattentiveness to tie our best players down to long-term contracts, it is excellent to hear we are already putting those old habits behind us.
To lose Garath McCleary and Joel Lynch, who were outstanding in a relegation dog-fight, was perhaps indicative of the direction we were heading in, despite avoiding the Championship trap door.
Right up until the Al-Hasawi’s put pen to paper (and in Fawaz’s case, fingers to keyboard to Twitter), the lacklustre nature of our out-of-contract players meekly walking out the door on free transfers did not sit well with the Forest faithful.
However, with the delightful news of Chris Cohen signing a five-year deal last week, it seems to have got the wheels turning on the commitment bandwagon. It has emerged this week that Sean O’Driscoll is attempting to tie Lee Camp down to a long term deal; Camp has already rejected the first offer put his way.
Not to worry. Though this basically breaks down to “Camp rejects new contract”, even me, a man probably worth more as scrap, knows that rejecting the first offer is mere gamesmanship.
This new offer will obviously be a long-term affair, so if Lee sees himself here for another four years, he needs to know he is getting the best possible deal, in terms of security as well as financial advantages.
I’d wager this will all be done and dusted before the month is out. It won’t be long before we see him on the club website, pictured with an awkward grin, a pen in one hand, and a contract in the other. Why the official site insist on doing that, I will never know.
Furthermore, Camp does have a history of engineering own destiny when it comes to moving clubs. I remember when he was at QPR, following a superbly successful loan spell with us in 2008. Playing against us for Rangers, He was responding to the chants of Forest fans, and treated the travelling QPR fans with the contempt and ignorance you’d expect to see a man reserve only for an embittered ex-partner. Oh, how happy we were to be his ‘mistress’.
Incredibly, he was interviewed by BBC Radio Nottingham after the game, and bluntly expressed his desire to ‘come home’ to The City Ground. When Lee Camp wants a move, I am sure we will be informed by golden gloves himself.
Recently, I have also heard rumblings of discontent from certain fans about Lee Camp’s form. He did not seem to react well to losing the captaincy, and then lacked opportunities to gain it back.
Though that should not excuse him from a dip in form, it does exhibit a passion we desperately love to see as football fans.
I think we are all unanimous in saying he was not at his best last year, but to want rid of him seems unjustified; 150+ appearances, instrumental in two top-six finishes, and possessing all the flare and ferocity of a natural leader. To lose a goalkeeper like that would be severely detrimental to Forest.
Yet, criticism comes as naturally to goalkeepers as getting their knees dirty. They can be a hero for a day, but more likely, a villain for a lifetime. Being a shot-stopper is nigh on a thankless task. I donned the gloves a lot growing up - perhaps being the only person who actually asked for a stint in net - and 10 blinding saves counts for nothing if you spill just one daisy-cutter.
I would definitely say we need to invest more patience into Camp. He’s already looked more confident this year, as the toxicity surrounding Forest last year has lifted, and O’Driscoll seems to think he is integral to our future. So, we wait with baited breath to see what Lee’s next move is...
Just remember Campy, we do have that “Lee Camp, is a Forest fan” chant. Don’t go making us all look like liars, now.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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