Often Partisan

The Cameron Jerome Problem

If there has been a subject that has divided Blues fans this year, it’s been our goal-shy striker Cameron Jerome. For many he typifies why we went down – not many goals, no real chance of scoring and the antithesis of a top striker; others (and I include myself in the second camp) think he’s a bit misunderstood and a bit unlucky to have suffered so badly in front of goal.

The big problem for anyone who tries to defend Cameron Jerome is the stark statistics. Three goals in 35 League games, and 5 goals in all competitions isn’t good enough for a striker who starts the majority of games for Birmingham City. Twenty-seven consecutive league games without a goal is a drought of Saharan proportions. It got to the point where it was almost painful to watch him, you felt almost embarrassed as his only chance in a game ballooned wide.

It would be unfair to typify Jerome as lazy, or as someone who isn’t playing for the team. Often he was left to plough a lone furrow upfield, chasing humped high balls and generally struggling to make an impact because he’d been left so alone by the midfield. Jerome is a pacy striker who likes the ball to his feet to run onto, so naturally we pumped high balls at his head to win, with no one within thirty yards of him. Playing the way Blues played, particularly after the Carling Cup triumph it’s not surprising Jerome never looked like scoring.

But still fans got on his back. Still supporters derided him on messageboards, declaimed him as a stupid footballer who didn’t know how to make a good run, who couldn’t score in a brothel. It must have got to him in some ways; upset already by a parody account on twitter, he joined the social networking site and immediately got into “banter” with fans of rival clubs. A professional footballer needs belief in himself and his ability, and it’s rational to wonder if this constant barracking online and mutterings on the terraces were getting to him. It didn’t help that there was no backup – Zigic crocked by a mysterious hip complaint; Martins needing an operation; Phillips tried his hardest but his age is finally getting to him along with the non-existent midfield, and in Matt Derbyshire Blues probably possessed the only Premiership striker less likely to score than Jerome.

So now we find ourselves relegated, and I think our Cam has got to be looking at his future. He’s been with the club for five years now, and I can’t imagine he fancies another spell in the second tier of English football. He must know that the interest in him is out there – for instance Stoke tabled a bid at the very end of the transfer window in January that was rebuffed. As much as I think Jerome works hard for us, and as much as I know that losing another striker with Derbyshire, Martins, and Phillips pretty much already gone and Zigic in all probability on the way out, I know in my heart of hearts that it’s time for Cameron to move on. Not just for our sake, but for his. I think in a team set up the correct way, he’ll score a few goals. He’ll work just as hard for them, and maybe they’ll have a team that will be able to utilise his strength.

Thanks for the memories Cameron.

 

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6 Responses to “The Cameron Jerome Problem”

  • John Edden says:

    For me Jerome should have been a winger. The only thing he possesses is pace and enthusiasm. In front of goal, he has no natural instinct and although he had little support from midfield, I don’t think he’s ever likely to be one of those strikers who bag goal after goal. To see him go would not bother me. He’s been a good servant to the club and for that I salute him but he is almost a liability to play up front. When he has had chances this season more often than not he has spurned them pathetically.
    On the subject Zigic, I think we will hold on to him. For many he is still the butt of all jokes and although we started to see the best out of him, many premier league clubs still think he’s not good enough for that league and Championship clubs cannot afford him. Watch him and stay and storm the Championship next season….

  • Joe Bush says:

    ‘and in Matt Derbyshire Blues probably possessed the only Premiership striker less likely to score than Jerome.’

    This made me laugh.

    I agree, Jerome is misunderstood. I think if he went to a team that played to his strengths (like we did at times with Chucho up front) he will show people he is a half decent striker.

    I noticed you included Phillips in the list of strikers all but gone. Has he declared he wants to go? I thought he would be well worth holding on to in the Championship.

  • Kerry Harwood says:

    “On the subject Zigic, I think we will hold on to him. For many he is still the butt of all jokes and although we started to see the best out of him, many premier league clubs still think he’s not good enough for that league and Championship clubs cannot afford him. Watch him and stay and storm the Championship next season….”

    We can’t sustain £70k a week players in the Championship surely! I reckon he’ll be one of the first to go personally.

    • almajir says:

      I don’t believe Zigic is on that much, I think it’s closer to 50k.

      That being said, I think he’ll go. Shame, he could have become a legend for us.

  • […] now in the team and we have three strikers of whom one will in all probability leave, one as I said the other day needs to leave for his own good and the third is yet to make his debut for the […]


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