BCFC: The Keeper Situation

Birmingham City let a two-goal lead slip to draw with Nottingham Forest 2-2 at the City Ground on Saturday. The performance of Lee Camp in goal – particularly for Forest’s second – has once again reignited calls from some fans to reintegrate either David Stockdale or Tomasz Kuszczak into the first team setup.

Birmingham City FC

I think it’s fair to say Camp was not signed to universal acclaim. I saw a lot of concern online about Camp’s ability – particularly as he was criticised as being one of the reasons Sunderland performed so poorly in the Championship last season.

I also think it’s fair to say based on ability alone, Camp is probably the third best keeper on the books at the club, although some may argue that rookie goalkeeper Connal Trueman is better too.

However, both David Stockdale and Tomasz Kuszczak have very much been part of the Garry Monk’s “bomb squad” this summer and one would think at this stage it’s going to take a big climbdown from Monk for that situation to change.

I think it’s truthful to say we as fans don’t know the full reasons why either keeper has been pushed so far from the team.

Some speculation has been about finances such as wages and appearance fees, but Stockdale has been quick to refute that on Twitter.

In Stockdale’s case there were also question marks over his physical conditioning but recent pictures he has posted on Instagram would indicate that he’s in good shape at the moment.

Whatever the reasons there have been, the fact will be that if neither player is moved on by next Saturday, then they will be with us until January.

If that is the case, then Monk has a tough situation to deal with – particular if results continue in the same fashion.

Neither Stockdale nor Kuszczak has been training with the first team this season.

For either player to be brought back into the matchday eleven, they would need to be reintegrated into training at Wast Hills first.

For that to happen, then their reintegration has to be something that will not affect the obvious squad harmony that has been built by Monk this season.

I can only speak for myself, but in this situation I think we have to respect Monk’s decision, whatever it is.

Blues have improved massively under him last season and while the results haven’t quite been there this time around, the team have played well in most games despite the financial constraints Monk has to deal with when building his squad.

There is nothing wrong with hoping that Monk changes his mind; after all, I’m not 100% confident in Lee Camp myself right now.

However, I personally think Monk has earned the right to be trusted in his decision.

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