How many games is enough for you to start making changes?
Is three too few? Usually, I’d say yes. You’d find it weird if a manager was sacked after just three games, but does that sentiment continue with the players on the pitch as well?
After his display at the weekend against Nottingham Forest, I think it’s worth asking the question about whether or not Lee Camp should remain as Birmingham’s number one goalkeeper. The thing is, this doesn’t just revolve around the three games so far this season, this is something you could have seen coming based off previous records.
As I wrote earlier this summer, if you look at the statistical breakdown it should always have been David Stockdale that took the role as starting goalkeeper. Not only does Stockdale keep a better clean sheet record, but he also concedes on a goals per game basis.
In his 232 appearances in the Championship, he has kept 72 clean sheets which is roughly 1 every 3.22 games, compared to Lee Camp whose record is 3.28. It’s not the greatest margin of victory, but it shows that Stockdale has a better record. If we go by goals conceded as well, Stockdale comes out on top again. Stockdale concedes on average 1.19 goals a game, and Camp concedes 1.45. Plus, to top it all off, Camp has a man bun, which in my mind is a sackable offence straight away. Unless you’re world-class like Gareth Bale, you shouldn’t be out in public with one.
For whatever reason though, Pep Clotet is still insisting on going with Camp in goal, but hopefully the Forest game gives him cause for thought. At this stage, is it possibly worth considering bringing in one of the U23 goalkeepers, like Connal Trueman or Moha Ramos to see if they are any better than what the club currently has on offer?
It’s clear to see that the hierarchy at Birmingham doesn’t have a lot of faith in either Camp or Stockdale beyond this season, the fact that they are both the final year of their respective contracts demonstrate that.
So why carry on the pretence that they are still important to the club? After Camp’s display on the weekend, combined with his previous track record, he should be demoted and Stockdale should be given another chance in goal. If things still don’t work out, then move on to the younger players. Keep changing until you find the right answer because as it stands, the current one is holding the club back.