Here is another article by almajir. He originally posted it on his site yesterday. As always, he as given us permission to re-publish here on J&S.

 If there is one player that divides opinion amongst the Birmingham City faithful, it is Cameron Zishan Rana-Jerome. To many, he is seen as a bit of a misfit; a striker who doesn’t score, who can’t control the ball well and a complete non-entity within the team. To others, including me, he’s actually alright – eleven goals last season points to a striker who can find the net; he’s still young at 24, and he’s still improving.

Sometimes, it’s easy to criticise Jerome. A game that springs to mind is the one against Blackburn, the final game of the 2007/08 relegation campaign. He was presented with an absolute sitter of a chance in front of the Tilton, and he blew it over when faced with an open goal. Yet the next two chances he had – a volley and a one on one with Friedel ended with the ball nestling in the net. It’s stuff like this that fuels the people who don’t like him; they see the misses and forget that he’s been our top scorer for the club in two of the last three seasons.

Another stat that I’m fond of recalling is that since Trevor Francis left, only two players have scored more league goals than Jerome; Paul Furlong (another maligned player), who got fifty in one hundred and thirty league games (mostly at a lower level), and Wayne Clarke who got thirty eight, (one more than Jerome currently) in ninety two appearances. Historically, we’ve never scored that many goals so for Jerome to have scored eleven in the Premier League last season without one coming from a direct free kick or a penalty in my opinion speaks volumes about just how prolific he is for us.

I will freely accept that Jerome isn’t (and probably never will be) England class, despite Jay Bothroyd getting a call up. He is an athlete more than a technically gifted player; I think if he was talented as well as possessing the pace and power he does, he wouldn’t be playing for us – he’d be with a top four team. For four million pounds, Jerome has (for my mind anyway) been a very good acquisition, and with the rules regarding homegrown quotas now in place has probably doubled his value. If he was to score eleven again this season, I have no doubt he’d be a £10mil plus player.

Unfortunately, I think Jerome is subject to the increasing fickleness of Birmingham City fans. I think our ninth placed finish of last season has spoilt us, and now some fans are expecting us to do better this season – and for all the players to push on as well. I think it will be ultimately very hard for Blues to do continually as well as they did last season, unless we do really well in the transfer market. What I would say is that Jerome is continuing to give us his all; is continuing to chip in with goals; and despite what many fans might say and think, I do believe he is still improving. It’s been said that strikers don’t hit their prime until their late twenties; something that is still a few years off for Jerome. I hope for his sake the fans get off his back; strikers thrive on confidence and I think it’s only when the fans truly get behind him that’ll you see the best from Jerome.

Discuss this post, and other items, in the Joys and Sorrows Forum.


19 Comments on Jerome

  1. CJ has a poor first touch.
    He cannot play with his back to goal.
    He profitted last season from the Benitez effect making most of the space and confusion caused by Chucho.
    He has not progressed as a player sonce coming to the Blues.
    He was a first choice Engand U21 player.
    Given the injuries to current English forwards he should have been in with a shout of a call up to the senior squad.
    Instead the mighty Jay Boothroyd, a championship player, is now ahead in the pecking order.
    He has poor composure in front of goal.
    No other club has ever placed a bid for him even when his contract was running down.
    Even Steve Bruce has left him well alone.
    He is a good championship player at best.

  2. I for one agree with everything said in this article. At least Jerome gives his all and as you say scores some great goals, remember Liverpool away last season!!!! Every striker fluffs in front of goal, even Chamakh did last week. Keep going CJ some of us love ya!

  3. I cannot agree with you, although a very good article. Jerome has had far too many chances and is not consistant enough. If I was picked for thirty matches I am sure I would score at least five goals, and The blues could have me for nothing. He cannot pass to a man in a blue shirt, on the wing at man city all he had to do was pass the ball and we could have scored. All he wants to do is blast the ball as hard as he can instead of sometimes stroking the ball. I am fed up with him he has had plenty of time and still is useless. Okay he runs at the defence but not with the ball. His ball controle for a proffesional is terrible. Whenever he misses he sheepishly looks over to the dug out to see McCleash with his head in his hands thinking another miss. He will never be any good and if we want to improve we need to ditch him or use him in the last fifteen minutes of a match. He can take Zigic with him if he leaves another waste of space.

  4. Completely agree with the article, at the end of the day he’s staying and hes our best option so we need to suppport the kid. Like the article states, the birmingham city fans are very divided, but all I will say to Jerome is that you get these fans at every club. At the end of the day if fans can stilll doubt Mcleish it just shows the way fans think in today’s era sadly.

    Maybe some of the blues fans should support chelsea or man u!

  5. @Ivor Roth

    I cannot seriously believe you are already writing off Zigic, just three months into his Blues career. He’s clearly building an understanding with Jerome and his performances have improved considerably.

    I think many people are blinded to Jerome’s faults and cannot see the good things he brings to our play.

    PS – it’s a pet hate of mine, Eck has been manager for three years now, it’s about time people learnt to spell his name – McLeish.

  6. great article. i am a jerome fan. he works so hard for the club. we do need another striker to go with him. and yes we were all spoiled last year – i expected this to be a tough year. what we need now is for the fans to stick together like the team has.

  7. I couldn’t agree more with the article. He always gives everything & is still a lot better in scoring goals (as you say without penalties & free-kicks) than many other strikers in the Premiership.

  8. No one contributes more up front than Jerome and hopefully as Zigic and Beausour gets used to the Premiership they will supply the crosses and the knockdowns that Jerome needs to thrive.

    Blues are still an emerging side at the top level. Jerome has time to grow with the team and I endorse the comments about encouraging him. Confidence is all for a striker. KRO!

  9. Simple equation used at the end of the season based on the fact that you need to score to win, now with that in mind when you think about the ability of CM. Now i for one don’t have a passion for the fizzy pop league and Doncaster does not appeal to me on a wet Wednesday night so if you think trying hard and producing little is the way forward i suggest you start looking up the directions for Ipswich and Swansea because thats where we are heading my friends

    lots of mindless running around (CJ)
    —————————————- X Could’nt hit a barn door(CJ) = Relegation
    Touch of a rapist (CJ)

  10. @figodablues

    Funny, you’d have thought that would have happened last season as CJ was our lead goalscorer.

    Only, I could have sworn we finished 9th. Funny that, innit?

  11. jerome is poor at best. he chases balls all day long and the self appointed master tactition (mcleish) loves him for that. unfortunately he cannot read other players passes and gamble on them to create chances (like kev phillips and so on). he’s had too many chances. the likes of sunderland can go out buy 2 good strikers (bent /gyan) which have transformed a poor team. big eck (?) should do summit similar before the games run out and were still in the bottom three. oh and get rid of ol man Carr. good last year but his legs are a year older and the games where weve been whopped he’s been targetted.

  12. 2009/10 Cameron Jerome 11 in 32 Premier League games: 2010 England World Cup strikers Peter Crouch and Emile Heskey 11 in 69 Premier League games. Perhaps Jerome needs to start producing International striker figures to be taken seriously……

  13. To be blunt, the article doesn’t really provide anything that hasn’t been debated before.

    We know that Jerome can score, yet we also know he lacks one or two vital attributes – but we’ve all already concluded that if he had those attributes, he wouldn’t be with us.

    So it’s a bit of a moot point.

  14. I am not a Jerome fan, I can’t fault him for his effort and at times I think he flatters to deceive as a striker but ultimately he just isn’t that good. Many people now say that he must be good because he scored 11 last season but of those most were tap ins which almost anyone could score with very few notably goals for their execution.

    It says a lot when CJ is through on goal with just the keeper to beat most bluenoses in my experience expect him to miss. he does contribute to the team with his pace causing defenders trouble but his lack of goal scoring prowess negates a lot of that good. Although he is not popular given a situation with O’Conner of Jerome through on goal I would take O’Conner every time to actually score. If we have to depend on CJ to score the goals to keep us up then we are in trouble however as a distraction for someone who can score he may serve a purpose and at present he provides some much needed pace that we lack.

    I think its a fundamental difference in opinion amongst fans about what makes a good blues player, there appear to be two camps, those that want people who put a lot of effort in regardless of the results and those who don’t care about effort as long as the player produces results in broadest terms. This can be seen in many player ratings threads on forums where CJ (and many others before him) get high marks because “they never stopped running” regardless of how effective that was whilst others get low marks for not running around like a headless chicken but instead using their heads and making runs when useful.

    I would hope as other players find their feet and new players come in CJ will slip down the pecking order and deservedly so and strikers that are more likely to miss than score shouldn’t be first choice but until then he is unfortunately one of our best strikers.

  15. You only have to watch the forwards warm up before a match to see how good Jerome is. I don’t knock the guy for his work rate but I’m getting sick and tired of people debating this. All the realistic fans know he isn’t good enough for a team trying to consolidate in this league. Yes his level is probably championship but should we settle for that or want the team to improve. One point someone said to me a while back was people go on about Jerome’s age being 24 I’m told now in the last 3 years has he really improved? I mean maybe a little but his finishing certainly hasn’t and as a forward thats the main part of the game. There wouldn’t be a debate if he was a defender who couldn’t tackle now!!!

  16. Yes , decent article etc , but it REALLY has all been said before , ‘ never stops running ‘ great work rate ‘

    Facts :
    His heart is in the right place

    His feet very seldom are

  17. Cameron Jerome is embarrasing, There are players in the conference with better technical ability than him. His touch is terrible, his finishing is terrible, his build up play is terrible. Yes he runs around alot chasing things down but that isnt good enough in the premiership.

  18. edge – Bent and Gyan cost Sunderland 10 million and 13 million (and the fee for bent is expected to rise to 16.5 million with add-ons). It’s a bit unfair to compare Jerome to them.

    TR7 – you raised a laugh on a boring wednesday!

    Mediocre finishing and a poor first touch either mean you’re not very good, or that you are not very confident (which makes you carry a lot of tension in the body and makes the touch heavy). Jerome was a good finisher at Cardiff, by all accounts. I would suggest that there is a 15-20 goal a season player in there somewhere. What he needs is 1) some creativity behind him in midfield, 2) some pace out wide, 3) a decent strike partner and 4) the support of the fans. Eck seems to aspire to the first three. The only thing we can control is the fourth, so I say let’s support CJ.

    To those wriing CJ off, I’d repectfully suggest that we would be better off replacing one or two of our other strikers. We still have Marcus Bent on our books. Need I say more?

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