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Camara, Titi

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TITI CAMARA 1999-2000

 

by Dave Usher

Date of Birth - 11/07/72

Nationality - Guinean

Position - Striker

Games - 37

Goals - 10

Club Hons (Lpool) - None

Intnl Hons - Guinea Caps

Other Clubs - St Ettiene, Lens, Marseille, West Ham, Al Ittihad, Al Saïliya (S-Arabia), Amiens SC

 

They say it's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, and we certainly loved Titi Camara. One of the most popular players to pull on the red shirt in recent memory, Titi should have enjoyed a long and lasting relationship with Liverpool Football Club and its fans, but instead, he was sold to West Ham after a little over a year, sold for a paltry £2m.

 

But just where did it all go wrong? Basically, Gerard Houllier did not have the same high opinion of Camara that the fans had, and he only ever saw him as a back up for Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler. As soon as Emile Heskey arrived at the club, Titi's days were numbered.

 

The decision to drop Titi for the run in to the 99/00 season did not go down well with the majority of reds fans, and many feel that Titi's exclusion from the side cost the club a place in the champions league. Heskey was struggling to settle into his new surroundings, and Owen and Fowler were struggling for fitness, yet Titi was kept on the outside looking in.

 

That was where the relationship with Titi and LFC started to deteriorate, and Titi's agent was causing a lot of problems behind the scenes, and appeared to be trying to set up a move to Celtic. That, combined with Titi's lax approach to training seemed to convince Houllier that the popular Guinean was surplus to requirements, and he was completely frozen out of the first team picture for the start of the 00/01 season.

 

He only made the substitutes bench once, for the UEFA Cup tie with Slovan Liberec, and that game proved to be the final insult for Camara, as Houllier humiliated the African by forcing him to run up and down the touchline for the entire second half, yet refused to bring him on in a game that was crying out for his unpredictable talents. The fans chanted his name, but the more they called for Titi, the more Houllier dug his heels in, and the next day, Camara handed in a transfer request.

 

Titi will be remembered for his wonderful skill and exciting runs, as well as some truly stunning goals. Most of all though, he will go down in Anfield folklore for a goal against West Ham at Anfield, just hours after the tragic death of his father. When Camara handed in his transfer request, Houllier accused him of a lack of commitment to LFC, but anyone who was at Anfield on that emotional night in Octber 1999, knows that Titi Camara's commitment to Liverpool Football Club is unquestioned.

 

It was great while it lasted, and he'll always be a hero to many. Thanks for the memories Titi.

 

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More info on Titi Camara:

 

++ / LFChistory.net -- Past Present Future

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