May 13, 2015 By Sahr Morris Jr.
A senior writer at the Israeli based Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Ori Cooper, has given his assessment of Sierra Leone and Bolton Wanderers midfielder, Mohamed ‘Medo’ Kamara’s seasonal performance since joining Maccabi Haifa FC in the Israeli Premier League on loan.
Cooper was asked by SB Nation blogger and a fan of Bolton, Murbroski, who was trying to get some insight into how the midfielder is faring on in Israel. He chatted with Cooper, who is senior writer at Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s largest newspaper. He’s also a former football scout who worked in England.
Thanks for talking to us, Ori. How has Medo performed in Israel?
He is doing OK. Not great, but just fine. The main problem is that his club, Maccabi Haifa, has had a terrible season. We are talking about a top club in Israel that has spent a lot of money in the summer, including the signing of the famous ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder, Yossi Benayoun, but has failed dramatically this season. I will say that Medo is one of the better players at the club, but that’s not saying much.
Have the fans taken to him; do they want to see him return next year?
The fans are still not sure if he is the right midfielder for the club. He is doing much better than the other options the club currently has in his position, but if the team wants to fight for the championship an upgrade has to be made. I believe most of the fans think that way.
What has he done well whilst playing for Haifa?
He is doing good defensive work. Maccabi Haifa suffered from poor defending at the beginning of the season and Medo helped in that matter. He tackles much more than the previous starting central midfielder, the Spaniard Michel.
What are the bad aspects of his game?
He does not contribute enough in the attacking third of the pitch. Most of his passes are backwards and he is not a fast thinker in the offensive aspect of the game.
Where do you see his future lying? Would Haifa be able to afford him in the summer if they were interested? Do you think he’s good enough for a Championship side?
They can afford him, but they are not sure if they want him to stay. The manager who brought him to the club is Marco Balbul, who was assistant coach for ex-Chelsea manager Avram Grant, during his time at Partizan Belgrade. Balbul knew Medo due to his time spent at Partizan. However, now it is 90% certain that Balbul will not continue as Maccabi Haifa manager next season, so it all depends on the new manager (no official signing yet).
Maccabi Haifa are a better team than those at Championship level, so I believe Kamara can contribute there. However, I will not take him as a starting midfielder for a top Championship side.