Speaking after Rangers were put in their place by a 2-0 defeat to Old Firm rivals Celtic, Glen Kamara admitted that his performance levels had taken a nosedive.
“I probably haven’t been in my best form and I’ve not been as good as I thought I was last season and that’s probably the reason I haven’t played as much,” the former Dundee and Arsenal midfielder told the Times.
Yet, if Kamara was suffering from a crisis of confidence, you would have never guessed it over the international break.
Finland, dreaming of appearing in a major tournament for the first ever time, ran Italy very close at the Tammela Stadium with only a late, controversial Jorginho penalty securing a narrow 2-1 win for Roberto Mancini’s side.
The Scandinavians were confident and classy throughout with Kamara epitomising their composed, possession-based style. Jorginho might have scored the winner with a typically cheeky spot-kick but Chelsea’s £50 million play-maker still finished the night second best to Rangers’ number 18.
Supremely confident with the ball at his feet, Kamara stood out even when sharing a midfield battleground with Inter Milan’s Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barrella and, if referee Bobby Madden hadn’t got his big decision so horribly wrong, the Gers star might have helped his side secure a famous victory.
As it stands, The Azzurri are six points adrift at the top of group J but Finland are in second, winning four games from a possible six to open up clear daylight between themselves and surprise packages Armenia in third.
And with Kamara at the heart of a sturdy spine containing Norwich City goal-machine Teemu Pukki and Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, this feels like something of a golden era for Finnish football.
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