As Cardiff fans get excited over the possible return of Spanish midfielder Victor Camarasa to South Wales, there is one man who has provided the type of creativity Camarasa did last season in 2019/20.
In truth, Victor Camarasa and Lee Tomlin are very different players. Tomlin is a classic number 10 – he likes to play in between the lines and receive passes into his feet. In Argentina, they’d refer to him as an enganche.
Victor Camarasa is different. I’d peg him as more of a #8. He’s a progressive midfielder; he likes to receive the ball deep, run with it and exploit space.
What the two share, though, is an unrivalled – in this Cardiff side at least – ability to make things happen. Right now, perhaps more than ever, City are in dire need of it
In film and television, a meet cute is a scene in which ‘the two people who will form a future romantic couple meet for the first time, typically under unusual, humorous, or “cute” circumstances.’
For Lee Tomlin and Neil Harris, their meet cute came at the end of November in a clash against Charlton Athletic. The match ended 2-2, with Lee Tomlin grabbing the equaliser in the second half.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Tomlin and Harris are in a romantic relationship (far from it, I’m sure), but the two have become dependent on each other.
Their meet cute came at a perfect time for both.
Tomlin, who had been cast aside on a number of occasions by Neil Warnock, desperately needed the new manager – whoever he was to be – to show undevoted faith in him as Cardiff’s main man. He got that in Neil Harris.
Harris – a new manager coming in to replace a club legend – needed somebody to ignite his spell as manager. He got that in Lee Tomlin.
In truth, Tomlin has probably kept Harris’ head above water. Performances have been abject, but Tomlin has been there time after time in the last two months to save the day.
In December, Tomlin was the man. He scored the late winner (94 minutes!) in the 3-2 win over Barnsley, scored and then set up the equaliser in the dramatic 3-3 come back against Leeds and it was his quick thinking that put Robert Glatzel through on goal for the opener against Sheffield Wednesday.
Cardiff’s form has been erratic since Neil Harris came in, but one constant has been Lee Tomlin’s brilliance. As Cardiff head into the South Wales derby looking to avoid a history-making double for the Swans, Tomlin could be the key man.
He was missing for the first derby of the season – in which Cardiff let themselves down in a 1-0 loss at the Liberty – and if Cardiff have any chance of recording a victory on Sunday, VFTN’s December Player of the Month Lee Tomlin will be integral.
Scott is a lifelong Cardiff City fan and freelance football writer. Scott hosts the VFTN podcast.