Craig Bellamy – loved and loathed in equal measures

With reports that Manchester City star Craig Bellamy has had a major bust up with manager Roberto Mancini over the weekend. The Welsh international does divide opinion across not only Manchester, but the entire English game.

As a Newcastle United fan, I should have resentment for Craig Bellamy after his acrimonious departure from St James’s Park in 2005. His infamous Sky Sports interview claiming Graeme Souness was a liar was pretty disgraceful and should have been kept in house. Furthermore the allegations of Bellamy sending Newcastle legend Alan Shearer abusive texts upon an FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Manchester United did not go down well amongst the Geordie faithful. Yet even then, I actually quite liked him. I’ll never forget his injury time goal against Feyenoord in Holland that Newcastle United through to the 2nd round of the Champions League in 2002. The now Manchester City striker has always courted controversy and remains a ‘marmite’ character.

His recent fall out with Roberto Mancini over the Italians training schedules after afternoon sessions were organised with him included is typical Bellamy. He’s a hot headed individual who when he loses his rag, throws his rattle out of the pram. He doesn’t do things by half old Craig Bellamy. Bellamy supposedly stormed off from Manchester City’s training ground at Carrington after a refusal at a double training session due to his troublesome knee. Roberto Mancini is believed to have told Bellamy to leave and not come back for 3 months. There appears to be some unrest at Manchester City over the Italian style training sessions which Mancini has brought into place. Whilst hugely successful at Inter Milan, double and afternoon sessions for a Premier League side gunning for 4th and the FA Cup seem a little extreme in the makeup of the English game. Physically the demands of the Premier League are much more than that of Serie A. Maybe Mancini has not got to grips with physical aspect of our game yet?

Bellamy on the other hand should show a little more respect, I would have to admit not being a massive fan of Roberto Mancini. I believe his Serie A wins at Inter flatter to deceive slightly in a poor league where Inter Milan had by far the best squad. Still though he should be given a fair crack of the whip at Manchester City and Bellamy should just go with his new manager.

Bellamy will always divide opinion, amongst Manchester City fan’s he is something of a cult hero after some electrifying performances this season. When Bellamy’s is in the mood, he can be unplayable at times and I think Mancini needs to recognise that. Mancini is probably not using Bellamy as effectively as he should, understanding that he along with Carlos Tevez has been there best players this season and that he needs an arm round him. Bellamy is a confidence player who does not respond well to strict managers. If he was English, Fabio Capello would probably not even look at him due to his nature. His time at Blackburn worked well under Mark Hughes as the manager put an arm round him and said ‘you’re my man.’ His form at Blackburn was sensational and engineered a move to Liverpool. I don’t think Mancini gets Bellamy, which is a shame.

Whilst Craig Bellamy is by no means perfect I think he is a slightly misunderstood character who can fly off the handle too easily. Yet he is a fantastic player and although loved and loathed in equal measure, can be a match winner.

 


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