Welsh International Craig Bellamy has a history at Newcastle United. The 31-year-old was part of the United set-up between 2001-2005 and was lauded and criticised in equal measure during his time at the club. Whilst he often showcased his ability – at the end of his first season with Newcastle he was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award – he also showcased a little too much of his tendency towards ill-discipline.
Sir Bobby Robson noted that Bellamy was a “great player wrapped round an unusual and volatile character”. This was evident when in March 2004 Bellamy reportedly threw a chair at then first-team coach John Carver. He also had an all-too-public falling out with Newcastle manager Graeme Souness. This would end up to be his downfall at St. James’ Park. The abusive text messages sent from his phone to club captain Alan Shearer in April 2005 were merely the icing on the cake.
So he can be a hostile, difficult presence. But let’s not forget that Bellamy managed to collate 42 goals from 128 Newcastle appearances. A statistic that’s not too shabby at all.
Now there have been reports in the Press linking Newcastle with a move for Craig Bellamy come the end of the season. Should Newcastle give Bellamy another shot?
He may not have the pace that he had during his first tenure at Newcastle, but from what I can tell he’s not lacking in sharpness. He’s a natural finisher, gets in good positions and he works hard. He’s one of those players who hates losing, who will spur the rest of the team on and who is capable of single-handedly dragging Newcastle to a couple of decent results over the course of the season.
He may be a muppet off the pitch, but on it he’s a decent player who can add something to Newcastle’s squad. Given his current situation – on loan at Championship side Cardiff City as a result of being surplus to requirements at Manchester City – there’s every chance that he’ll be available on the cheap this summer. The only problem would be matching his wages – though I’m sure he’d be willing to take a pay-cut if it meant regular Premier League football.
Newcastle fans will know what Bellamy is capable of. Though time has marched on since his first spell at St James’, it’s clear that Bellamy can still cut it at this level. He’s no Andy Carroll, but he’ll be available on the cheap and will help Alan Pardew build a squad that can eventually start challenging at the top of the Premier League table.
Though it may only be a rumour for the time being, I wouldn’t be disappointed if I saw this transfer go through.
Read more of Harry’s articles at the excellent This Is Futbol