Man of the moment, Craig Bellamy, is getting some positive press in The Observer and Daily Mail this weekend. With a fixture against one of his many previous clubs tomorrow night, he’s likely to be the centre of attention once again.
I felt like I was one of the minority City fans who was happy when he signed back in January. We needed players who gave their all in the less glamorous fixtures, and Bellers could always be relied on for that. To prove the point, we’ve subsequently seen him getting booked for berating a linesman in our first pre-season fixture in South Africa. You had to laugh. It may not be to everybody’s liking, but to me, the on-pitch rages against officialdom and perceived injustice are all part of the entertainment.
As we’ve seen, Bellamy isn’t just about commitment and a lack of anger management. He’s always been a decent Premier League player, particularly under Hughes at Blackburn, and it was that relationship which convinced me he’d do ok for us. Hughes wouldn’t buy a player for sentimental reasons alone.
In that season with Rovers, Bellamy looked a top striker and one goal away to Portsmouth had always stuck in my memory. He picked the ball up in his own half, scampered away leaving defenders in his wake, but was heading slightly away from goal when he entered the penalty area. He then lashed the ball into the opposite top corner. It’s about two minutes in on this compilation (sadly the picture quality doesn’t do it justice).
No doubt he’ll be on the receiving end of some stick tomorrow night from the West Ham fans, but that’s nothing new for Bellers and he has a decent record of scoring against his old clubs.
The only doubts I had concerned the state of his knees, and it didn’t take long last season for those questions to re-surface. Hughes seems to recognise that now, and with our roster of forwards, we shouldn’t have to push Bellamy and Santa Cruz to hard this season.
Consequently, it’s looking good for the Welshman and who knows, this late stage of his career could prove his most successful as we bid to get a few trophies. One thing’s for sure, his hat-trick last weekend of two goals and one United fan has certainly confirmed his terrace-hero status at Eastlands. Could a chant of “We’ve got Craig Bellamy” to the tune of “We’ve got Robinho” be heard soon?
The Observer article speaks a lot about his foundation in Sierra Leone, which is all very worthy stuff. The sums involved are pretty stunning, and just go to show the level of disposable income top footballers have. It’s a remarkable world where the money we hand over at a petrol station, ends up with Sheikh Mansour, who uses it to pay Bellers, who then spends it on trying to give a better chance to youngsters in one of the harshest parts of Africa.
New to me was reading that Bellamy is interested in management, and is already looking at the coaching side of the game. He’s renowned for his footballing knowledge, being a bit of an anorak apparently, so maybe it isn’t so surprising. It’s the thought of Bellamy in the dugout and technical area that really whets the appetite. Who’d want to be a fourth official then?
Hat-trick for Celtic
Telling it as it is in a post match interview for Wales
The former Celtic favourite declines to sign a Rangers shirt
Fans view of his second goal last week
United v City last week
City v Arsenal
Liverpool v City
City v Boro
City v Newcastle