Belfast Telegraph

Steven Beacom: Craig Bellamy is a good player, not a great one

At one stage earlier this week it seemed that just about every club in the world in the running to sign Craig Bellamy.

I half expected him to move to Real Madrid!

Instead Jose Mourinho opted for German star Mesut Ozil.

Wise choice.

Ozil is a 21-year-old with the class, balance and vision to become a superstar for years to come.

The way people have been talking about Bellamy lately you would think he was in the same bracket.

Incidentally he’s now with Cardiff, having joined them on loan from Manchester City.

Bellamy is a fine player. A striker who, on his day, can create havoc for the opposition with his lightning pace and ability to finish

Not to mention his waspish tongue.

And there’s no doubt that for Manchester City last season he was one of their best performers, though that’s not saying much because most of Roberto Mancini’s side under-performed rather than over-delivered.

But to put him up on a pedestal with world class stars, as some pundits have done recently, is just plain silly.

Bellamy is no Wayne Rooney or Fernando Torres (yes, I know they were useless in the World Cup but we’re talking club football here).

Let’s get it right Craig’s good, not great.

Had I been in charge of City, yes, I would have had him in my 25 man squad, but again that’s

more to do with the quality — and desire — of the other players at Eastlands, despite the ridiculous amounts of money being spent.

If you take a look at his record down the years, Bellamy has performed pretty well at several clubs and enjoyed some devastating spells, but throughout an eventful career he has lacked the consistency required to be considered truly special.

To be fair he hasn’t been helped by injuries. Or attitude come to that, though the latter is his own fault.

In terms of scoring, his goals per game ratio is less than one in three.

The thing is it’s not necessarily Bellamy’s football that stands out, it’s actually his personality that makes him such a fascinating figure. And with that comes this theory that he’s actually better than he is.

If Bellamy were to retire right now, as he threatened to do a few weeks ago when he was getting frustrated at City, what would you remember him for?

That brilliant goal against Manchester United last season, his rows with Alan Shearer at Newcastle, the alleged golf club attack on Liverpool team-mate John Arne Riise and a mouth that just won’t quit.

Not much else unless you support Wales or watched him torture SPL defences for a few months when he was at Celtic in 2005.

Bellamy has the chance now, though, to make Cardiff fans remember him forever by inspiring them to go and win promotion to the Premier League.

I admire him for moving to his hometown club and believe him when he says he wants to give something back.

I’m not surprised though that other Championship clubs have questioned City helping finance the move given Cardiff’s money problems.

That will add spice to the division. Just like Bellamy.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph