Monday, 16 August 2010

Craig Bellamy

I love Craig Bellamy as a footballer. Can't stand him as a human being mind, though I'm told he does a lot of work for charity...

Since he has never played for the team I support, I have no personal investment in his performance on the pitch. I have always been of the attitude that so long as any player turns it on for the match, I don't really care how he spends his leisure time. However, that has increasingly come under pressure because the players earn so much money these days, and are so cut off from both reality and the people who follow them, that the behaviour of some is increasingly unpalatable. I've never been of the opinion that footballers have to be role models, but there's no denying that people look up to them and follow the minutiae of their behaviour on and off the pitch. I manage a kids team, so I see it first hand.

As a player, I've followed Bellamy's career since his start at Norwich City and he is an out and out winner. As well as being a very effective striker who can single handedly disrupt opposing defences with his pace.

While any team sport has to have a discipline about it that keeps players together as a team playing for one another rather than harbouring grudges and feuds within their own ranks, and clearly this has to be under the control of the guy managing the team, English football in many ways does not allow its players to express themselves and to offer their insight from their experience and know-how (stand up Fabio Capello). Of course it can go too far the other way with players being in charge of the team rather than the manager. Craig Bellamy has never been afraid to speak his mind and give his opinion. I for one applaud that.

Bellamy on his form last season, should be part of the Manchester City squad of 25. If he isn't, there have to be good footballing reasons for this. The only one that there seems to be, is that he's been disruptive by challenging the manager's authority. On that alone, Man City are quite entitled to omit him from their nominated squad.

There are only two options; he stays at Man City kicking his heels, because he's not allowed to play as he hasn't been nominated. The other option is that he moves to another team, be it on loan or on a permanent transfer. Man City won't let him go to a rival team challenging for the title, which begs the question if he's that much of a threat, why are they not including him in their squad? Maybe it makes sense to let him go to a rival and trust his reputation to rear its head and have him destabilise these rivals by again challenging the manager there.

Any footballer has the right to refuse to be transferred to a certain club they don't fancy. It's less established by practice, but teams too probably retain the right to refuse certain destination clubs for a transfer-seeking player. Stand-off. If Bellamy is forced to stay at Man City and not play, then the unintended consequence of this new regulation limiting squads to 25 nominated players, is that it is in effect a restraint of trade. He's not allowed to play football. Now no one seems to be breaking any laws through their conduct, so the fault must lie with the football legislators who have instituted this law. They did it in order to try and control the spiralling costs of football, being poured into footballers' pockets in wages and transfers. But the unseen effect is that it will prohibit a whole tranche of footballers from actually being able to play.

I wonder what the Players' Trade Union will have to say about this when loads of its members can't practice their profession for 6 months.

Over to you football authorities. That's another fine mess you've landed us all in. This will be a Bosman situation take two.


Anonymous said...

Very good Blog. Will be interested to see PFA stance come 1.9.10. Few points re Bellers. 1) his form dipped dramatically in the second half of the season. 2) By his own admission his injury problems restrict how much he can play, certainly not 2 games a week. 3) A couple of times during the season he stated he only would be able to play a further 2 seasons.

He is his own man and has been superb for city turning many city fans opinions around, however I cant help thinking if he wanted it city would be a perfect place to play the number of games he wants/can play (Perhaps in cup games). He appears to have made the decision to have one more club. It is his choice and he will always have my gratitude for his time at city.


Sulci Collective said...

Thanks Jab I bow to your Blue Moon knowledge of Bellamy's form and fitness. But I think his situation will be that of many players in the Premiership.