It's well documented that we need a left winger. Documented by fans, journalists and now finally Bruce himself, as he told the media "I haven't got a wide left player, not a natural one, although we've got people who can play there."
Quite right Steve, but I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say you’ve known this all summer long, and with that in mind I can’t help but wonder why it’s taken so long really.
Bruce went on to confirm an interest in Bellamy adding "Craig Bellamy is a possibility. He can play wide left and up front so we'll see" which I suppose half-fills two of our needs, without actually taking care of either.
I don’t think anyone really needs reminding of Bellamy’s past indiscretions, but I’ll admit he does seem a calmer character now who just wants to play football. That in itself though is a problem for us.
Craig is hell-bent (according to reports) on playing week in, week out in the Premier League. Which is fine if he can do so, but would he get what he wants at Sunderland? I must say, I have reservations.
I’ll start with looking at what Bellamy would bring to SAFC, or at least what I like about him. He’s been a pretty decent goal-scorer throughout his career, knocking in goals at a rate of around 1 in 3 games, although the majority of those were with Bellamy as a striker.
He’ll also bring experience to the team, having played at the top level for Liverpool & Celtic as well as being one of the first to join the mega-buck club at the Etihad Stadium.
Now there starts some of the problems, his contract with Manchester City is said to be pretty extortionate, and whilst we’ve just freed up a large chunk of wages in Steed Malbranque’s move to St Etienne, should we be looking to replace one high earner with another? This wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from a business perspective, let alone a playing one.
The other problem would be a matter of would he get the games he desires? Bruce is a big fan of Jack Colback who has been deployed out left recently, and even Sebastian Larsson had a cracking game out wide against Hartlepool. There’s also the imminent arrival of James McClean from Derry City to contend with, so whilst we don't have an outstanding player in the position, I'm not convinced that Bellamy falls into that category.
Should Bellamy not get what he wants playing time wise, is he likely to abandon this new found calm approach and kick off with the club causing unrest? He might not, but he’s certainly got a history of it. I wouldn't want him giving Brucey a belting with a five iron, or texting Asamoah Gyan abusive messages as he was alleged to have done with a Weetabix-headed former team-mate up the road.
Bellamy was out on loan at his beloved Cardiff City last season, and failed to look anything special, even from the left hand side where he could be deployed at Sunderland. He chipped in a few goals which are great of course, but his all round performance was found lacking - and this for a team he supposedly cares about.
Maybe two years ago this would have been a great signing. As things are now though, I’d prefer us to look elsewhere. There’s certainly potential for it to be a great move, and if he did come I’d support him all the way like any other player, however to me there’s just too much risk attached to it, and possibly far too much expenditure.
I don't think we, or anyone know's the REAL Craig Bellamy, nor will we ever, which is why it's such a gamble - one I wouldn't take personally. Still, at least he’s not Shaun Wright-Phillips eh?
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