With Cardiff heading into the City this weekend, I thought it might be interesting to compare the two stars as both have made significant contributions in Yellow and Green colours. They both also have the connection of both playing for Coventry City and achieving Under 21 caps for their countries.
Craig Bellamy was in the news recently in a failed attempt to be Oxford City Manager. Based on his reputation as being single minded, an attribute which my opinion made him the great footballer, he apparently also had a big headed and waspish approach to colleagues and opponents. I'm not convinced he will have what's needed to manage. A well know, regurgitated story refers to Bellers being locked in the coach toilet en-route to an away fixture simply because he was annoying his teammates. Would he be to motivate a squad plus keep owners and influences happy?
Having started aged nine at Bristol Rovers, he joined City as an eleven year old and played his first pro game for the Canaries at 17 with three sub appearances in the season of 1997. At 18 he started his first full game. He went on to make 84 appearances and scoring 32 times before moving onto Coventry for six million in 2000. Those stats would have been far better if it wasn't for the agricultural tackle from Wolves Kevin Muscatt in 1998 which meant missing most of 1999-2000.
Also on the City of Yellows Blog:
- Can Madders’ past predict his future?
An English attacker who uses his brain to help him bring unselfish and consistent quality on the pitch, and to keep his confidence in-check. A young footballer who is visibly grateful for any opportunity he is given, sharing mutual respect with coaches and fans alike.
- A Yellow Army 5,045 miles away
I do love absorbing the differing football cultures when travelling on holiday and most of them have been witnessed in Eastern Europe. A chance not be be missed occurred for me in February with a trip to energise the all my senses in every footballing way possible, Kerala in southern India.
- The peculiar pleasures of mid-table mediocrity
13th...... 11th...... 9th...... 13th. No, this is not an article about our friends down the A140 (more on them later). These are the finishing places of Norwich City in Division Two (aka The Championship) during the second half of the 1960s.
Craig went on to play 455 times scoring 135 goals playing for Newcastle, Celtic, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City and his home City, Cardiff - an impressive portfolio. 19 goals from 78 full caps for Wales was a massive achievement.
I loved watching Craig play football. He had a cockiness demonstrated from watching him as a youth player. He simply stood out as being something special amongst his teammates as well as his opposition. He showed no respect to his opponents because he was better than them. His determined, focuses, fiery attitude combined with pace, vision and a great finish enabled Craig to be a brilliant footballer.
To me James has all those qualities, the only difference is that he appears more level headed and more of a team player. Aged 21, he also made his first pro appearance at 17 managing five goals from 25 midfield appearances. His education continued with two goals from 14 outings at Aberdeen. Of course this season, Madders has improved again as the stand out Canary with 15 quality finishes from 42 appearances.
James Maddison is the real deal. I firmly believe he will continue to have a fantastic Premiership career and achieve full cap status as an England regular. The best is yet to come.