Football

Wales should turn to Bellamy as manager

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Go back two days and Welsh football was on its knees.

Injuries to ten of Chris Coleman's original 23-man squad, including the hugely influential Gareth Bale and skipper Ashley Williams, left Wales having to scrounge around for players from the lower leagues simply to make up the numbers for their World Cup qualifying matches against Macedonia and Belgium.

Add this to a poor run of form since the tragic death of Gary Speed and the general consensus was that a loss to Macedonia would lead to Coleman being sacked.

However, in Craig Bellamy's last home game for his country, in front of a disappointing crowd of 10,000, the Cardiff City forward set up Simon Church to score the winner in a 1-0 win that momentarily staved off talks of a crisis.

However, the clouds over Coleman have not gone away after one game and there are still serious doubts over whether he will still be in charge by the time the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign begins.  

Ironically, the man touted as his possible replacement is the man largely responsible for keeping him in a job - former Manchester City and Liverpool winger Bellamy, who, despite having no coaching experience clearly loves Welsh football and the Welshman's passion is seen as something which could aid his country in finally qualifying for a major tournament. 

Let's be honest, any team with Aaron Ramsey, Ashley Williams, Joe Allen and the most expensive footballer in the world should be qualifying for major tournaments, especially considering that countries like Slovenia, Angola and New Zealand have all qualified in recent years.  The fact that Wales haven't managed it since 1958 suggests that something is wrong, not with regards to talent, but with commitment and effort.

This seeming lack of patriotism did not exist under Speed, however.  Another without much in the way of coaching experience - bar a brief stint at Sheffield United - the Welsh legend made a small country feel good about their football team again, something not seen since the failed Euro 2004 campaign under Mark Hughes.

The fact that Wales could move from  117th in the world to 45th simply by one man's guidance and talent suggests that Wales do have the talent to do something special and that Speed will always be remembered as one of the best Wales has ever seen.

However, the Coleman era has been somewhat disappointing, with the Welsh fans singing songs about Speed throughout his time as manager and generally making him feel unwelcome after not really grasping the chance to achieve. Appointing Craig Bellamy could re-ignite the spark which has been missing recently for Wales.

Another man touted as potentially taking the job is controversial Dutchman Raymond Verheijen, a valued member of Speed's backroom staff.  However, past comments mean he is probably not going to return to the FAW's reckoning anytime soon, as the outspoken Dutchman pulls no punches over his criticisms and opinions.

Ryan Giggs is inevitably being linked with the job also.  However, Giggs now has a coaching job at Manchester United and to acquire his services Wales would have to prise him away from Old Trafford - something they never managed to do during international breaks during his prime.

Of course, it is perfectly likely that Coleman will remain in his job, with the Macedonia victory possibly the turning point which could lead to bigger and better things.  However, it seems a risk to stick with a manger who is not really achieving the results demanded of him by a proud sporting nation.

The appointment of Bellamy would of course be a much larger risk, but the feeling right now amongst many is that a gamble is what is needed, and that it could well pay off in the long term.

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Topics:
Football
Wales
Craig Bellamy
Internationals

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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