"Bad Boy" Bellamy Silencing the Critics

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(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

After a big money move to Manchester City last season, many were heard to say that Welshman Craig Bellamy would be on the out soon after the beginning of this season. He was widely regarded to be a proven disruptive influence and more of a stop gap signing than a player to build a trophy winning side with.

His goals last season were important to Hughes however, as they helped immensely in putting a gloss on a relatively disappointing season after the promise in the air when the club became the richest in the world and snatched Robinho from Chelsea.

It is no surprise to see that Hughes has kept faith with his hot-headed countryman and kept him very much on board. The older Welshman has long been an admirer of Bellamy and has previously signed him for Blackburn Rovers after initially coaching him with the Welsh national side.

Bellamy has repaid his boss' faith with goals and inspirational performances, including two equalizers at Old Trafford and another earlier today against Villa.

Actions speak louder than words and the man who Bobby Robson famously said "could start a fight in an empty room," is acting fast this season to make himself a first team regular, by knocking in goals that are making his manager sing his praises. 

As well as silencing those who thought his tenure at City would be short, after the Manchester side made the acquisition of so many strikers during the recent transfer window.

From the beginning of his career when he started out with Norwich City he has shown promise, though it did not really begin to fully materialize until he went to Newcastle United.

Funnily enough he is now probably the only person more hated than Mike Ashley when it comes to Newcastle United (incidents involving a thrown chair and a member of staff and Alan Shearer saying he would "knock his block off" have not endeared him to the toon army), although when he started out he was absolutely adored for his goal scoring exploits, including the winner over Feyenoord which took Newcastle through to the knockout phase of the Champions League.

His partnership with the older and wiser Alan Shearer was famous for a time and yielded goals for both players.

It was also during his time at Newcastle that he won the PFA young player of the year award in the 2001-02 season.

After things went horribly wrong at Newcastle due to disciplinary problems and personal disagreements, Bellamy has moved on to several different clubs including Celtic, Blackburn (under Mark Hughes), Liverpool, and West Ham.

Problems have followed him wherever he has gone including the famous incident with a golf club and his Liverpool team mate John Arne Riise which led to him being nicknamed "The nutter with the putter."

As is often the case with hot-headed personalities, his gifts have continued to wow fans and opponents alike, as his lightning pace and excellent control and shooting have enabled him to continue his love hate relationship with the big clubs of the world game and of course their fans as well.

His recent efforts at Old Trafford have again confirmed that he is a prodigious talent and someone that Hughes has kept an eye on for some time after their first working relationship with the Welsh National side and then later when Hughes signed him for Blackburn Rovers.

Luckily for him he has a manager who admires his playing style and is willing to make press releases defending him from the media time and again.

With only a Scottish Cup medal he won while on loan with Celtic and the 2006 Community Shield he won with Liverpool, it is definitely time for Bellamy to shine. With the players around him and a few more years under his belt he could well do that.

Watching his performances this season it seems the little Welshman might well have realized this chance could be the best he has ever had to really get some decent medals hanging above the fireplace.

It is so far so good with four goals from six games in the league which is a good return by anyone's standards.

It will be interesting to see if he can keep his demons at bay in the twilight of his top level career.

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