Oxford United are in talks to hire Cardiff City development coach Craig Bellamy as their permanent manager to replace Pep Clotet. It would be the Welshman’s first managerial position and could be a pathway to greater things for the former Liverpool striker. However, will he be able to succeed?
It is well known that Bellamy was a fiery player on the pitch as well as off it; just look at any of his post-match interviews. However, he was always passionate about the game and managed to succeed on it as he netted 170 goals in his club career with nine different clubs. He also found the back of the net 19 times for Wales which included a superb goal against Italy as he rounded Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon. The Welsh won 2-1 on a famous night in Cardiff thanks to Bellamy’s heroics.
However, despite his “angry” persona the former Newcastle United man has been entrusted to work with the under 10s all the way up to the under 23s at Cardiff City. His role is to nurture the future talent of the Welsh club which produced the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Chris Gunter in recent years. But it is understood that he has helped manager Neil Warnock take several first-team coaching sessions.
With a pro licence contract under his belt, he is ready to get out into the madness of the managerial world having spent just over a year at the Championship club. A move would be facilitated by Warnock who believes that Bellamy deserves a chance and has no doubt that he will succeed at Oxford if given the job, but also any other club he might move onto after taking his first steps.
Having failed to land the Wales national job to succeed Chris Coleman, Bellamy looks more than willing to step down the divisions to find his feet. It is brilliant to see that he is not expected to land a top job in the Premier League despite lacking any sort of managerial experience. Oxford could be a great stepping stone for him.
With the League One side the likely destination for the former Coventry City hitman they will be hoping he can bring that passion that has guided him through his career to their side. Having only won one game since they beat Blackpool 1-0 on the 6th January, they do find themselves in real danger of relegation as they occupy 15th place in the league. There is only five points that separate them from the relegation zone.
They need to hit the ground running as they only have a couple of months until the end of the season and Bellamy seems like a good choice to help steer them away from danger. He has the potential for sure as he is an ex-player who has gone and got his badges to make the next step but his passion for the game could help a struggling side like Oxford. His determination to succeed lower in the divisions shows a real willingness to prosper as a manager. Cardiff City see the potential in him allowing the move to happen and so do Oxford United who want their man.