Anorak News | Order Of The Boot

Order Of The Boot

by | 25th, January 2005

‘IF ever there was a player to epitomise the selfish, petulant greed in modern day millionaire footballers it is Craig Bellamy.

”Yep, it’s real gold”

If we are to believe the word of Graeme Souness and the Newcastle United chairman Freddie Shepherd, the latter today quoted in the Telegraph, the striker has “cheated” the club and its supporters.

“I wish to put the record straight regarding the Bellamy situation,” says Shepherd.

“He walked off the training ground saying his hamstring was tight, but what he failed to reveal in his interview was that he had told other members of the squad before training that he intended to feign injury.”

Bellamy is still denying the truth of that story and calling his manager a liar, but his time at Newcastle is surely up.

If he plays on then the club and the manager are damaged; if he leaves, the team lose a star player, but the manager retains control.

So, as the Sun says it’s “GET OUT OF TOON” for Bellamy, and “GET OUT OF ARSENAL” for the Gunners’ Jermaine Pennant.

In a story that calls to mind the pre-Wenger days at Arsenal, the 22-year-old winger was found to have driven his Mercedes Benz into lamppost at 6:20am last Sunday.

He then offered to have his breath tested by the local Aylesbury constabulary – a test he failed.

And that means he is now on his way to court and to Birmingham City on a loan deal until the season’s end, at which point his contract with Arsenal expires.

“He has shown since he was a youngster that he is a real talent,” says Birmingham manager Steve Bruce in the Sun.

“I hope he makes a big impact between now and the end of the season.”

Watch out, lampposts.

Meanwhile, we feel it is our duty to remind you that footballers are not typical of all sportsmen and there is much to be enjoyed and respected elsewhere.

In cricket, the Independent reports, there’s Andrew Flintoff, the wonderfully talented all-rounder whose performance with bat and ball have all but ensured that England will win their first series in South Africa for 40 years.

Others too chipped in admirably to the England cause, but it is Flintoff – he scored 77 runs and took two South African wickets – who takes the plaudits.

It’s a similar story with rugby union’s Martin Johnson, who could never have become England’s most successful and celebrated captain had it not been for his team-mates.

But even great players need a leader to cement them into a winning unit, and Johnson was just that person.

And now the World Cup-winning sportsman is calling it a day, announcing his retirement from the game on June 4.

“You know when it’s time to go,” the 35-year-old tells the Telegraph. “You’ve got to be out there for the right reasons.”

Isn’t that so, Craig Bellamy..?’

Posted: 25th, January 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink