Time For Bellamy To Be Left In The Cold ?
Cardiff City's dismal form is apparent for all to see, and I suspect Burnley would have been the more frustrated party after Saturday's call-off, simply because there is unlikely to be a better time to come to the CCS and play us, the Clarets would have been confident of at least getting something out of the game.
Aside from confidence, tempo and the obvious mistakes - the balance of the squad is just not right, and that comes from the decision to deploy captain Craig Bellamy in attack. The Welsh maestro loves to come deep to receive the ball, and we're just not set-up to supply him with quality possession.
Michael Chopra has been the fall guy, relegated to bench duty and you can be sure he will have voiced his frustrations. Further, he has made a definite impact from the bench, and given our lack of goals - how long can you ignore a play of his calibre and goalscoring record?
For me, Bellamy is more dangerous as a winger. Centrally, he is tracked by at least one centre-back, often with a full-back available to cvoer and a midfielder just in front. That means we find it difficult to unleash his pace, and instead lump aimless high balls to no good effect.
Out wide, Bellamy is less involved than he'd like, but can be more effective. With opposition midfielders often pushing on, Bellamy is able to isolate himself against one full-back and his pace and trickery mean he will create chances. This season, only Angel Rangel of Swansea City has looked able to contain him, but that came in a match where Bellamy was off form, and the Bluebirds as a whole were woefully under par.
From having Joe Ledley, Peter Whittingham and Paul Parry all firghting for the left-wing slot in recent times, we now have just Whittingham and Bellamy and both are looking to play much more centrally this year. With Whittingham, that experiment is working as he contributes some much needed forward drive from deep. However, Craig's time in the middle looks less certain to continue, and I personally advocate an immediate switch back to the left. The inclusion of Koumas does not seem likely given recent events.
Bellamy will argue strogly he should be given more time, and especially the chance to play alongside the irreplaceable Jay Bothroyd - back from suspension. Bothroyd created Bellamy's goal against QPR recently, but for me - Bellamy on the left is the preferred option.