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The dream Cardiff managerial duo the Bluebirds should appoint

17 May 2023 5 minute read
Cardiff City stadium picture by Jon Candy (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Chris Pyke

The man to lead Cardiff City into the 2023/24 season is a simple one, but he isn’t even listed in the bookies’ odds to replace Sabri Lamouchi.

He’s young, passionate, Welsh, former player, and just achieved promotion to the Premier League as an assistant manager.

Yes, Craig Bellamy.

Passionate, perhaps too much so, and therefore maybe he needs a partner to balance out, let’s say the wilder side of Bellamy’s character, step forward Osian Roberts.

A combination of Bellamy and Roberts could bring a balance to the force. And, there could and should be a role in this set-up for Sol Bamba. This is not sentimentality, but forward planning.

It’s time to create a Cardiff City boot room and end this merry-go-round of managers at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Craig Bellamy playing for Cardiff City in 2011. (Credit: Jon Candy CC 2.0)

Bellamy has been a loose cannon in the past, but he is maturing. He has just achieved promotion with Vincent Kompany at Burnley. Kompany has been a revelation, and that can only have helped Bellamy.

Also, when Bellamy has appeared on ITV as a pundit he has proven to be insightful and unafraid to share opinions, popular or not.

The former Liverpool, Newcastle, and Norwich forward has been linked to Cardiff’s top job in the past. Back in 2022, after the sacking of Steve Morrison, Bellamy said that he was not interested in being a manager. Maybe, after his year at Burnley, he might change his mind.

As a player, he made 91 appearances for the Bluebirds, and after retiring coached at the academy, becoming the club’s player development manager, overseeing all age groups at the club’s youth academy and coaching the older age-group teams.

Having earlier been interviewed for the post of Wales manager – narrowly losing out to Ryan Giggs after what was described as a ‘stellar’ interview, he was given permission to apply for the vacant managerial position at EFL League One club Oxford United in February 2018. Bellamy agreed terms with Oxford but later withdrew his application after the club was taken over during the negotiations.

He stepped down from his coaching role at Cardiff in January 2019 to defend himself against a claim of bullying a youth-team player. An internal investigation by the club later resulted in Bellamy issuing an apology over an “unacceptable coaching environment”, although he was subject to no formal disciplinary action.

Roberts is out of work following the dismissal of Patrick Viera from Crystal Palace. Roberts was an assistant manager to the Frenchman at the Premier League side and would bring experience and maturity to a coaching set-up with Bellamy.

Roberts has previously held the technical director role at both Wales and Morocco, and a lot of the groundwork he did with the North African side was on display at the Qatar World Cup.

Roberts’ role at Cardiff City could encompass this, as well as on the training ground and in the dugout. The idea of Vincent Tan and Craig Bellamy in a meeting room might be something of a combustible scenario, however Roberts could act as a conduit between the two characters.

Osian Roberts (Credit: PA)

Bamba is there as well, to soak up knowledge from the exceptionally experienced Welshman.

It’s time for Cardiff City to steady the ship. They need stability, not something you might previously have associated with Bellamy, but he has passion for his local club, and now the experience to support it.

The past managers for Cardiff veer from the experienced, pragmatic old hands to young up-and-comers. Bellamy, at 43, falls more into the latter category but he is not so much a new kid on the block anymore, given his wealth of coaching experience.

What’s the expectation for Cardiff in the Championship next season? Well, without Reading’s points deduction, it’s possible they could have been plying their trade in League One, so avoiding relegation and building for the future is surely all that can be expected. Dreams of a Premier League promotion need to be parked for a season or two.

Bellamy, who knows the club, has worked with youth players, managing the under-21 team for the Belgian side Anderlecht, could help bridge that gap with youth. Roberts has contacts with the FAW, and they could look to exploit that by having a Welsh heart on and off the pitch by encouraging Welsh players to ply their trade in the capital.

Cardiff saw the promising youngster and Wales U17 forward Gabriele Biancheri leave for Manchester United, with Bellamy and Roberts at the helm young players might see a route to the first team as a more achievable dream.

The managerial situation at Cardiff City Stadium is fast becoming farcical. Stability and planning are needed, and the way to that is through loyalty. And, while much can be said and has been said about Bellamy there is one thing not in doubt and that’s his love for Cardiff City.


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Bandidos Bluebird AZ
Bandidos Bluebird AZ
9 months ago

Too sensible for Tan, Dalman and Choo. They also sadly failed to support Bellamy when an English apprentice alleged Craig was anti-English, so he probably wouldn’t want to work for them.

George Thomas
George Thomas
9 months ago

Craig Bellamy left Cardiff City under allegations of bullying in January of 2019. The club won’t want his return until that date is very much in the past, in my opinion. He recently described having to leave job in Belgium due to his mental health, becoming bankrupt and positive role Kompany plays in his life. Bellamy doesn’t want to enter further instability and leave Kompany’s side, again in my opinion, by joining a club of such a bonkers club. If Osian Roberts wanted to be a manager, then this is a good chance to make it. But then so is… Read more »

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