Craig Bellamy: No revolt at Manchester City

23 February 2009 07:52
Bellamy was thought to have accused Robinho, and Elano of being "lazy" following last week's 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth. Sources close to the club suggested that, following a meeting at the club's training ground, the pair refused to speak to each other.

Mark Hughes, the Manchester City manager, denied a rift existed after Sunday's 1-1 draw at Anfield, in which Robinho and Bellamy combined to give City the lead.

Yesterday, the Wales international spoke warmly of playing alongside the former Real Madrid player.

He said: "I am a massive admirer of Robinho. I adore him as a player – how could you not? He's exceptional and I think other teams know that.

"He's our talisman. When people think of Manchester City, they think of Robinho. He's our biggest and best player by a mile. For us, he's a player we need to play well. When he plays well, we play well, so we need him at the top of his game."

Such admiration is unlikely to staunch the flow of rumours about the atmosphere among City's players. Accusations that the club's Brazilian contingent – reduced by one after Jo was loaned to Everton earlier this month – refused to submit to Hughes's disciplinary regime have been rife since the start of the season and the manager has clashed with Elano and fined Robinho.

Bellamy is no stranger to controversy and former team-mates Alan Shearer and John Arne Riise would testify that he is susceptible to falling out with team-mates. That history, combined with the intense spotlight on City since the club's takeover, means he accepts he is likely to be thought of as a potential source of discord.

He said: "It's all part-and-parcel of what goes on, all part of being a footballer and you have to deal with it.

"We're a club everyone is looking at for the moment. It doesn't worry me."

Source: Telegraph