sport news PETER CROUCH: Craig Bellamy can succeed as a manager

Peter Crouch is a columnist for Sportsmail

Peter Crouch is a columnist for Sportsmail

Finish playing, go into the media: it is assumed now when footballers retire they will take the safer option and turn their backs on management.

Punditry work for former players has never been in greater supply than it is right now but don’t think that everyone who hangs up their boots wants to leave the pressure of the dressing room behind.

Two men and one story this week highlights how my generation aren’t prepared to take it easy.

It revolved around Sol Campbell, Craig Bellamy and the vacant Oxford United job. I played with both Sol and ‘Bellers’. They are forceful characters, who have strong opinions about the game. In that respect, they are perfect to be in the media.

But neither want to settle for a studio, given they applied to succeed Pep Clotet at the League One club. Sol has been widely quoted about his frustrations at not getting interviews for jobs.

Craig, on the other hand, is favourite for the role.

If he is appointed, I think he’ll be good. I know he was hot-headed as player, but he’s mellowed a bit now.

He thinks about football 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Craig Bellamy is favourite for the Oxford United position and I think he has what it takes

Craig Bellamy is favourite for the Oxford United position and I think he has what it takes

He’s like Jamie Carragher, burning with that intensity. He studies and watches everything and has got the desire to be successful.

Bellamy will be aware of the pressure that will follow, but I think it’s commendable that he wants to start at that level. He wants to do things properly, by starting at a lower level to work his way up. There is no sense of entitlement that he should walk into a big job because he has played at the top level.

In other respects, Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker, who are coaching youth teams at Liverpool and Tottenham, and Phil Neville, who this week takes charge of the England women’s team, have also proven how hard they are prepared to work to make their new careers successful.

Bellamy was known as a hot-head during his playing days, but he has harnessed that passion

Bellamy was known as a hot-head during his playing days, but he has harnessed that passion

You just can’t let go of football. Harry Kewell is another example of that. I met him on a train last summer when he was going to be interviewed for the Crawley Town job.

He fell out of love with the game towards the end of his playing career due to the amount of injuries he picked up. But he told me how desperate he was to get the role as he preferred coaching to playing.

You wouldn’t have had Harry down as a manager, and nor would you have picked Titus Bramble! But I have been on coaching courses with him and know how much he wants to succeed. Titus is now working at Ipswich’s academy and the sessions I saw him put on were excellent.

Will I follow them? Well, I’ve dipped my toe in and done a bit of media stuff and I’m doing my badges but that decision can wait as I still love playing. What I do know, though, is the buzz that comes from winning is like no other.

Those emotions would be intensified as a manager.

That’s

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