METRO – Craig Bellamy struggling to cope following death of Gary Speed

Craig Bellamy has revealed he is going through the ‘worst time in his life’ following the death of his close friend and former Wales manager Gary Speed. Craig Bellamy has been going through the ‘worst time in his life’ since Gary Speed’s death (Picture: Ian Hodgson) Speed shocked the footballing world when he committed suicide last November and Bellamy has admitted he can’t believe how badly it has affected him. The Cardiff striker played with Speed at Newcastle from 2001-04 and played under him when he was Wales manager last year. Speed was found hanged at his home aged 42 and Bellamy has struggled to cope since his passing, and has been forced to move out of his family home. Gary Speed and Craig Bellamy played together for three years at Newcastle (Picture: Mike Hewitt) ‘Losing my best mate has affected everything, I can’t believe how hard it is,’ said Bellamy.‘He was the best mate I’ve ever had, it’s sad but unfortunately it got to my marriage – I’m here and she’s there.‘I don’t know if that’s it for us, all I know is that my best mate has gone and I’m struggling, I can’t lie.’The 33-year-old admitted life at home is particularly hard and he doesn’t care about football at the moment. ‘I’ve been living on my own for eight weeks now,’ said the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker. ‘There’s no-one else involved, I wish there was. ‘I wish I had someone and I wish she (Claire, his wife) had someone – that would make it easier.‘It’s hit me hard, it’s nothing to do with football and it’s nothing to do with me as a footballer – I couldn’t give a s*** about football.‘It’s about real people, human beings, kids and families – it’s the worst time in my life ever.’Bellamy joined Cardiff over the summer and played in their two opening fixtures of the season before picking up a calf injury. Cardiff recently denied reports he was considering retiring from football.

LIVER BIRD – Brendan’s First In Front Of Kop

Carra played his 700th game in Belarus… Gomel will be the opposition at Anfield on Thursday evening as Brendan Rodgers looks to send Liverpool through to the next round of the Europa League in his first match as manager in front of the Kop. The first leg ended in a Liverpool win after Stewart Downing found the back of the net but it wasn’t an easy victory for the Reds as Gomel provided the defence with several problems. Perhaps the unpredictability played into their hands but it is always dangerous to underestimate the opposition. With the home crowd behind Liverpool though and the magic of Anfield you have to feel the home side will wrap this one up and in a more successful manner. Last time out Brendan had Borini up front but with Suarez back from the Olympics after Uruguay were knocked out there is a possibility the number 7 may feature. It will also be interesting to see whether Daniel Agger features in this one too, last time he didn’t travel supposedly because he had to work on his conditioning back at Melwood but with the rumours flying around that he could be off a missing Dane will not help things. Craig Bellamy is also now back from his Olympic efforts but Brendan has admitted talks are open with Cardiff and so I doubt we’ll see the Welshman. I’d like to see a full 90 minutes of Gerrard and Lucas personally to get them settled just before the new season, it’s a good opportunity but I’m still struggling to suss out what exactly Brendan’s plans are for the midfield. My prediction for this one is 2-0, I think now both the lads and Brendan have seen Gomel in action they will be better prepared and the Anfield crowd will certainly spur them on to grab a couple of goals. Would be great to see Borini bag one. Enjoy the match folks!