Zola: Injuries have held Bellamy back

Gianfranco Zola believes Craig Bellamy could have been one of football’s top superstars but for a spate of injuries.

The West Ham boss must find a way to cope with Bellamy’s pace in tonight’s Barclays Premier League clash against Manchester City at Eastlands.

And while he respects the threat of the controversial Welsh striker, who left Upton Park last January and scored twice in the Manchester derby last week before being involved in an altercation with a fan on the pitch, he insists he could have been even greater.

Zola said: “Injuries have been the downside of his career, otherwise he would have playing for top teams with more consistency.

“The fragility he has got in the muscles has stopped him from being a higher player.

“But he is a devastating player. Against Manchester United he nearly changed the game.”

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