End Robert vendetta – Bellamy

Last updated : 02 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Constant (and largely justified) criticism of the Frenchman ended in an angry confrontation with the Evening Chronicle’s Alan Oliver after the Spurs game, and Bellamy feels that it’s time everyone gave his team mate a break.

It’ll certainly help if Robert can produce more battling performances like those against Spurs and Liverpool – although not back to his best he at least showed a much higher degree of commitment than in recent weeks.

"I wish people would stop having a go at Laurent Robert. He has had to cope with a disgraceful amount of flak this season and it seems there has been a bit of a vendetta against him," Bellamy told the Journal.

"What Laurent did after the Tottenham game was not nice and he regrets what happened in the heat of the moment, but it seems everyone concerned would like to close that chapter now.

"The fact is Laurent is a magnificent player who is popular in the dressing room as a person and most importantly as a footballer.

"There are few better left-sided midfielders in Europe and, let's not forget, he had the most assists in the Premiership last season.

"He has not had the easiest of times this time around, but it hurts him. He does care about Newcastle United and he gets frustrated when things don't go his way.

"As a striker I love playing with him because you know that no matter how quiet he is in a match, he is going to create at least two chances for you. It is the same for Alan Shearer.

"We cannot afford to carry anyone. If we thought we were carrying Laurent Robert we wouldn't want him in the side and it would be impossible for the manager to pick him.

"At the moment his confidence is not high, but give him time."

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