Craig Bellamy, the Wales captain, is at the centre of a club v country dispute after Alan Curbishley, West Ham's manager, pleaded with John Toshack to "allow sense to prevail". Bellamy, in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Cardiff on Saturday and away to Russia on Wednesday week, scored on his first appearance of the season for the Hammers on Saturday. But the striker, who has been suffering from a hamstring injury, played only the last 20 minutes. Curbishley said, "He's not ready. He's been out for four weeks and started training with us only on Wednesday."
Toshack, the Welsh manager, said: "If he's fit to play in the Premier League, he should be ready to take part in our matches."
Curbishley has similar concerns over Northern Ireland's George McCartney. The defender played for only 30 minutes on Saturday. "The managers know our view," added Curbishley. "I've never stopped people playing international football, but they are not ready for it. I just ask for sense to prevail."