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Europa League squad announced

Craig Bellamy's Manchester City future looks more uncertain after the striker was left out of City's Europa League squad to face Timisoara next week.

Midfielder Stephen Ireland, who has been linked with a move to Aston Villa, was also omitted as boss Roberto Mancini named just 23 of a possible 25 players.

>>BBC Sport.

There has been lots of talk of the squad Roberto Mancini named as being a 'statement' and indication that not only is Stephen Ireland, but also Craig Bellamy faced with little future at the club - and maybe even a retort to Bellamy's comments earlier in the week.

Perhaps also another sign of Mancini putting his own stamp on the club as he evolves the side on from the reign of Mark Hughes.


Whilst the omission of Ireland is no surprise, Bellamy's is. You could make the argument that his body may not be able to cope with the rigours of two games a week - certainly this early in the season without the rythm of games behind him - but if this was the case it would have made sense to name him in the squad and keep him firmly placed on the bench, particularly as Mancini declined to use the full 25 man entitlement.

This isn't a similar scenario as leaving David Silva out whilst he gets back to full fitness after an extended break after the World Cup and the reaction and headlines have been inevitable.

It is also a touch surprising that Roque Santa Cruz was favoured ahead of Jo given the latters pre-season form, and the formers complete lack of it but possibly the biggest shock was the inclusion of Robinho (ahead of Bellamy in that position), another whose days looked numbered but if no offers are forthcoming - and a return to Santos ruled out - his options look very limited except to try and re-start his City career.