Well, I knew this point was going to come eventually.
I just didn’t expect it to come this late in the season, and in arguably one of our biggest games of the campaign.
Speaking ahead of Birmingham City’s clash with Leicester City tonight, Blues boss Pep Clotet revealed that 16-year-old Jude Bellingham won’t be playing tonight as he needs to recover from fatigue as well as a few knocks that he has picked up in recent weeks.
I’ve spoken before, just as Bellingham had burst onto the scene that we needed to be careful with how we managed his load going forward, so I can’t find myself too displeased with this news. However, I just wish that he’d have been rested earlier so that we could have Bellingham ready to go for this game.
With Leicester City currently on a bit of a ‘blip’, now is the perfect time to strike, cause an upset and be in the quarter-finals of the F.A Cup, something we haven’t achieved since the 2010-11 season, and to do that we need our first team ready and available for selection, and keeping Bellingham, a regular this season despite his age, out of the side is only going to hurt our chances.
Was Pep right to rest Jude for the game tonight?
It’s all well and good looking after his wellbeing, but at the same time, the Blues aren’t exactly used to getting this far in cup competitions, and we have to take every opportunity that we can get. And given the recent reports suggesting that Bellingham could be on his way out of St Andrew’s this summer, we may not have a lot of time left for the two of us to have these kinds of journeys together.
So why not make the most of it whilst we can, and try and get Bellingham as embedded in Blues folklore as we possibly can. And a good performance in a memorable victory away to a Premier League side would have been a great way to do that.