Looks like someone has been reading my articles.
I’ve previously stated that a player like Jude Bellingham, who has burst onto the scene somewhat this season and got a lot of people talking after he scored his first goal for the club against Stoke City, needed to be bedded in slowly and carefully rather than being rushed into the first team before he is ready for regular minutes.
And it seems as if patience is also the mantra that Pep Clotet is taking when it comes to players coming through the Birmingham academy.
Speaking in his press conference today, he said that:
“Seeing some of our youngsters out on international duty shows this Club is doing a very good job in the academy, you need to work for 4-5 years to start seeing results, the academy has been fantastic, they deserve all the credit.”
Whilst it is great to see that he is paying attention to what the young kids are doing on an international level, it’s also nice to see that he isn’t going to just rush them in. As I said yesterday, his job isn’t to play the kids just because it would please the fans and give them a chance to sing ‘he’s one of our own’. His job is to win football matches by using the best team at his disposal. If those players are from the academy then so be it, but he shouldn’t be forced into playing them just because it will win favour with the people on the terraces.
It’s also interesting to note that the way he’s talking, looking 4-5 years in the future, gives something of an indication that he wants to be here for some time, which would certainly make a change from the previous managers at St Andrew’s who seem to go before they have even had a chance to get settled in.
What do you think? With the initial ‘success’ that Jude Bellingham has shown this year, would you like to see more of the academy players given a go this season? Or do you think that it’s still a little too early to be thinking about that?