Birmingham City deserve accolades in abundance, of course, for the heroic point gained against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. Every player gave their all.
When the team sheet was announced along with the elongated substitutes list, I for one was taken aback. To have so many rookies at such a tender age almost bordered on the dangerous.
Pep Clotet, of course, had no choice especially due to the injuries to Pedersen, Roberts and Sunjic. Add to that the departed Maghoma, Mrabti and the ‘unavailable’ Davis – then it really does show how threadbare our squad is.
Finances dictate I fully appreciate and there must be very good reasons etc but this situation at St.Andrews is, in my opinion, playing with fire. Yes we have a fair amount of points and only need a few more to ensure Championship safety, but when you see the overload of rookies named on the substitutes bench you quickly realise that getting over this season’s safety line is all that matters.
This is not so much having trust in the youth, but the over reliability on them to make up the numbers. Young talented players coming through is every supporters wish and Pep Clotet is good at this side of football, but the reliance on so many could backfire.
Against West Brom we fortunately had the old heads in Dean, Keiftenbeld and Gardner etc to get us through and it worked out well, but threadbare this squad was and threadbare it may continue until new recruits are made at season end.
Letting players go is all right up to a point but nine games is a fair chunk of any season and I question the logic of letting the likes of Mrabti and Maghoma go so prematurely – also David Davis. Contracts may have ended but in these unfamiliar times, it may have been wiser to extend these for the completion of the season.
As stated I am all for Clotet giving the younger players a real go in these remaining nine games but in moderation. Taking into account of injuries was understandable for the bench last Saturday, but it still hit home how woefully short we are of having a strong Championship challenging side.