The excellent Brummie shone under the lights again at Wembley in midweek, single-handedly running the game and miraculously assisting Marcus Rashford’s decisive goal in the second half.
It is remarkable to think that England, the most underachieving, disappointing and underachieving of the great footballing nations, now have perhaps the best midfielder in the world world, quickly built a fiery reputation at Real Madrid and now constantly competes with it. performance every time he wears the Three Lions shirt.
Birmingham City fans must be very proud.
For all of Bellingham’s ability and intelligence on the game, one of the things that stands out about his rapid rise is his maturity and the way he carries himself on and off the field , becoming a role model for the younger generation and a huge asset for Britain before the whole world.
Bellingham, who just turned 20, grew up in Stourbridge, is a product of the Birmingham academy and now manages matches at the Bernabeu for the biggest club on the planet.
And watching him pull the strings against Scotland at Hampden Park, the European champions at Wembley and seemingly every Galacticos game got me thinking: will we ever see a Norwich City player achieve the title? sound like that?
It seems ironic that Bellingham’s latest exploits emerged the same week as vicious comments on Todd Cantwell’s podcast, criticizing the club for its treatment of him and claiming that he ‘ has no relationship’ with outgoing sporting director Stuart Webber.
Cantwell is clearly not – and never intended to be – Bellingham, but for all the Dereham-born midfielder’s faults, he was once considered the club’s brightest young prospect. Man City and the player who could go on to achieve elite – or, arguably in Europe -bound Bayern Munich – greatness.
Attitudes and direction between the two are utterly polarized and after Cantwell’s dramatic demise one wonders whether City will ever have an academy product who achieves great things on the stage biggest or not.
There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.
If Birmingham can produce Bellingham, Sheffield United can nurture Kyle Walker and Queen’s Park Rangers can rear Raheem Sterling, why shouldn’t we be able to engineer our own future international talent?
These are all similar-sized clubs to City who have successfully defied the odds to ensure they have academy representation at the highest level, surely serving as such a significant source of pride for Blues, Blades and Rs fans far and wide.
Of course, geographical factors are important, with Norfolk hardly a hub of hardcore footballing families and the club’s proximity to the capital perhaps meaning lots of young talent choose to pursue their ambitions elsewhere.
And while we may have never produced a player like Bellingham – or even anyone close – the likes of Jacob Murphy, Max Aarons, Ben Godfrey, Danny Mills and Robert Green have all gone on to – or are currently enjoying – hugely successful careers.
A video of Murphy, now 28, getting visibly emotional upon hearing the Champions League anthem at the San Siro went viral last month and based on the reaction among the Canary community, proved similarly evocative for all of us who once called him ‘one of our own’.
So imagine the pride those Birmingham fans feel when they see Bellingham strutting his stuff in Spain while simultaneously steering England to next summer’s Euros in Germany.
Angus Gunn has grabbed the Scotland No.1 jersey while more excitingly, Jonathan Rowe is continuing to enhance his ever-rising reputation after netting on debut for England Under-21s.
But for all his maturity and promise, Rowe is still older than Bellingham and with the vast resources that Gareth Southgate possesses in his position, he is still a long way from earning an international call-up. international.
In my estimation, Green and Mills are the last two products of the City academy to proudly wear the Three Lions jersey and although a number of former players have since – John Ruddy, James Maddison and even Harry Kane – continues to represent England, but no one comes. through the ranks Colney is now at the cutting edge of technology.
And this radical renovation of the training ground only highlights the fact that the club has always had the facilities to provide the perfect platform for a player to start their career.
I’ve enjoyed watching Bellingham this season and I sincerely hope he can help Southgate’s side finally escape nearly 60 years of trauma in Germany next summer.
But Birmingham fans will love him even more as a player they all love continues to establish himself as the envy of the rest of the football world.
City may never produce a Bellingham – but we can only hope that Rowe, or the next young cab off the Colney rank, can replicate Green and Mills and rise to the international summit.