Liverpool Message Board
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I disagree that national team talent will always shine through eventually. It may be true with the Rooney and Owens of this world but the Lampards (Who Chelsea took a punt on and he developed fantastically well, even if I think he is a fat shite), Johnsons (who has developed since everton took a chance on him, and Ashton/Bent etc develop only in line with the chances they are given to play at the top level. But for how many of those are there players who could step up, with the right coaching and being suurounded by other top professionals but are never given the chance at a young age because they are shipped off to Scunthorpe (no disrespect intended), and sink into a career playing in the lower leagues where they are not pushed or tested. Taken to the extreme even Zidane wasn't rated at a young age but he developed late after being educated first in France then in Serie A. YEs we do get international footballers through but the point is inadvertently Rafa's suggestion might mean we have a wider pool of talent to choose from. I do agree though that there has to be retsrictions on foreigners. Bolton and Arsenal packing a reserve side with non english talent does us not favours at all and in the main the liverpool reserves tend to be english. It'll never happen anyway, and I agree with some of the arguments against too but I'm all for debate.
Even before the Bosman ruling and restrictions on foreigners, the national team was still behind many of the other top nations. Italy 90 & Euro 1996 aside, we have been pretty average at best in all other tournaments.