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Rafa not kidding about those crappy youth academies in England


Liverpool bade farewell Wednesday to reserve-team regular David Mannix, a Liverpool-born midfielder who made zero first-team appearances for his hometown club. The really disappointing bit in the brief announcement revealing the move is that there's no hint about young David's future. No teaser about where he might end up or anything is included. It merely states Mannix was a product of the youth academy and that his contract was terminated.

I mean, why even announce that? That's a pretty depressing note for the nature of the academy. Is Rafa trying to light a fire under someone's kiester or what?

"Yeah, David, I'm sorry to tell you, but you have no future at Liverpool Football Club. We invested time and energy to bring you through the academy, you featured in our reserve side and you're a true Scouser, but there's nothing here for you. In fact, you're actually harming our reserve side. We're thinking about scotching the whole program, you see. There's billionaires interested in our club, and we won't need youth players anymore once that happens."

Meanwhile, it's 'Carra Week' over at, and the hosannas are in full force - for a player brought up through the ranks and not purchased from somewhere else. In a couple years it'll be time for 'Stevie Week,' celebrating yet another player brought up through the ranks.

Hmm, who are Liverpool's two most valuable, beloved players? Wow, isn't that ironic. I never would have guessed. Maybe the game is changing too much with the cash infusions left and right, but developing talent at big clubs should still have its place. David Mannix probably did stink - at least for Liverpool's purposes - but I'm inclined to agree with Rafa Benitez in arguing for improvements to the system.

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