Liverpool defender Carragher: English youth development needs English identity

Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher says England should forget about trying to copy the blueprints of other country's youth schemes.

Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher says England should forget about trying to copy the blueprints of other country's youth schemes.

Carragher also says former teammate Xabi Alonso is wrong over his criticism of English youngsters' emphasis on tackling.

He told liverpoolfc.tv: "When I started everyone was saying the same about Ajax. They were the blueprint for our academy. Then everyone was talking about Clairefontaine in France. Now it's all about La Masia. We always want to do what everyone else has already done. It is right to study them but there is no point copying. What we have to develop is our own identity.

"I read what my friend Xabi Alonso said about tackling being perceived as a quality here, but that's part of our culture. Maybe it mattered more 20 years ago, but you can't just change the culture of a country.

"Every father who watches his son play wants him to be a great footballer, but they are also intent on making sure he is not a coward on the pitch. That's the mentality. Wenger explained it very well when he said the English always go to war.

"It's not just about being able to tackle and nothing else, but you want players with the full package. If you can develop the technique, it's competitiveness that can give us an extra edge over other countries."

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