It seems that West Ham were not the only Premiership club to have national team managers hindering their efforts to sign new players, although Marco Van Basten’s words for his men were not quite as harsh as France’s Raymond Domenech calling Julian Faubert’s move to the Hammers “Unspeakably Stupid”,
“Van Basten spoke to the squad before the Under-21 Championships and said it would be best for players to stay in Holland if they wanted to go to Euro 2008,” said Babel.
“But, if I’m honest, his words did not even enter my mind when Liverpool said they wanted to sign me.
“I spoke to Rafa Benitez and I have enough confidence in my own ability to believe I will play enough games for Liverpool to convince van Basten and go to the finals.”
Interesting that Van Basten is pushing for his international players to stay in Holland rather than the Premiership, La Liga, Seria A or other major leagues. Presumably to get them playing the Dutch way rather than whatever Neanderthal brand of un-Total Football is being attempted elsewhere, and perhaps to keep their domestic competition strong. Holland is known for their fantastic youth development so perhaps they’ve progressing to holding on to the older lads as well.
But it is great news for Liverpool fans that their new lad has full faith in the manager, and the manager seems to have full faith in him. If only it was all this easy.