The term “home grown talent” has become global these days. The best home grown player in the world – Leo Messi – grew up 10,446 kilometers from the home stadium he plays in.
Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who scored Manchester United’s goals at Norwich yesterday – in their 1586th combined appearance with 315th combined goals – grew up in Salford. Less than 5km from Old Trafford. Scholes moved a bit further to Langley at some stage.
This does not buy loyalty – it’s easy to be loyal to an employer that has made you both successful and rich. This does not make you a fan – Scholes is an Oldham fan. This does not make you fight harder than any other pro – often players who have made the tough journey from Africa or South America to European leagues have extraordinary resilience.
But this makes you understand. The club, the fans, the expectations. The exact mentality. The things needed to win stuff in your neighborhood. They are not “home grown”. They are DNA.