Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has claimed that youth teams should be used for development and not for the prospect of winning trophies.
The Scot appeared to be directing a criticism at the decision to select record signing Andy Carroll for the England Under-21 squad for the European Championship next month.
The 22-year-old joined Liverpool for £35million in January, but has struggled with his fitness, despite putting in an excellent performance against Manchester City in April.
But, despite now being a full international with two caps and a goal to his name, he was picked by Stuart Pearce to join a provisional 40-man squad for the tournament in Denmark.
Dalglish distanced himself from a club-vs-country row and would not have anything to say until the final squad was announced, but he did share his opinions over the matter.
"For me, the benefit of having younger teams is to use them to get the best players into the full team - exactly the same way it is at club level as it is at international," he said.
"Andy has played a number of games for the younger teams, Under 21s and Under-19s, and he has played for the full international team, so it has certainly served its purpose in his development.
"The important thing is not to win a competition, it is to get people progressing through it (the system)."
To emphasize his point, Dalglish used the development of young full-backs Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, who have made an impression in the first team and have not been back with the youth side since.
The team missed out on the chance to win their division, but drew 2-2 with Wolves on Friday, something Dalglish admits could have been different if the duo had been playing.
"Our youth team have just drawn 2-2 and finished second in their league when they had an opportunity to go first," he said.
"I suppose we'll get the blame because we have taken Flanagan and Robinson away from them.
"But for us that is more progress than what it would have been to have won the youth division they were in and got no players through.
"I don't see it being any different for anyone else."