Paul Scholes has reflected on Steven Gerrard’s moment of madness, claiming that for all the mistakes he made when he was at United, he never lost his head the way the Liverpool captain did.
Watching Steven Gerrard on Sunday, I suspect that his first thought while he was warming up during the first half was “How am I not playing in this game?” His second would have been that when he did get on, he was going to put a few tackles in and get the home crowd going.
He certainly managed the tackles, and in fact even his first challenge on Juan Mata was one of those that was only just timed OK. By the time he was into Ander Herrera his frustration had got the better of him.
United were brilliant in the first half, but if they had been up against Gerrard then it might have been different. He had the frustration of not playing in the game, and then he had to watch a first half in which none of his team-mates even made a tackle. It is not nice to stand on the sideline and see your own team getting destroyed at home to a big rival.
I can see what he was trying to do when he came on: put a few tackles in and get the crowd going. But even when you can feel the emotions rising in you, the most important thing is control. I got sent off a few times in my life but I never lost my head. I mistimed tackles and I made mistakes.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.