Paul Gascoigne is a player who has always managed to gain sympathy from this country, from his tears at the World Cup to his crippling alcohol addiction.

Just last week Gazza was talking about his United regret and those sentiments have been repeated again today, asking for sympathy again. To think, he turned down playing for Manchester United, working under Sir Alex Ferguson and winning all those trophies to go to Spurs. Christ, who wouldn’t feel for the guy?

“I let Sir Alex Ferguson down, and that’s one thing you should never do. If you want to further your career in football, you don’t let him down,” said Gascoigne. “What happened was, I told him I was signing, I told him to go on holiday and enjoy himself. But then all the Newcastle fans wanted me to sign for Spurs because United had just beaten Newcastle 7-2. I eventually signed for Tottenham, which I don’t regret because of the Cup final and because I got to work with Terry Venables. But when you look at all these young kids who are still there winning trophies, I have a big trophy cabinet, but I could have had another couple of cabinets if I’d gone to United. I don’t like to admit it, but I would loved to have played for Sir Alex Ferguson. You see the fans, the stadium, the Academies, you see the way Rooney, Ronaldo and Becks have come on…Sir Alex turns boys into men. Some of the things I did off the field, Sir Alex would have corrected it within a minute. He would have put me right.”

Six years late Gazza asked for another chance but it was too late by then, with Cantona already wearing the shirt.

“It took me six years to pluck up the courage to sign for them again, but then they had Eric Cantona,” he added. “Sir Alex would have looked after me, I could have played until I was 38 perhaps. Plus my idol Bryan Robson was there, maybe I should have signed for them. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity of playing abroad like Tottenham gave me, but I would have had the experience of working under Sir Alex Ferguson. Of course, it is a regret when you consider the trophies and the opportunity of playing under the best manager in the world.”