Just last week, Steven Gerrard escaped punishment from the FA after he stuck his fingers up at the referee and told him to “fuck off”. Given that both Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo have both received yellow cards for sarcastically applauding a bad decision by the referee in the past, it is fairly alarming that Gerrard, who captained England the week before, was let off.

Clearly escaping punishment there has made him realise he can get away with whatever he likes, as his horrible clash with Michael Brown illustrates.

Don’t get me wrong, Brown is a nasty little git, who stamped on our own Ryan Giggs a few years ago, but there is no excuse for smacking someone around the head with an elbow. This is an off the ball incident which surely can’t be ignored by the FA…?

Unlike Andre Marriner, who claimed he saw the player stick his fingers up at him but felt this was not a case of disrespecting the ref and worthy of a booking, referee Stuart Atwell has claimed he didn’t see the incident properly, meaning Gerrard could still be up for a three match ban. Just what Liverpool need from their captain as they look like losing their battle for fourth place, and therefore Champions League football, next season.

If the FA do slap Gerrard with a charge, it would mean missing United’s game at the weekend. If Liverpool appealed it, he would face missing half of Liverpool’s remaining games, with the FA seeming to hand out an extra games ban to those that appeal.

This comes as no surprise though, as Gerrard has previous when it comes to thuggery.

1. His horrdenous “challenge” on Gary Naysmith

2. Punching Theo Lucius in the face during a bust up against Feyenoord.

3. Beating up a DJ in a Southport bar after he refused to let him take control of the music

4. Steven Gerrard elbows Portsmouth’s Michael Brown in the head