Manchester United managerial legend Sir Alex Ferguson was the source of a media frenzy earlier this week, as journalists the length and breadth of the nation clamoured and jostled to get their hands on extracts from the launch of his new autobiography.
Ferguson was a phenomenal success at Old Trafford and inhabited the dugout for a staggering 27 years. Given how many players passed through arguably the world's most-prestigious club during that particular period and the vastly changing nature of the global game, it is unsurprising to find that the notoriously fierce Scot had several run-ins with his own players.
Juicy details of such fallouts feature in the new book, alongside several other interesting themes. One other particularly controversial quote from Ferguson has revolves around his staggering claim that Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard was “was not a top top player”.
However, despite these rather disparaging remarks, Ferguson claims he also tried to sign the England captain around the time it looked as if he was on the verge of turning his back on Liverpool around 2005.
Had such a moved happened, Gerrard would not have made nearly the same impact on the footballing world as he has over a sustained career with his beloved Reds.
In fact, I would go as far as to say he would have proved an expensive flop, as he would surely have commanded an extravagant fee due to his previous Premier League exploits.
Gerrard, in my humble view, has proved himself a superb talent. Yet for me, at club level at least, his brilliance is intrinsically linked to the sense of identity and belonging he has evidently always felt at Anfield.
Moving to United - undeniably the Merseyside outfit's biggest and oldest foes - would have devastated the masses at Anfield and utterly tarnished his reputation for good.
More than that, crossing such a notable divide would surely have seen him become a reviled figure who would have been subject to savage criticism upon his return to his native city.
Such treatment would surely have dented his confidence in a manner that can certainly has a sizeable impact upon a player's form and state of mind.
Additionally, I doubt somewhat that Gerrard would have enjoyed the same success in a United midfield that, at that stage certainly, was exclusively the dominant domain of one Paul Scholes.
A lot of Gerrard's success at Liverpool has been with him as the absolute focal point of the side - the same would not have been said with the world-class talent on display at Old Trafford.
Gerrard is a truly formidable midfield talent who has enjoyed a wonderful career with Liverpool - there is no doubt about that and I am not wishing to downplay his significant talents in any regard.
However, I just do not think that he would have been able to make quite the same impact at Old Trafford.
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