Carragher recalls how he almost broke Nani’s leg in 2011

Date published: Saturday 1st April 2017 11:15

Jamie Carragher has refused to vilify Wales defender Neil Taylor over the tackle that has left Everton’s Seamus Coleman facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The Aston Villa full-back has come in for severe criticism over the past week after his tackle on the Republic of Ireland skipper left him with a broken leg and a minimum of six months on the sidelines.

With FIFA set to step into the row and give Taylor an extended ban, Carragher has used his weekly Daily Mail column to explain why¬†he won’t be joining the hordes looking to point the finger at the Welshman.

Carragher wrote: “The comment ‘he’s not that type of player’ is nonsense. We are all that type of player. I’d say 99 per cent of footballers have made challenges as bad as Taylor’s – or even worse – at some point in their careers. They were just lucky no bones were broken.

“I say it from experience. I know what Coleman is going through, given that Lucas Neill shattered my leg at Blackburn in 2003 when he leaped into me, but I can relate in some way to Taylor’s frame of mind too.

“Don’t confuse this as me trying to defend Taylor. I’m not doing that whatsoever. Everything about his lunge at Coleman was awful. It was irresponsible, he came at him from a high and wide angle and the speed of the collision meant the consequences were catastrophic.

“Taylor should be devastated. Coleman faces at least six months of rehabilitation and soul-destroying days in the gym. There is also no guarantee he will come back in the same form.”

Carragher then looked back on an incident back in 2011 when he his awful tackle on Nani could have resulted in the Portuguese winger suffering serious injury.

“I won’t vilify the Aston Villa full back. Why? I could have been in exactly the same position in March 2011 when Liverpool played Manchester United,” Carragher continued.

“I’d been switched to right back towards the end of the first half, so the first thing United manager Sir Alex Ferguson did was move the speedy Nani to the left flank to attack me. I wanted to let him know I was ready for him, that he wasn’t going to pass. I wanted to rattle his bones. But my first challenge was horribly mistimed and I clattered into his shin.

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“I was lucky not to be sent off and luckier still that Nani was able to walk out of Anfield with ‘just’ a gash in his leg.

“We beat United 3-1 that day but I wasn’t able to enjoy the victory. It didn’t feel right after what I had done and I was embarrassed when I saw the replays of the challenge. I tried to go into the United dressing room after the game to apologise, but they weren’t interested in hearing what I had to say.

“I never wanted anybody to think that I deliberately hurt opponents. The vast majority of players are the same.

“But do not doubt that everyone who plays professionally is capable of finding themselves in Taylor’s predicament, even those who bring fantasy and excitement to the game. That is no exaggeration. “

The rest of Jamie Carragher’s column can be read here.

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