Home ยป Paul Ince claims he did not commit “cardinal sin” as he did not move directly between Manchester United and Liverpool

Paul Ince claims he did not commit “cardinal sin” as he did not move directly between Manchester United and Liverpool

by Alex Browne

Former Manchester United midfielder, Paul Ince, has recently claimed that he did not commit a cardinal sin by signing for Liverpool owing to the fact he didn’t move directly between the two clubs.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo , the former combative midfielder defended himself saying that playing for the two arch rivals wasn’t a problem as he did not transfer directly between the two English giants.

In fact, since 1964, there has been no direct switch between the two teams. Manchester born, Phil Chisnall, was the last player to do so.

Ince stated, “I have always kind of felt – and I have said this time and time again – it is no disrespect to both teams but I’d have never have gone to Liverpool straight from Manchester United or from Liverpool straight to Manchester United. That is a cardinal sin.” Although, he defends his actions by asserting that he had no desire to leave the Red Devils in 1995. The Ilford-born player made 267 appearances and scored 27 goals between 1989-1995 in a United shirt.

Described as “being able to run tirelessly and provide a reliable defensive back-up in midfield, Ince was also seen as a hard worker with an athletic ability”. The all-action midfielder played a crucial role in restoring the club’s fortunes in the trophy-laden 1990s and formed a formidable midfield line-up with Roy Keane and Bryan Robson.

Unfortunately, Ince was sold by iconic manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, as the two fell out, which resulted in the Scottish manager referring to him as a “big time Charlie”. Ince as since embraced the famous quote by claiming in 2020, he most certainly was, as he played for the two colossals of English and world football.

The now Talksport pundit asserted that the Old Trafford outfit had the chance to resign him when he departed Inter Milan only two years after arriving in 1997, as they had first-option.

“When I left to go to Inter Milan, I didn’t want to leave Manchester United. When I came back from Inter Milan, Man United had first refusal on me. I could have easily gone back to Manchester United – they turned down that decision to take me back.”

Ince claimed that due to family problems, he had to return to England and states that whilst he is unsure if he would have gone back to United, they had no interest in bringing him back.

The former Reading manager commented on his move to Liverpool, “Peter Robinson came over from Liverpool, we sat down and had some lunch, we agreed that was the way I was going to go”.

“The Guv’nor”, as he was known, exclaimed how much he enjoyed living in the north-west of England and it was easy to settle in at Liverpool as he had known fellow England players like David James, Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp from international duty.

The player would score 17 goals for the Merseysiders in 81 appearances before moving on to Middlesbrough and Wolves at the tail end of his career.

Probably his most famous moment donning the liver bird emblem, was scoring at Anfield in May 1999 to grab a 2-2 draw against his former side. The midfielder celebrated wildly in front of the Kop end as it seemed the old rivals had dealt a significant blow to the Old Trafford side’s treble dream. Luckily, it did no such thing in the end.

To this day Ince remains a controversial figure, stuck in the middle. He was certainly loved and valued by Man United fans but falling out with Ferguson and going to Liverpool significantly stains the legacy he probably should have at the club due to his role in reviving the team’s fortunes. Furthermore, Liverpool fans never really saw the best of him and would always resent his United links. Maybe that is why nobody has moved directly since 1964 and it does not seem like such a move is on the horizon.

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