He namechecked Frank Lampard, explained how Alex Ferguson would always call that more than a one-player job and then he brought up Stephen Ireland as another example of someone Ferguson would have mentioned in the same way.
Firstly, he’s still only 33 and it’s two years now since he played a game, coming on for Stoke away at Swansea.
Scoring goals against Arsenal, Liverpool (twice), Everton, Chelsea - good goals too, ones where you could see what Alex Ferguson meant, Ireland running beyond midfield and defence, arriving into danger areas all on his own, opening up games completely with his awareness of spaces and ability to finish.
Or the one against Liverpool at home, blasting the ball into the net on the run, another technically not-so-easy strike that a lot of players wouldn’t have taken on — Ireland knocked it in routinely.
At the time we wondered what might have been if Ireland had developed in a different country perhaps (Spain or Portugal), but actually it might have been better if he was 10 years later.