|Gascoigne pictured before leaving for Rehab|
Arguably the most gifted English player of all time is now in America undergoing rehabilitation for an alcohol addiction that is threatening to bring the former players life to an end prematurely.
If Gazza had been protected better and looked after when he hung his boots up, could he have been saved from attempting to self destruct? Would Sir Alex Ferguson have been able to keep him on the straight and narrow if the player had signed for Manchester United in 1988, after verbally agreeing to join the club before deciding to join Tottenham Hotspur because they offered to buy his mother and father a house?
Gazza has never shied away from the fact that hanging his boots up was the start of his problems, once adored by millions, he turned to alcohol to try and achieve the same fix of euphoria that he got from playing football, sadly this was the start of his decline.
Many believe that Gazza should have been offered some kind of role within the Football Association to keep him busy. He has so much experience of the game and talent that he should have been able to pass on his experiences of his playing time to the next generation of footballers coming through, sadly this never happened, but would it have happened if Gazza had chosen Manchester instead of London?
Choosing Manchester in 1988 would have meant that Sir Alex Ferguson would have been in charge of managing the player, a manager who has proved over his 26 year spell with the club that he has the credentials to man manage superstar talents who have diverse personalities, could Sir Alex have provided a long term structure for the player that would have seen the ex genius still working at Manchester United's Carrington training complex in a coaching role? Would he be an ambassador for the Reds working regularly on Uniteds MUTV channel keeping his mind focused?