Ashley Young represents one of the few success stories under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
Despite beginning his career as a tricky winger, he’s spent the last couple of seasons plying his trade as a reliable left-back in Mourinho’s back four.
But when his career began, he very nearly came up against a player who was labelled by one Spanish website as the game’s dirtiest ever player. You may not be surprised to hear that the player in question’s name is Kevin Muscat.
According to Young, former Australia international Muscat came up to him when he was warming up before his Watford debut at Vicarage Road against Millwall.
“I remember his first words to me,’’ said Young in 2010, ‘‘were ‘Don’t go past me or I will break your legs’.
‘‘From that day, the nerves left me and I concentrated on playing. I went on and I scored. I didn’t say anything to him at the end.”
As luck would have it, Young wouldn’t even face Muscat that day, because the Australian had already been sent off by the time Young made it onto the pitch for stamping on Hornets player Danny Webber.
Muscat, who also played for Crystal Palace, Wolves, Rangers and Melbourne Victory, was red-carded 12 times in his career for some truly abysmal tackles. Sounds like Ashley Young dodged a bullet…
He’s been manager of Melbourne Victory since 2013, when he hung up his blood-caked boots for the final time.