Manchester United: Luke Shaw on the tackle that nearly ended his career
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw has been talking with the Guardian. His return from a badly broken leg has been arduous – a double break caused by a tackle when United played PSV Eindhoven on September 15 2015.
Is he angry with the tackler, PSV’s Héctor Moreno?
“I partly blame myself. I’d run into their penalty area and I should have shot with my right foot but I wanted to come inside. I wanted to be on my left foot. And then, obviously, the tackle. I don’t even want to think about the tackle, to be honest. At the time I thought: ‘Give him the benefit of the doubt, it wasn’t actually a bad tackle.’ But the more I’ve seen it since, the more I think: ‘You know, that was actually a really bad challenge.’..
The memory has not faded.
“To be fair to him, he did come to say sorry. He came to the hospital and I saw him face to face in my room. I was quite sympathetic at the time – ‘Aah, look, you can come in, it’s fine’ – but at the end of the day it was me lying there with a broken leg, and I went through so many bad times since then I did start thinking about it some more. It really annoys me they [Uefa] gave him man of the match. Some people were saying it was a good challenge, others were saying it was a bad challenge. For me, it’s a bad challenge.”
Immediately after the tackle, Shaw felt little or no pain.
“Then, that night, lying in hospital, I swear to God the pain was something else. Oh God, the worst you could ever imagine. My mum was next to me and I remember saying to her: ‘They have to do something because I actually can’t keep going with this amount of pain.’ They had to open up my leg to pull out all the clotted-up blood. They put me to sleep, but it didn’t stop the pain when I woke up again.”
“I still get aches. I don’t go a day without feeling it. It’s 100% better but it’s normal, apparently, to feel it after such a bad injury. In the first three or four weeks when I started training outside it felt good, but then all of a sudden it started aching. It didn’t hurt, but it was aching and aching and even before I went out I could feel it and I was thinking: ‘Fuck … is it ever going to go away?’”
Such an horrendous injury affects the mind.
When Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsay had his leg broken in a bad tackle from Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross, he told the Indy:
“I realised how much football actually means to me. When you are watching all the games, while sitting on your settee, you think: ‘I should be there’. That’s one of the most difficult parts of it.”