Footage of Steven Gerrard reflecting on Liverpool’s games against Manchester United has re-emerged amid the ongoing debate about Nemanja Vidic and Virgil van Dijk.
The former Liverpool captain said that his team used to target the Serbian due to flaws in his game.
Vidic has become a much talked about individual this week following comments made by Jamie Carragher, who defended Van Dijk following Liverpool’s draw against Arsenal.
The Dutchman had a difficult game, especially in the early stages, where he had a shocker for Arsenal’s opening goal.
That performance led to comments being made about Van Dijk falling off, comments which did not go down well with Carragher.
The Sky Sports pundit came to the 31-year-old’s defence, responding to a tweet that compared him to some of the great Premier League centre-backs, including Vidic.
“VVD is far better than Vidic, who was a top CB, but have you forgot his performances against Torres?” Carragher wrote.
“Rio & JT had poor seasons in their career like all players, VVD is having one now.
“No CB in the PL era has ever had VVD’s impact on a team.”
But those comments did not go down well with former United captain Rio Ferdinand, who played alongside Vidic for eight seasons.
In response to Carragher’s comments, Ferdinand called the idea that Torres terrorised Vidic, “a myth.”
He said: “[Marcus] Rashford’s got six goals in 13 games against Liverpool. Does that mean he tortured Van Dijk and he can’t handle him? [Are] we using the same methodology that we’re using for Vidic? Rashford is scoring every one in two games against Liverpool.
“I don’t know why Vidic’s name was thrown in there. Because people are hammering Van Dijk about his performances of late and he’s having an off-season. Which he has and I think he’ll admit that.”
But could the debate be settled by the fact that Gerrard told Gary Neville years ago that Liverpool targeted Vidic in games?
The defender had a difficult time playing against the Reds, with half of his eight red cards at United coming against Gerrard’s side.
That included one in a match back in 2009 where Liverpool beat United 4-1 at Old Trafford.
And when analysing the game with Neville, Gerrard stated that they would target Vidic rather than Ferdinand.
“A lot of our gameplan would be for Torres to start on Rio but make runs behind Vidic,” he said.
“Or if we ever got Vidic in a one-vs-one we would always try to take the one-vs-one on because we knew he’d be rash.
“And Rio can obviously recover, he’s quick, he’s leggy, he’s strong.
“Vidic was a great defender in terms of defending his own box and at set-pieces he’d be a threat, but if you isolated him you could cause him problems.”
Watch: Gerrard speaks about Vidic’s flaws as a player
“He was phenomenal for Liverpool, he’d win games on his own,” said Gerrard, speaking about Torres who scored an equaliser for Liverpool that day.
“These two centre-halves were known to be the best partnership in the league, and he was the only person that could destroy both of them on his own.”
The video then continues, showing Vidic dragging Gerrard down with 14 minutes left to play, an offence which he was sent off for as he was the last man back.
“See if that was Rio there, I’m not sure I’d have gone for that one-vs-one, I’d have maybe tried to keep possession,” Gerrard explained.
“But we always felt that Vidic didn’t want to stand up and do the defending side of it. He’d just go to ground so you could cause him a lot of problems.”
Given those comments, it’s clear Gerrard doesn’t rate Vidic as highly as some.