Think back to last summer when Owen Hargreaves was released by Manchester United after four injury-plagued seasons at Old Trafford. Remember at the time it was rumoured he would be joining West Brom or Leicester City, then managed by former England manger Sven-Goran Eriksson.
At the time no United fans really had any grievance with Hargreaves. Many felt sorry that his United (and England) career had stalled due to bad-luck with injuries and were wishing him well in his future endeavours.
Of course that feeling towards Hargreaves changed for many supporters when he surprisingly joined Manchester City who it seems were impressed enough by the training videos on YouTube uploaded by the midfielder to offer him a one-year deal.
Hargreaves then proclaimed that United’s medical team treated him like a ‘guinea pig’ during his time at Old Trafford and that he was ready for a fresh challenge at City with aspirations to get back into the England squad for the European Championships.
It was a strange signing to say the least. Yes Hargreaves had experience (which City were not short of!) but there were better midfielders around that they could have signed. It was a gamble that they could afford to take and Hargreaves after playing for United and Bayern perhaps it was understandable that he would sign for a big club if he had the choice rather than dropping his standards.
Critics argued that the midfielder’s injury-woes would continue and he had no-chance of making it into Roberto Mancini’s squad on an regular basis. Hargreaves only made four competitive appearances for City, scoring once in a Carling Cup tie at home to Birmingham City and made his last appearance in a Blue shirt ironically against United in January’s thrilling FA cup tie at the Etihad Stadium.
So where does the former Bayern Munich midfielder go now. Every player deserves another chance and hopefully a club whether it be in England, Germany or in the MLS will take a chance on Hargreaves and offer him some sort of pay-as-you-play deal.
It’s somewhat sad that a man whose penalty-kick in the 2008 Champions League final which proved a pivotal point in United’s win that night against Chelsea has become a forgotten man of English football when he had the talent and tenacity to become one of the best players of his position of his generation.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87