Twitter really is the deliverer of both good and bad news.
When the good is good it’s all very nice…but when its bad it’s utterly horrid
The news of Owen Hargreaves impending move to Manchester City was both a surprise and a cyber kick in the guts. The lad with no knees, who has battled valiantly to get fit for three years, and only last week was quoted as saying “I would’ve played for Manchester United for free” …has won the lottery and landed a role in City’s star-studded stable of players. The feeling for United fans is understandably mixed. Emotions range from outright hatred for Hargreaves to general malaise about the whole debacle. But you don’t have to pick the bones out of this carcass too much to get the gist of the truth.
There’s no doubt that Hargreaves is a magnificent footballer…that is…without the injuries. I remember watching United get taken apart in a Champions League semi final against Kaka and AC Milan and thinking ‘If we had Owen Hargreaves in our team we may have won this one’…Twelve months later Hargreaves was in Moscow lifting that big old trophy above his head…dressed in United Red. Unfortunately since then, Hargreaves has played no discernible role in United’s continued success. His career has been one of not when will he come back, but when will United let him go. Well as we know, that inevitable end came this last season, when it was announced Hargreaves and United would part company. Lots of United fans said good riddance, but many of us were genuinely sad to see what we considered a world-class talent leave our ranks. There was always that hope he would get fit, in the way that Solksjaer and Nev both battled with serious injuries, and play for us once again.
The news of City signing Hargreaves is sickening. But I totally understand his motivations for the move. When you have the choice of a relegation battle with West Brom, a drop into the Championship with Leicester, a move to club like Spurs who look Modric-diseased and will be reminiscing about last years jolly in Europe when ‘they were a big club’ …you can understand why Hargreaves has chosen City over the rest.
So this is like Tevez right? Wrong. Tevez bailed for the cash and the cash alone. The polar opposite of this situation, where United (understandably) released a player..who effectively was jobless, and got a phone call from a rival company giving him a possible route back into the big time…and Champions League football. It undermines the ambition of a top class player to say ‘why didnt he just join Tottenham where he would play every week, rather than joining City to sit on their bench?’…thats like saying why did Michael Owen join us when he could have gone to Everton.
On the surface this may all pan out to be nothing more than a difficult day to swallow for us Reds. But if Hargreaves turns out to be a success and free of injury..then someone at United must be accountable. Ultimately we know Fergie calls the shots at United…we know we have the future talents of Cleverley and Pogba about to grace the Old Trafford pitch for years to come…and we know that Hargreaves had plenty of time to make his protracted comeback for us. But if we’ve just spent tons of £s on getting Hargreaves fit, to then not offer him a contract…and allow him to join the enemy..well….it truly is pathetic.
I don’t blame the lad. City pay the best. United showed him the door. He wants to compete for a place in a team fighting for the biggest trophies…and City fit that criteria. Why undersell yourself and go to a club that can’t offer you the biggest matches? Yes he will probably sit on the bench quite a bit, but that will probably suit his fitness. He probably couldn’t get through 60 games at West Brom, where he would start every game. 20 starts and sub appearances will probably be enough for him, and he may well win some trophies (gulp!)
This decision comes down to Sir Alex. If Hargo is a success we will just have to swallow it. If you were a betting man the odds would still be in our favour that Hargreaves has little chance of being a success at City in terms of playing impact….but if they win a trophy…and he’s got their Blue on his back…dancing around….well…that will be hard to take.
Maybe it is time to fast track Paul Pogba into the first team set up and settle our desires for a midfield action hero!