For a player wearing an England shirt to emerge from the 2006 World Cup with credit and having scored their penalty to boot, you would think that they would go on and have a somewhat illustrious career, building on what many in this country called the stand out performance from an English perspective.
Yet if you were then told that after that tournament the player in question played a grand total of 27 games in the next four seasons, and was promoting himself on U tube after being left clubless this summer, just what had gone wrong for a certain midfielder named Owen Hargreaves?
Injuries have been a massive problem over the last couple of seasons, and Hargreaves can point to the fact it was not his ability which led Manchester United to decline to extend his contract, but the sheer amount of long term layoffs he suffered whilst at Old Trafford. Time and time again he received vocal support from the players and management, who all felt he had all the quality needed to succeed, but simply could not remain fit enough to stake a place in the side.
It certainly looked like Hargreaves was going to be left in the cold, yet a sensational swoop by Manchester city has left the player once again at a top, top club who are challenging for the title. There is no doubt that Hargreaves is a great player, full of ability.
His time at German giants Bayern where he won both the Bundesliga and the Champions League show this, yet how much of a toll have serious injuries taken on him, especially his recurring tendinitis problem? Manchester City may have more money than fans could have ever dreamed of, but they are not stupid, and would not have offered the player a contract if they did not feel they were getting more in return than being agonistic towards United.
It is questionable if Hargreaves could actually break into a side full of quality, yet a replacement for Viera was required, and the small matter of the departure of Yaya Toure due to the ill-timed African Cup of nations was considered, and trusting in the medical assessment of both the club and renowned surgeon Richard Steadman who felt his knee could ‘withstand jumping the Eiffel Tower’.
As well as the players’ mental and physical well-being, City offered a one – year deal which the player readily accepted – clearly U tube videos work with the player now having a chance at rebuilding his reputation and playing Champions League football. Not to mention having the stage to make a bid for a place in the England Euro 2012 squad. Should this happen, no doubt City and Hargreaves will be delighted. How Manchester United fans will feel however is somewhat debatable!
ThisisFutbol.com are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “firstname.lastname@example.org” to learn more.