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Did Hargreaves Blow People Away?

Owen Hargreaves was released by Manchester United after failing to overcome a series of injuries. Despite claiming he was prepared to play for United for free to pay back the years of wages he had been paid whilst not playing any football, he then signed for rivals City.

United were convinced he was never going to make a full recovery but Hargreaves thought otherwise and managed to convince City of the same.

“I’m going to blow people away,” Hargreaves said days before a medical with the blues. “I’m coming back believing I can return to the level I was at before. My body feels great and my knees are perfect. I’ve just got this huge chip on my shoulder because I’ve been out for three years and people think I’m dead and buried. I can understand why. I can see why people would be sceptical. But, right now, I’d like to think I can play 40 games this season and with the right care I believe I can train every day. I hope to be back in the England side for the European Championship next summer.”

Hargreaves has fallen a little short of 40 games, playing 13 minutes of Premier League football for City this season, making a total of 4 appearances in all competitions, or 157 minutes. It’s pretty safe to say he won’t be in the England side this summer either.

“We took a gamble on Owen because he was such a fantastic player,” Mancini said in February. “We thought we could try to get him fit in two or three months and then he would be able to play. But it hasn’t worked out quite like that. When you have a player who hasn’t played for two years and he starts to train every day there are small problems all the time. Problems in the knees or the hamstrings. So Owen hasn’t been able to play when we have needed him.”

It has been confirmed that Hargreaves won’t be offered a new contract and will be released in the summer. Whilst of course it would be nice to feel sympathy for a former player, who was so important during our Double success in 2008, it is hard to feel anything but smug after he joined our hated rivals after all our patience and then slag off our medical team.

“I’ve had to be a guinea pig for a lot of these treatments,” Hargreaves said a month in to this City career. “But when you’re left to try to make something of a difficult situation, it’s not really an option to say: ‘Let’s sit it out and rest for six months.’ With hindsight it’s a lot easier. And, yes, the injections I had I probably should not have had.”

The following day, the club released a statement: “Manchester United is disappointed with Owen’s remarks. The club gave him the best possible care for three years and is as disappointed as anyone he was not able to play a part in the team’s success at that time. It has shared all the medical records with Manchester City and is comfortable with the actions taken by its medical staff at each step of his many attempts at rehabilitation. United does not acknowledge any validity in the comments Owen is alleged to have made.”

Unless City have also treated Hargreaves like a guinea pig, it appears as though the only problem is the player, and his dodgy knees, which he had when he joined United for £18m but didn’t reveal to our medical staff.

Maybe I’m heartless but I’m glad he flopped so massively at City, particularly seeing as though he was clearly signed in attempt to get under our skin. Maybe now he can be a guinea pig in League 1 and blow them away next season instead.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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56 Comments

  1. Manchuchu says:

    Fuck him.

    Hope his knees explode in a hail of sprockets

  2. Denise Williams says:

    Personally I thought that Hargreaves critcisms of United’s medical staff were very unfair at the time and I still do. Michael Owen has been very glowing in his praise for the medical team here at United and I can’t see them giving him better treatment than Hargreaves can you? I think the real truth is Hargreaves is no better fitness wise than he was when he were here. Mind you I was never very fond of Hargreaves when he was at Bayern Munich. Of course there was the famous occasion he got injured playing for England and blamed Michael Owen for it all. Get the picture everyone it is always someone elses fault. Perhaps he should have joined Liverpool they have exactly the same mindset!!!

  3. napstar says:

    A bit cold Scott-yes,He showed a lack of class by going to City and all the respect I had for him where vaporized by his comments but let time be the judge.

    From his interviews,He sounded like a man out to prove people wrong;that can cloud one’s judgement,I’m not say that is the reason but I giving him the benefit of the doubt,let his service @ OT be my excuse.

    Shame it didn’t work out.

  4. Tanzania is united says:

    hargreaves curlyhair where are u mate

  5. lecho says:

    The way he commented on United’s medical staff was, let’s say, not very gentle, but if you think about it for a while, there might be something in it. Show me another top European club who had to deal with most of the top players’ injuries in October already – and in United it happened for second season in a row.

  6. canadian man u fan says:

    Hargreaves is like a heart driven hockey player – gets knocked down but returns to action . Too bad about his knees , he’d still be in England and Man U starting eleven .
    Owens Hat Trick 1.Apologizes to Man U
    2.Gets back up and rewards his next team
    3.plays with heart and dictates his time when to leave

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