If there’s any chance whatsoever of Owen Hargreaves ever being able to come back as a professional footballer for Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has to select him in his 25-man squad. Even if we don’t think he’ll be back until January, when a new squad list can be submitted, I think it is imperative he is included in the first 25. The psychological blow from being omitted might be something he would never recover from.
I remember when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was coming back from his knee injuries and at times it appeared totally hopeless. I’m not comparing the injuries, as clearly Hargreaves is in a much worse condition, but in terms of hopelessness, the situations are comparable.
“The thought of playing – that’s not to mention scoring – in that red jersey again is the best motivation in the world,” said Ole in September 2004 when he had just been ruled out for the season. “I have been there and I will be back. I will score at Old Trafford again. That’s a promise to myself and to the Manchester United fans.”
Even the manager conceded at times that Ole may never play for the first tema again, but not only did he return to the first team, he scored 11 goals for us in his last season, in all 4 competitions.
Some injuries are impossible to come back from and that may well be the case for Hargreaves. If the club decide it is impossible, then we should forget about his inclusion in the 25 man squad, but if there is any chance he’ll play again, he needs to be included. A player can be in the gym or on the treatment table all they want but it won’t get them anywhere if they don’t believe they’re going to play again. If Solskjaer had given up hope, he never would have made it back for us. If Hargreaves doesn’t make the squad, even with the promise of being included in the next one, he will give up hope and that will be the end of him.
When Wednesday comes, we should know one way or another whether Hargreaves has any chance of a United future.