When Owen Hargreaves came on as a sub against Sunderland in the penultimate game of the season it was his first 1st team appearance for United since September 2008. Tendinitis in both of his knees kept him out of the game up until that point and he was sorely missed.
There had been murmurs of a shock inclusion in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad for the midfielder but according to newspapers Sir Alex Ferguson vetoed any chance of that, asking Capello not to select him and when Hargreaves was not selected for the final squad of the season against Stoke he was said to have left Old Trafford in a huff prior to the game.
The term “United >>>>England” is often used by United fans and I think this is a prime case.
Representing your country should fill any player with pride but Hargreaves should realise that the demands of the World Cup is a step too far having only played a minute of first team football and a half of reserve action all season whilst Capello should have had the common sense to have not even entertained selecting him.
We have been without Hargreaves for two seasons and now he has finally reached fitness he was potentially going to be taken to the World Cup. If he was in fact selected without that playing time under his belt and then injured on international duty we would have been left in the hole yet again. Compensation would have been talked about but would that really have made up for not having Hargreaves yet again?
The fact Hargreaves himself is talking about having showdown talks with Sir Alex Ferguson is quite disappointing. A season of performances for £18m does not make good business sense and even worse after the extent of the injury and the number of set backs certain clubs could have cut their losses (I’m assuming he was still being paid whilst injured) and cancelled his contract so surely he must see where Sir Alex is coming from in wanting to protect his player.
I doubt anything will come of this ‘showdown’, but I just feel Hargreaves should remember how United stuck by him during his injury thus the same loyalty should be returned!