In a week where Manchester United have been continually linked with a world class midfielder, it is a shame to see the struggle facing another excellent midfielder who was recently released by the club.
Struggling to find a club willing to take a gamble on a long injury list, Owen Hargreaves has resorted to setting up a YouTube channel for fitness videos in an attempt to prove his worth.
When you look down the roll call of Manchester United appearances, you have to look a long way down the list to find the name of Owen Hargreaves. With only 27 first team starts to his name he takes his place in the list alongside Eric Djemba Djemba and one place ahead of Jordi Cruyff, Kleberson and Ralph Milne. Darren Gibson, by comparison, has already made 35 starts. His last game for the club only lasted four minutes and was described as a ‘disaster’ by Sir Alex Ferguson. His name regularly appears in the tabloid lists of ‘big money flops’ and at a reported £17mill pound fee (plus wages) for what currently stands at 27 starts and 2 goals only makes happy reading for the anti-United brigade.
But for myself and many other United fans, Owen Hargreaves’ time at the club will always be remembered fondly. The man will never be a United legend in the way of Edwards, Charlton, Best, Robson, but he has certainly made his mark in the history of this great club.
For all the deserved praise Christiano Ronaldo received for his part in the 2007-08 campaign, Hargreaves contribution should not be underestimated and certainly not forgotten. Important goals in the run in against Arsenal and Fulham were combined with impeccable performances, most notably against Barcelona at Old Trafford.
His performance in Moscow was full of drive and energy, combining with Wes Brown to close down the threat of Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda. 120 minutes of 100% workrate and commitment to the cause and finished his involvement scoring a crucial penalty, the first United penalty after Ronaldo’s miss. Hargreaves name was sung in the parties throughout the night and still going the next day with fans battling delays at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.
To see a man, who contributed so much to what an unforgettable season, struggling to find an employer and relying on YouTube videos is such a shame. I for one hope he finds himself a decent club and resurrects a career that at one stage promised so much.
Hopefully one day he’ll return to Old Trafford and receive a reception he greatly deserves.
Good luck Owen Hargreaves.