By Lee Savery.
“Wowzers!” was Joe Hart’s reaction during an England press conference when he was told of the news Owen Hargreaves is in talks with Manchester City. I am not a person who agrees with many sentiments that are expressed by anyone associated with City but I couldn’t help but feel a similar shock at this news.
Yes I will write this again, Owen Hargreaves has signed for Manchester City. Still shocked? Well if you give it some thought it does not shock as much as first reading. City have already tried to antagonise the red half of Manchester with the signing of Carlos Tevez two years ago. The childish manner of erecting a “Welcome to Manchester” poster irked some. Is the Hargreaves move going to catalyse something similar? Probably not.
It is well documented that Hargreaves has spent the best part of two years injured. The club did everything they could to get him back as did Hargreaves himself but it was to no avail. Operation after operation, breakdown after breakdown, failed comeback after failed comeback, his fate at United was long ago sealed. Hargreaves himself said he would have played for nothing to stay at United.
Both parties went their separate ways. Videos of Hargreaves surfaced on YouTube which seemed to prove he was fit. Clubs became interested. West Bromwich Albion & Leicester City both expressed an interest. The doctors at Albion even assessed his fitness personally over a medical. However he waited for the possibility of a better deal and it seems he feels Manchester City is the better deal.
I have waited all this time to see Owen Hargreaves resurrect his career but him joining City does not fill me with joy. I am sure I am not the only one who will feel this way. The respect any Man United fan had left for him will surely evaporate even if the club decided it was for the best interests of both parties if he was released.
So is this a good move for Hargreaves? More importantly, will he be fit enough to play longer than ten minutes? It is debatable and only Hargreaves himself knows this. He obviously thinks he can and so do City. Will he get in the team? He’s definitely not first choice. Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry & Yaya Toure are already ahead of him in the midfield. His chances will be few and far between and everything depends on his fitness (it sounds repetitive but this is Hargreaves).
Hargreaves will be feeling over the moon right now. He has a club. He has a chance to resurrect his career. But after spending almost three years injured at United, on full pay, with the club doing everything to help get him back to a fitness he is happy with, he will now play for Manchester City. This is a bitter pill to swallow and one which will leave no forgiveness from us the fans of Manchester United. Goodbye Owen Hargreaves.
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