Hargreaves Return A Disaster, But It’s Not Over Yet

Manchester United's Owen Hargreaves (C) leaves the pitch after being injured during their English Premier League soccer match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England, November 6, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)
Owen Hargreaves was a surprise inclusion in yesterday’s starting line-up against Wolves. The midfielder hadn’t started a first team game for over two years after a long battle with tendonitis in both knees. Hargreaves’ last first team appearance had been at the end of last season had been as an 89th minute substitute against Sunderland in early May.

Hargreaves was one of England’s best players during the 2006 World Cup; at that point he was still playing for German side Bayern Munich. In the 2006–07 season, Hargreaves broke his leg, which kept him out of most of the season. Hargreaves played five games for Bayern, all in the Champions League; he also made five appearances for England.

Hargreaves was consistently being linked with a move to Manchester United for almost a year, it was finally announced that he would join and he did on the 1st July 2007. He made 34 appearances for United in his first season, scoring two goals. His second season with the club was hampered by injuries- he only played three games. Hargreaves flew out to America for specialist treatment and went under the knife a few times.

During the 2009/10 season Hargreaves played 45 minutes for the reserves and came on as a substitute against Sunderland. This season Hargreaves returned to training in late September, making his long awaited comeback against Wolves yesterday.

After the game Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Ryan Giggs had a bit of a tight hamstring and wasn’t risked. Paul Scholes was not fit enough and after training well and the doctor gave it the ok, so Hargreaves was named in the starting XI.

Unfortunately it was a disaster, five minutes in Hargreaves pulled up with a hamstring complaint and was unable to continue.

Speaking to Key 103, Sir Alex believes that lack of match fitness and anxiety may have been the problem.

“It is possibly because of a lack of match fitness,” Fergie said, “Maybe a bit of anxiety at playing his first game had a bit to do with it too.”

Hargreaves future at the club is in question again but the good news is that it isn’t a issue with his knees. These injuries are common after being out for a long time. He shouldn’t be out for too long, it’s whether he can get match fit and stay fit. It would be a massive shame for Hargreaves to have to retire due to injury, for him, United and England.

Team-mate John O’Shea is confident that he will return, after the win yesterday, he told MUTV:

“We feel so sorry for him, but he’ll be back again, no doubt about that. He’s worked very hard to get to this point and I’m sure there’ll be a few little niggles - he’s just got to get over them quickly."

Hargreaves is now in his final year of his contract with the club, if Hargreaves is unable to get fit and stay fit, the less likely it looks like he will be offered a new one.

2 Responses so far.

  1. arun says:

    Gutted for the lad of course but Club need to move on and he should understand that. He can't be the same player any more, his position needs a lot of tackling and good runs. may not be fit enough for the high physical standards this league demands.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Based on my knowledge i know he is a good player even if he wont be fit within this season but i would request the club to renew his contract simply because he has proved to be good.

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