Date: 23rd September 2011 at 12:38pm
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With many of the papers today running with Owen Hargreaves revelations that he thought the treatment he was given on his suspect knees actually didn’t help his recovery, I see it didn’t take the Red-Nosed Knight long to leap to the defence of his medical team.

I wonder why?

I cannot find any piece where Hargeaves actually criticises Manchester United, indeed he actually wishes his former Club well, but for some reason they have leapt to their own defence.

I wonder why.

I often wondered why City had Michael Johnson and Roque Santa Cruz seemingly on the workbench forever and Stretford could get people back from cruciate ligament injuries in seemingly record time, but does it look like the shoe has changed feet?

One of the criticisms that Roberto Mancini had with his medics last season was they didn’t get players back from injury quick enough and when there was an apparent shortage of players available leading up to the elimination from the Europa League last season at the hands and feet of Dinamo Kyiv, there looked to be some mileage in his musings. Indeed hasn’t Nigel de John been out for a considerable time with a bruised foot?

But what has Ferguson and his crew got to get excited about? He didn’t want Hargreaves, he cast him to the lions, he effectively brought an end to his football career. Who would want to take on a perennial crock? Enter his noisy neighbours who have been seen to be pretty good at that, what with RSC and Johnson, and didn’t Balotelli get himself on long term sick when he arrived last year? Adebayor before that? The list is endless.

At Vital we didn’t see that move coming but as the terms of the deal are drip fed out to us, it is certainly an extraordinary one when you think of what Manchester City now means to the footballing world in terms of rewards to players.

One swallow does not make a spring and Hargreaves has only performed for one hour in a sky blue shirt, but wasn’t it a great hour for him? He was probably best advised not to make any comments of that nature as the expectations are that because they originate form a Manchester City footballer the sports journo would have a field day dressing it up as a slight on the Stretford, but if he ended his involvement in the match feeling good, feeling than better than when he was allegedly forced to play with two injuries, for a few minutes, last season, can he not tell us what he thinks? He must have had conversations with City’s medical staff and maybe what we see in today’s papers is the conclusion to which they came. Who knows?

The thing is that if Hargreves shows no after effects of the Birmingham match and is encouraged by that and goes on to be the footballer that he was expected to be, but at the Etihad, then what a bargain that is for City.

For their part United have moved on. They needed him last season but still won the League with a sub-standard team. They will be a different proposition this season and it looks as though City might be the only team to give them a game…until the azulgrana appear on the horizon again. They really are an odd bunch down Chester Road aren’t they? Their fans go on about the likes of Hernandes – he cost nothing and on the strength of one season is now worth at least £400 million more than Ronaldo, but we hear nothing from them when they reduce the value of an international football to nothing because they don’t play him.

Are there similarities with Louis Saha? It was often reported that his physical injuries were in fact mental barriers that he couldn’t overcome so they shipped him out to ET where he still likes to have a periodic lie down on the treatment table. But with Hargreaves I think it is different.

So we must enjoy the fact that on the face of it we’ve hooked a bargain, paying nothing for a £20million footballer. He may be 30 but he hasn’t played for three years so he will still have something left in the tank. In last night’s MUEN they were several contributions to the City side of the website from United fans wishing him well. I suspect today they will be of a different opinion…’We paid him for 3 years to do nothing’. Gentlemen, I think they call that a contract!!

Like all City fans, I now wish Hargreaves well. There is a place for him in our squad if he retains his fitness and his goal on Wednesday was just the starter!!


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