News that Owen Hargreaves has finally been released by Manchester United will be met with a quiet acceptance by most Reds.
Despite his obvious talents less than 40 appearances in four years more or less tells you where it went wrong for a player who on his day was quite simply brilliant.
The trouble is Hargreaves’ day hasn’t been since the beginning of the 2008/09 season and since then bar a couple of cameos the Canadian has never really figured.
It’s a crying shame as Hargreaves was superb in his first- and only real- season at United. A energetic, fearless midfielder who could use either foot the former Bayern Munich man was one of the best defensive midfielder’s the Premier League has witnessed, it wouldn’t be over the top to compare him to Claude Makelele – although the Frenchman is without doubt the greatest modern player in that position.
Regardless of his lack of games I’d still like to say thank you to Hargreaves for the part he played in the double winning season of 2007/08. His performances were excellent and who can forget his important free kicks against Fulham and Arsenal.
Hargreaves penalty against Chelsea was perfect -was there any doubt having learned his craft in Germany- and he seemed destined to be United’s midfield lynchpin for the next few years.
It wasn’t to be however, and while it’s easy to forget just how impressive Hargreaves was, his contribution to such an epic campaign should not be overlooked.
When United celebrate our 19 titles or our 3 European Cups-although it will obviously soon be 4- then Owen Hargreaves should be acknowledged for his contribution.
Like a flame that burns brightly but briefly, Hargreaves time at United may have been short- especially in terms of games- but it was massively important.
I genuinely hope Hargreaves can find success elsewhere- as long as its not at United’s expense- as he deserves it.
Owen Hargreaves we salute you sir.