Writer: Roy Harper
Date:Saturday September 3 2011
Vital Manchester City received the following article from music legend, Roy Harper.
Owen Hargreaves is basically a North American. His connection with British culture is fairly tenuous. His career was started in Canada and progressed in Germany. He's not European, although his roots are English. Hargreaves is a common name in Lancashire. When he was playing for Bayern Munich, he didn't seem that interested to come to England. After all, he won the Champions league in his first season. Eventually, because he became a really good England player, (picked because he's a player of English/Welsh descent), it was inevitable that he arrived in England at some stage.
When he did, he joined a club who were playing in the Champions League, because that's where he wanted to play. At the time, he wouldn't really have been that aware of the Blue/Red divide in Manchester. After all, City wouldn't really have been in his eye line. He just wanted to come to a club in England offering him CL football. I can remember thinking at the time that it was a shame that City would probably never again in my lifetime be in a position to buy a player like that. He won the CL in his first season at OT. Then he suffered a string of unfortunate injuries.
Listening to him speak, he's not drawn on any questions about any divide there might be. It's not important to him. I don't think that money is either, because I think that he's confident about continuing to be successful after his playing career is over. He's very focused. The kind of person you want to have around. What's really important for him is getting fit again, so that he can enjoy the thing he's best at, which is being an athlete who can read a game in progress better than most.
If it was anything to do with me, I'd have him around in any case. He'd sure sort out your fitness methods. If he gets; and remains, fit, and gets back to anything like he was 3 years ago, he'll be a fantastic asset. If he doesn't, oh well! The chances are however, with that strength of character, he'll make it back to something like. So, what do I think? I think that it's quite possible that our chums in red have missed a trick. I think that it's just possible they took their eyes off the ball. After all, it doesn't take that much arrogance to fail to see the wood for the trees.
I realise that a couple of years is a long time in football, but they might have let him go too soon. OK, so Scoles was filling that role with more than a bit to spare, but he's gone now. They've got Anderson and Carrick, and now Jones, so there's no real need to keep anyone like Hargreaves, even though he's twice the player of Anderson or Carrick.
When he became free, and the vids started flying around YouTube, I had a fleeting thought...It was impossible yes; but none-the-less, I was interested in where he'd go because I like him. As a man and as a player. Sven and Roy went fishing quite quickly, and there were others waiting in the wings. I followed it. I just hoped the lad could get over his nightmare and come out fighting.
When City were mooted as suitors in the last week of the window, my ears went to the ground. I was hoping. Then the proposed deal for De Rossi didn't materialise. Suddenly OH was in the frame. What a stroke of opportunistic genius, I thought. Marwood? Or Bobby himself? My attitude to Bobby began to be much more positive. Had the strict Corporal suddenly developed a deeper, less authoritarian edge? The so-called 'richest club in the world' goes for a man who's been struggling with his fitness for a few years. Brilliant! What a script! I was really happy about it. The genius of the stroke, and the ability of the player to pass what was obviously quite a medical.
Then I saw, reading the MEN, that some of the CITY fans were throwing their effluent into the fan. I couldn't understand it. Can't they see the wood for the trees either? A Canadian born and bred footballer wants to earn a second chance, but he's being called all shades of excrement by people who should know better. Compared with the average squad wage at the club, he's earning NOTHING. But he has the potential to become a great player again. No risk. The squad hasn't got its full allocation of 25 players. What is there to lose? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I agree with Johnny B; WHY ALL THE VITRIOL? I really hope he makes it. Fulfills himself at City. Becomes a member of very rare breed. Who, besides Billy Meredith, has won titles at both City AND United? Dream on Roy...
Date:Saturday September 3 2011
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