Date: 2nd June 2009 at 8:00pm
Written by:

Apologies for the four-day absence: a family visit and an illness prevented me from writing. But I’m back now but I cannot provide good news.

The Owen Hargreaves story is becoming a real, unmitigated disaster. The latest news is that he’s unlikely to be fit before January as he had a setback in his recovery from the knee surgery which sidelined him for almost the entire 2008/09 season.

Reportedly he’s still optimistic about making a full recovery but it’s disconcertingly like Saha’s case: I very much doubt that we’ll ever be able to count on Hargreaves. Just like Saha, he’s an excellent player when he’s fit – we badly missed him this season – but after so many injuries and two knee surgeries it looks unlikely that he can stay fit for a prolonged period…

He could have flourished at us as a true world class player at the highest level but the injury problems look set to deprive him of that chance. Also, it puts United in a very difficult situation: Scholes and Giggs are getting older, Gibson is still only on the fringes while Anderson is unpredictable, blows hot and cold – which leaves us with only two reliable, experienced central midfielders: Carrick and Fletcher.

Just as in the case of Saha, I’m still hoping that we could have the real Hargreaves back. But the Saha experience makes me wonder whether we should cut our losses, offload him and sign someone who can make 30+ appearances in evry season?