Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The forgotten man


Owen to his talents Hargeaves has made the squad

Being, by nature, a coward and vicious piss-taker it is really not in my make-up to defend people. But for once I'll put my neck on the line and defend, what some would call the undefendable, Owen Hargeaves.
One writer on hearing that Hargeaves had made Sven's 23 declared that Hargreaves could survive a nuclear holocaust. I am not sure he could, and I am sure the comment was meant in a derogatory manner but Hargreaves is a determined and very talented player. He has two faults, which the great British public will always struggle with, one he's not pure bred English - being some weird hybrid of German, Canadian and English and secondly he plays for Bayern Munich which means that armchair asshole fans can't watch him every weekend and pontificate (almost exclusively inaccurately) as to his strengths and weaknesses. Still as he's playing in Germany he is probably a Nazi and not very good. Seriously, this is the depth most commentators, pundits and blokes in the pub go to. OK maybe not the Nazi bit.
Owen Hargeaves plays regularly for Bayern Munich, he has won 3 Bundesliga medals; one German League Cup; an Intercontinental Cup winner's medal; two German cups and, oh yes, one Champions League medal. This guy has pedigree. He has experience of winning. The problem, inevitably, is Svennis. For once, he is not wrong. Well not totally. His insistence on picking Hargreaves is commendable but he fell into the trap of using Hargeaves versatility. I think Hargeaves has played all four midfield positions and, perhaps - memory fails me, filled in in defence.
Despite having 29 caps and this being his second World Cup, Hargreave's versatility - added to Svennis' insistence to play Gerrard and Lampard together always and for Beckham to always play on the right - has led him to being perceived as a stop-gap - a point which will be strengthened as it appears it'll be Owen Hargeaves playing right back in the England's upcoming 'B' international. So Hargeaves is second choice right-back? Most probably 3rd choice with Carragher second choice (Carragher will be playing centre back in this 'B' match).
People have said Hargeaves is lucky to be in the squad. I disagree, and would go so far as to say he is more desrving than a number of the 23 - names springing instantly to mind are Robert Green; David James; Jermaine Jenas and probably Theo Walcott.

Comments:
Totally agree. Much prefer Hargreaves to (someone like) Phil Neville. Classic example of a player's versatility working against him, at least in the fan popularity stakes.

Given some of the problems we have had with both the left of midfield (Wayne Bridge?) and right back when the other, better Neville was injured, surprised he has only had 7 starts.

(actually, i seem to recall he was injured)
 
For once Mr Beef, I am agreeing with you - tho' Green is out now (ouch) after last night's groin episode and jenas played OK!
 
...and apparently Hargreaves was rubbish as right back. But all the same...
 
i didn't see the match but heard he started off marauding up the right like Cafu. it's a bit unfair to judge Hargeaves when playing at right back. Green out and Carson in. Well Scott Carson is miles better than Green anyway.
 
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