A Fit Owen Hargreaves Will See United Last The Distance Next Season

Muazzin MehrbanCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

Although Carlos Tevez convinced himself but no one else of his fatal absence from the starting lineup in United's defeat to Barcelona in Rome, even he might admit that the Red Devils would have stood up to the Spanish Armada far better had their hunter, Owen Hargreaves been fully fit. But how injury appears to ravage the savage. 

Though savage is an unfair word to describe a player whose capabilities go way beyond the usual rough and tumble of a defensive midfielder.

When deployed in front of the centerbacks, most players will struggle to cover most of the ground the Englishman does, and while there are those that are capabale, they don't possess the same passing, shooting, and crossing ability.

Indeed Hargreaves sits among good company, filling a niche position that the only the likes of Essien, Gattusso and Mascherano also currently master. Yes there are better passing, better shooting, better dribbling midfielders in the game but non of which are as combative or as dedicated to the cause as these foot soldiers.

If these four were part of the animal kingdom, then there would be little hope of domesticating them, why would you?

Hargreaves will also give Ferguson excellent cover at right midfield and fullback. Though, Sir Alex will want his hunter playing through the centre as much as possible, where their will be plenty of Iniestas, Kakas, and Fabregases, among other artistic prey, for him to snare.

If Hargreaves returns—a big "if indeed—the extra horsepower he provides is likely to push United to a fourth straight league title. Though Essien and Mascherano, two of the leagues finest engines, will also be revved up to win. Expect all three to go full throttle.