Gentlemen, we can rebuild him
If you were looking for shocks in the Carling Cup last night, you’ll have probably stumbled upon the Etihad Stadium. OK, so there was nothing shocking about Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Birmingham but there was something shocking about a certain sky blue-wearing midfielder.
September 22nd, 2011
Perennial crock Owen Hargreaves, who has been under the knife so many times over the past three seasons that we’re convinced he now possesses Steve Austin’s bionic eye, bionic legs and bionic right arm, hit a sweet 25-yard strike into the top corner to mark his City debut with a goal. He was even able to leave the field with the power of his own legs.
Besieged by injuries throughout his time at Manchester United, the £17m signing made just 39 appearances for United since joining in July 2007, prompting his release at the end of last season. After making a series of Youtube videos to prove his fitness, City decided to take a punt, handing him his debut last night.
For some context, those football mathematicians at Opta noted that the former England international made 54 passes against the Carling Cup holders in the 57 minutes that he was on the field, a whole eight passes more than he totalled in the Premier League during his final three seasons at Man Utd.
“It’s my first real game action in, I think, three years and four months – which is a bit frightening in itself,” Hargreaves told the BBC. “[But] I put in a lot of hard work in the summer. I’ve been here three weeks and played two games in six days. We did an in-house game last week, last Thursday.
“They [the medical team at City] have done a great job so far, just easing me in and this is an important progression. Football work is more intensive than individual training [but] whatever these guys think is good going forward.
“It’s important to get back into a team situation on a big pitch. Just getting used to basic things you do in the game. All in all it was a great exercise for me.”
Whether it will stop Roberto Mancini complaining about a “lack of resources” in midfield remains to be seen.