It was not too long ago that The Sun compared Owen Hargreaves to “a mass murderer” and Hargreaves was the most reviled player in England. Was it because he could not play? No, errrrr…….. because he was Canadian, and you know those Canucks can only play ice hockey. Worse still, he played for Bayern Munich, a Kraut club. You know how those guys can raise the hackles of the mildest mannered Briton. So he was a Canadian- German or a Canuck Kraut, or whatever you might want to call him, pretending to play football, the game that England invented, just because his parents were British.
Now, after his display at the World Cup, where he was the only English player to show up and play the game, he has now become the future of the England squad. With Beckham mercifully out of the play and the papperazzi taking a break from following the Posh couple, he is indispensable to McLaren, who described Hargreaves performance as ‘phenomenal’ in England’s bashing of the Greeks, 4-0. Not only is Hargreaves now a given in the squad, he has become the center of a bitter controversy between a desperate Man U with a dinged up midfield on life support who are ready to throw everything and the kitchen sink to have him join, and an equally deperate Ballackless Bayern Munich, that wants to keep him, since he is the one of the three people that the Bundesliga can claim as being an international league. Plus, he is good.
Owen Hargreaves was political fodder too. During the World Cup, Tony Blair whose keen observations on football parallel his keen observations on world politics, named David Miliband as the Cabinet’s Wayne Rooney, and Tessa Jowell as his Owen Hargreaves (getting a lo’ of undeserved flak).
Now everybody is falling all over themselves issuing apologies to Hargreaves led by the Sun. The same Sun reports that Owen has been sold to Man U for £13m from Bayern. Fergie switched his attentions to the England star after his World Cup heroics when Hargreaves was the only one of Sven Goran Eriksson’s squad to emerge from the finals with any credit.
Redemption they say is sweet because from what you read about Hargreaves, a soft spoken guy, revenge is probably a word not in his vocabulary.