Date:Thursday October 19 2006
Sir Alex Ferguson's disappointment over not being able to get Owen Hargreaves is still there and the gaffer firmly believes the England midfielder is just the man we need.
United made heroic attempts to break down Bayern's resistence this summer but Uli Hoeness, the Bavarians' general manager never wavered. Hargreaves is now out injured with a broken leg but Fergie did not forget him.
'If we had got Owen Hargreaves it would have given us a complete variation of the type of midfield players you need in the modern game,' Ferguson told the League Managers' website.
'We focused on Michael Carrick and Owen right away. We got one and didn't get the other.
'We are disappointed we didn't get Owen but we have people like Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea developing. Paul Scholes has also returned, Ryan Giggs is showing his maturity and experience, which is helping everyone and you also have a younger player like Kieran Richardson.'
It's certainly true Fletcher improved tremendously. He became a really useful member of the squad, finally. I'd even dare to say he's very much the same kind of player like Hargreaves though Canadian-born Owen has three years advantage. I firmly believe that at the age of 25, Fletcher will be just as good as Hargreaves currently is (or currently would be without his injury...) But I praised Fletcher more than enough times in the last days so let's move on.
Ferguson also praised injured Park Ji-sung, insisting that the Korean winger had become a very important player.
'Even all the staff say 'You can't leave Park Ji-sung out of your team',' said Fergie.
Well, I'm one of the most ardent admirers of Park and I'd love to see him back in action as soon as possible but I can scarcely imagine the staff relentlessly telling Ferguson not to leave Park out of the team...
Date:Thursday October 19 2006
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