Date:Wednesday October 3 2007
Owen Hargreaves is out for a month and I think we have not fully realised yet how costly his absence could prove for the team.
The England midfielder played only three games since his move from Bayern Munich and though he excelled in all of those matches, it's disappointing that we can't field him more often because of his injuries.
His tendonitis problem kept him out of most of the games and that's what will be treated now, ruling him out up to a month's time.
'He will have an injection in his knee,' Fergie told MUTV.
'It was an option that we had some weeks ago, but after training on Monday he was feeling it and we just have to go ahead and give him the injection.
'Hopefully that's the end of it and he comes back 100 per cent.'
Yes, hopefully. But I could not miss how often we seemed to lack stability in midfield this season. Scholes and Carrick, both out of form, concede way too many space and we can be only grateful that so far none of our opponents were clever enough to exploit it. However, sooner or later managers will know how to expose this particular problem. What we saw at Birmingham and against Roma should warn that we are treading a fine line between victory and defeat at the moment.
With Hargreaves back, we could be a lot more solid in midfield and teams like Birmingham could not put us under such intense pressure that we had to withstand on Saturday or in the final 20 minutes of the Roma game. Needless to say that if we could retrieve the ball quicker we could be much more incisive in attack. No surprise Fergie so desperately wanted Hargreaves.
We'll play at Arsenal on November 3 and you do not need to be a genius to see that it's very unlikely Hargreaves will make that game. But we will need him if our midfielders, especially Scholes keep on being sloppy in defending. To be honest, I'd even welcome Fletcher back to the fold, it would have been good if we had been able to bring him on for Scholes for the last 20 minutes yesterday.
Let's hope both of them will be back quickly to give us the strength in depth in midfield that we had so craved in recent years.
Date:Wednesday October 3 2007
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