Former Manchester United player Owen Heagreaves commented on the number of permutations in European football since the release of the results for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Arsenal is set to play French Champions Paris St. Germain, Swiss outfit Basel and Bulgarian club Ludogrets Razgrad.

Heagreaves opines that the French club will finish above their English counterparts, mostly die to their superior play. However, he acknowledged that Arsenal would be a worthy opponent during the battle for the Round of 16.

“I think they [Arsenal] can, but I think PSG will top that group. Arsenal can push them if they get it right,” Heagreaves told BT Sport. Something worthy of note is that Arsenal have never won the Champions League, despite their stellar domestic record. Even when they had the arguably the best team in the world, they were stopped from breaking the record. One notable final is the one against Barcelona in 2006.

Arsenal would be in action in Group A when the continental affair begins after the international break, but the former Bayern Munich man sees them finishing in second place. Two clubs would be able to progress to the next stage – which is fine – but they might meet a tougher opponent. In recent times, Arsenal haven’t gone past the Round of 16 at the UCL.

The same Heagreaves revealed that his best Champions League atmosphere was the Celtic Park. The Scottish side would be playing in the tournament group stage though they have a big obstacle to climb if they are to make the knockout stages. Their neighbouring city Cardiff, Wales would be hosting the final, but it would be the biggest dream if they were to make it to the final. Brendan Rodgers would be leading the team when they line up in the continental tourney.


Sir Alex Ferguson has once again provided backing to Manchester United manager David Moyes, who has come in for intense criticism in the last few weeks.

Moyes, who was appointed as the replacement for Ferguson in the summer, has been unable to achieve consistency with his results.

His tactics have also not been able to get wins when previously Manchester United have no trouble in doing so. This squad is currently more or less similar to the one Ferguson used to win the league title last season. However, they have now fallen to seventh place in the league following a run of poor results, and I’m not even sure tehey are worth even a Free Bets offer from Williamhill.

The prospect of even finishing in the top four looks doubtful with only 10 matches remaining for the competitors like Liverpool and Tottenham. United are also on the verge of going out of the Champions League after suffering a 2-0 defeat against Olympiakos in the first leg. They have already been knocked out of the FA Cup and the League Cup this campaign. Despite this, Ferguson has backed Moyes to become a success at United. He says that it is not possible to start performing immediately after replacing a manager who had been at the club for 26 years.

Ferguson says that Moyes will bring success with time.
“They (United) will be all right. It’s early days and there have been a lot of changes. He (Moyes) needs time. I was there for 27 years, so with a new manager, it takes time. But they’ll be okay,” said Ferguson, who managed to win an incredible 40 trophies with United during his time at the club. He is still one of the directors at United. Missing out on European football will have disastrous consequences for United, as it brings revenues of more than £ 30 million per year.


The England boss Roy Hodgson was at Craven Cottage the other day to have a look at some of the England players who were featuring in the league game between Southampton and Fulham and he saw some impressive performances over there.

Three players who caught everyone’s eyes with their spark during the game were all Englishmen and that would have really pleased Hodgson.

Southampton was the eventual winner in the match. They won it by 3-0. The players who struck for them were Jay Rodriguez, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert. All of them did that in the second half and in grand style. Those were eye pleasing goals.

It’s not that these three players played well only in that game. They have been consistently putting up such performances in the 2013-14 Season and it is understood that Hodgson had made his way to the venue especially to see this trio playing.
The trio has found the net 24 times together in the Premier League this season and that tells a bit about their form. It’s because of them that Southampton was in the top quarter of the league table a few weeks back.

The Saints are still in top 10 and can bring themselves back in the race for a Champions League place if they play well regularly from here on.

In the press conference after the match against Fulham, when Mauricio Pochettino, the man in charge at Southampton, was asked about Hodgson’s visit, he said, “It was vital for our boys to be at their best and score when the England manager was in the stands. However, Brazil is still quite a bit away, but, this performance would certainly help them in their claim for a World Cup spot.”

The Three Lions will take on Italy in their first World Cup match in June.


FA Cup is the competition which sees probably the most number of upsets in English football. There can be various reasons behind it like the teams not taking it as seriously as the league or the players not putting in as much effort as they should, but, in every season, you will see a few smaller sides beating the heavyweights in the FA Cup games.

Owen Hargreaves believes that this season’s FA Cup is going to be no different. Some upsets are bound to be pulled off this season as well.

Hargreaves was in the BT Sport studio the other day talking about his FA Cup memories. He answered quite a few questions which were thrown towards him.

When asked about the biggest upset that has been pulled off in the final of the FA Cup so far, the former English player said, “It was in the last season when Wigan Athletic got better of City by 1-0. It was really unexpected and it shows that anything can happen in the game. Even a weaker side on its day can beat a heavyweight.”

When asked about the best goal that has ever been scored in the FA Cup, Hargreaves said, “The goal that Ryan Giggs had scored for United against the Gunners in the semis in 1999 is at the top of the pile for me. That was really a wonderful strike by the great man.”

When asked which team has the best chance of lifting the FA Cup trophy this season, Hargreaves said, “One of the top six sides should go on and win it but, you never know what’s going to happen in the FA Cup. There is always an upset around the corner.”

Manchester United has won the FA Cup maximum no. of times i.e. 11 times.

Hargreaves hits back at Ferguson’s for his comments

Former Manchester United player Owen Hargreaves has hit back at the club’s former manager Sir Alex Ferguson over comments he has made about him in his recently released autobiography, according to reports emanating from several media outlets in England.

The 71 year old laid into the Canada born former English international in his recently released book Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography where he stated that the player would always opt for the easy choices during training sessions and has branded him as one of the moist disappointing signings of his 27 year long career as the manager of the Old Trafford outfit.

However, according to Owen Hargreaves himself, anyone who knows him would vouch that professionalism has always been the strongest trait throughout his career and he went on to add that a lot of people who rang him since the release of the book were surprised made the comments.

He went on to state that he had one very successful season at Old Trafford but added that after the kind of treatment he had had to his injury during that summer, he virtually never played again for the club. He further admitted that the one regret he has was not approaching the manager but added that he didn’t realize the severity of it all until it was too late.

The former England international was signed by Ferguson from German giants Bayern Munich for a whopping fee of £ 17 million in the summer of 2007 as a partner for Michael Carrick in midfield and he went on to win the Premier League and the Champions League that season before injury shortened his career and his time at the club, forcing him to call time on his career after a brief spell at Manchester City.
Owen Hargreaves now works as a television pundit.

Nastasic out and Aguero in for Manchester City

Premier League giants Manchester City has announced Serbian defender Matija Nastasic could miss the entire first month of the new season of the Premier League after suffering an injury during the club’s pre-season tour of Asia.

With star striker Sergio Aguero scheduled to return for Manuel Pellegrini’s side after a long lay off with injury, things were looking bright on the injury front for City but the news of the young defender’s injury has left things gloomy once again.

Aguero hasn’t featured for City since Manuel Pellegrini was announced as the club’s new manager at the end of last month and his return is bound to be a welcome boost for the team in spite of adding more firepower up front in the close season with the addition of two strikers. However, the injury blow to Nastasic is sure to be a huge one for Manchester City as he would have definitely been a starter alongside skipper Vincent Kompany at the heart of the City defense.

The Serbian international defender hobbled off the pitch with an ankle injury during last month’s Barclays Asia Trophy match against Sunderland in Hong Kong in a pitch that was described as unsuitable for football. This means Pellegrini will have to once again tinker with the side and this is definitely good news for England defender Joleon Lescott who is sure to play a part in the Manchester City side that will kick off its Premier League campaign on the 19th of this month.

The dilemma facing Pellegrini is, however, with an option to fall back on if either one of those two players were to get injured and the lack of a suitable and experienced defender in the team list and could prompt the City manager to splash the cash for a defender again.

Manchester United not giving up on Cesc

Premier League champions Manchester United have been relentless in their pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas and despite already having two bids rejected by the club who insist he is not for sale, will carry on their attempts to tempt the former Arsenal man to England well into this week.

According to several English newspapers, Fabregas is eager to link up with David Moyes and his squad by the time the summer transfer window slams shut on the 2nd of September to have another crack at the Premier League and United believe his silence amid speculation of an imminent transfer is something that plays things right into their hands.

New Barcelona manager was quizzed regarding the future of Fabregas in his first press conference after being unveiled as the boss where he stated that Manchester United want the player and if the club has already rejected two offers for the player, he will reject a third offer if it comes in and the player will be with the club come the new season.

United manager Moyes, however, is not losing sleep about the club’s pursuit of a player he has long admired and wanted to bring to Everton on loan during his stint at Arsenal and mentioned that they are weighing up their options and will consider what to do. It is being believed United, who have already had two bids of £ 25 million and £ 31 million are ready to offer an improved £ 36 million bid for the player who left for his boyhood club from fierce rivals Arsenal just a couple of seasons back.

And if Manchester United is unsuccessful in their bid to bring Cesc back to England, Moyes will turn to his former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini as a backup option for the midfield role.


Owen Hargreaves has said that the England team that had played in the 2006 World Cup was much stronger than the current one.
England had managed to make its way into the quarter finals in the 2006 World Cup.

Hargreaves’ performance in that tournament was brilliant. Although he didn’t score any goal but, his contribution in the midfield was immense.

Hargreaves played a total of 42 matches for England. He featured for his national side for the last time in 2008.

When asked about the current England team, Hargreaves said, “I think this team is not as strong as the team which had represented England in 2006 World Cup. That team was absolutely fantastic.”

“We had a lot of experienced players at that time. We were a settled unit. But, the current team is going through a transitional phase. There are quite a few younger guys in the team and they will take some time to settle.”

“Also, England had a great manager in the form of Sven-Goran Eriksson at that time. I am not saying that the current manager Roy Hodgson is doing a bad job, but, Sven was just fantastic. He was a top class manager.”

When asked if he is satisfied with England’s performance in the World Cup qualifiers so far, Hargreaves said, “I think we have played alright. There have been a couple of games which we should have won, but, as I said, this team is young and we can’t have massive expectations with it.”

“There are some good, young players in the England squad at the moment. Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, they are all highly capable. But, they need some time. After 4-5 years, when these players become experienced, England will be a formidable side.”


Bayern Munich has defeated Arsenal in a Champions League match played at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. Bayern Munich won the match by 3-1.

For this all important encounter, Arsene Wenger made a lot of changes in his team. There were a total of seven changes in the starting XI that had played the FA Cup match against the Blackburn Rovers.

Bayern gave the hosts the first blow pretty early in the match. In the seventh minute, Toni Kroos opened the scoring for Bayern. It was poor defending by the Gunners. A cross from Thomas Muller from the right should have been cleared, but, that didn’t happen. Kroos got the ball just inside the penalty area and he didn’t make any mistake whatsoever. A powerful shot by the 23 years old took the ball over the head of the Arsenal goalie into the net.

Bayern didn’t take much time in doubling its lead. In the 21st minute, Daniel Van Buyten latched on a fine corner kick and headed the ball towards the goal. The ball went straight towards Wojciech Szczesny, but, he couldn’t gather it properly.

He only pushed the ball at a short distance in front of him. Thomas Muller was there to capitalize on that rebound. He just tapped the ball into the net and took Bayern ahead by 2-0.

Arsenal managed to reduce the lead to 1-2 in the 55th minute. That goal came off a corner kick. Mikel Arteta’s shot went to Lukas Podolski who found the net with a slight deflection.

But, the Gunners again got trailed by 2 goals when Mario Mandzukic scored the third goal for Bayern in the 77th minute. It was Philipp Lahm who set up the goal with a low cross.

After that, it was an uphill task for the Gunners. They needed a couple of goals quickly, but, a tight Bayern defense didn’t give them that opportunity and they eventually lost the game.
Bayern Munich will again face Arsenal at the Allianz Arena on 13th of March.


Owen Hargreaves has said that Yaya Toure is one of the best players who have ever played in the English Premier League. According to Hargreaves, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes also fall in the same category.

Hargreaves had played for Manchester City in the last season. Although, he didn’t get many playing opportunities but, he spent a lot of time with Yaya Toure during his brief tenure at City and according to him, there are very few midfielders in the world at the moment who are as good as Yaya Toure.

When asked about the best player whom he has ever played with, Hargreaves said, “It’s a tough question. I have played with some very high quality players and to pick one of them is really very tough. I would like to take three names. Those names are Yaya Toure, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes.”
“I was lucky enough to have got the opportunity to play with all three of them and these three are just amazing. They certainly fall in the category of the best players who have ever played in the Premier League.”

When asked about Yaya Toure’s contribution in City’s Premier League victory in the last season, Hargreaves said, “Yaya played a major part in City’s triumph in the Premier League last year. He was in great form in the second half of the league, especially, in the matches that were played towards the end.”

“Yaya is a great player. He is one of the best midfielders going around at this point of time. He is versatile and he is capable of doing anything. He is a bit unique. He doesn’t seem to be that quick from a distance, but, if you go close to him, you will find that he is lightening quick.”