Owen Hargreaves is certain that Manchester United cannot compete in the Champions League

Former Manchester United player Owen Hargreaves voiced his thoughts about how realistic it is for the Premier League club to compete and make a proper challenge in the Champions League season for the upcoming season and Hargreaves believes that United just aren’t at the same level as other clubs which will be participating in the European competition.

In the first season that Louis van Gaal spent in charge of Manchester United, the Dutch coach pushed the English club to the 4th spot of the Premier League which is incredibly impressive considering the soulless and lifeless state that the team was going through after the sacking of David Moyes.

Louis van Gaal will be given a huge transfer budget to make a genuine charge for the Premier League title which is currently being held by Chelsea but the owners and fans of Manchester United also want to see the club compete in the Champions League but the former player Owen Hargreaves believes that even with this big transfer budget it just won’t happen.

When Owen Hargreaves was asked about Manchester United possibility of battling against the top European clubs, Hargreaves said that United still aren’t at the same level as the rest.

“I don’t think Manchester United is ready to compete for a Champions League title. If you look at Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona realistically I don’t think they are. I’m sure the fans would love to get back to those days when they were in the Champions League semi-finals virtually every year and not only winning the league, but winning it beautifully as well.” Owen Hargreaves said.

Mats Hummels is one of the highest rated defenders in the world of football and the German has consistently been linked with Manchester United as a possible summer signing but Owen Hargreaves suggested the Premier League club on not to sign the defender because he’s too slow and Hummels has already stated that he will continue to perform with Borussia Dortmund for another season and now United will have to search around for another defender.

Owen Hargreaves says that Club shouldnt sign Borussia

Owen Hargreaves believes that Manchester United should not be looking at signing Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels since the defender may struggle with the pace of the Premier League.

Hummels has been linked with an exit from Dortmund for quite a while, but it finally is set to come in the summer due to the struggles at the German club. Dortmund have been flirting with relegation for much of the season and if they are relegated, they are likely to sell players likeHummels. United have been looking at the defender for a long time.

Louis Van Gaal has also given the go-ahead to sign the player after he was first scouted by former manager David Moyes. Hargreaves, though, says that the pace ofHummelswill be a major problem for United to deal with.Hummels is not the fastest defender in the world and he will easily be found it with the current style of play at United. Since Van Gaal favours a 3-5-2 formation, the club has also been keeping a high line. The pace of players like Phil Jones and Daley Blind has meant that United have not encountered too many problems with opposition exploiting the spaces in behind the defenders.

“He’s a super, super ball-playing centre back but I don’t think he can defend, he’s too slow.I think he’s a nice football player, he’s easy on the eye, but United need somebody physical, a presence.He’s Franz Beckenbauer, the new version, a super passer but I think that if I’m Manchester United I want [Nemanja] Vidic, I want [Vincent] Kompany.He’s the captain of Borussia Dortmund, they’re last in the Bundesliga. Is that the measuring stick for Manchester United? I’m not so sure,” said Hargreaves. Hummels has featured in 13 league appearances this season and Dortmund sit one point above the relegation zone.

Roy Hodgson wants England to play same as Germany

The head coach of England, Roy Hodgson, wants his team to copy the playing style of the World Champions Germany.

Germany has been very consistent in the last few World Cups unlike the Three Lions.

According to Hodgson, it’s possible for the English players to play the way the German players do.

Speaking in a sports programme yesterday, Hodgson said, “If the European sides are asked to emulate the style of the sides coming from South America, then, it’s a little bit difficult because there is a lot of difference in the climate of the two continents. The players over there grow differently and possess the skills that probably the European players don’t.”

“But, there is no reason why we can’t emulate Germany. They have got similar sort of players, but, still, they have been doing so well in the global tournaments and that’s because they are athletic and their speed is very, very impressive. We should try and do the same.”

“It’s just the execution in which Germany is better than us and the other European countries. Their players are temperamentally good and rarely do they drift away from their plan. And, also, their mobility is brilliant. They are swift in their movement and they always attack as a team.”

After the World Cup though, England has played better than Germany. The Three Lions have won 4 Euro qualifiers on the trot and have almost made it to the tournament proper already.
Germany, on the other hand, has found it a bit tough in their Euro qualification group i.e. Group D. They’re at the second position.

Germany is very delicately poised at the moment in Group D. One more defeat can make them slide to no. 4.

The team which is leading the Group D is Poland.

Rodwell enjoying playtime

Since making his way to the Stadium of Light this summer, Jack Rodwell has been playing regularly. He even played a full match the other day for the Black Cats against Burnley FC.
According to the holding midfielder, fitness has proved to be a challenge for him as he is not used to playing much, but, the more he is playing, the stronger he is getting and he has now started feeling good about his game.
In an interview after that Burnley match, Rodwell said, “It was fun out there. I played for the full duration after a while and I enjoyed it to be honest. It would have been great to have a goal to my name. I had the opportunity and on a different day, I could have capitalized, but, it wasn’t to be today.”
“Nevertheless, I am happy with how things are going. Fitness is something that I have worked hard on and I am still doing that and the time in the middle is also helping. Match fitness comes from that only. If you are not playing, no matter how much you train, you are always a bit shaky. So, it’s good to be getting playing time.”
Rodwell hardly played at his previous club Manchester City during his 2-year stint. Just 15 Premier League matches he got to feature in. That was exasperating for him as it would have been for any player. He made a move to Sunderland at the start of August at a fee which was not revealed. Rumours say its 10 million Pounds.
Rodwell opened his scoring account for Sunderland versus Manchester United on 24th of August. That’s the only goal that he has been able to score for the Black Cats until now.

Quiet Transfer For City

With the summer transfer window a few weeks away from concluding it has been a fairly quiet period of time for Manchester City who are well known for their willingness to offload huge amounts of cash in order to secure their targets but so far it seems to be a different story.

Bacary Sagna, Willy Caballero and the Brazilian midfielder Fernando are the players that will be joining the side of Manuel Pellegrini for the upcoming campaign as those 3 additions arrived to the Etihad Stadium with a combined transfer fee of €30 million.

Chelsea has so far played a huge role in the summer transfer window as Jose Mourinho signed Diego Costa as well as luring Cesc Fabregas to Stamford Bridge. Arsene Wenger has reinforced his own squad by signing Alexis Sanchez but Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City on the other hand remains fairly comfortable and confident about his spending spree thus far but a few changes are expected to be done.

Pellegrini said, “I don’t think the squad is complete yet but we have six weeks before the transfer window closes. Perhaps there is the option to bring one or more players in or maybe one or two will leave our squad but there is time for us to consider what is best for our team’’

Even without any major signings expected to be done or high profile players in the radar of Pellegrini, Manchester City are favorites of protecting and defending the Premier League which will be highly contested more than ever considering all the reinforcements that certain clubs have made in order to take away the trophy from the hands of Pellegrini and his players.

Hargreaves Happy With City Progress

Manchester City continues their charge for the Premier League title along with Chelsea and Liverpool as those are the teams which have turned out to be genuine title contenders in this season.

Even if City is unable of being crowned as the champions of the English league, Manuel Pellegrini’s debut in charge of the club has already seen him lifting a trophy as they defeated Sunderland and secured the Capital One Cup silverware.
In his first season at the head of Manchester City, Pellegrini managed to secure a major trophy as well as getting a Champions League spot for the upcoming campaign and according to Owen Hargreaves, they will only get better.

“Going forward you may see them play a little different tactically and I think they can get even better. They will look to go further in the Champions League next season. They made progress this year but will look to improve as any good team does. They have to control the game more against the best teams.
“In the Premier League they are so much better than most of the teams they are never really threatened but in the Champions League, you’re playing the best in the world.” Hargreaves said as he voiced his opinion about the future of Manchester City.

Hargreaves signed with Manchester City in 2011 but after only playing 1 league match all season, his time at the Etihad Stadium was limited as he was not offered another contract by the club. This is similar to what had already happened to him previously with Manchester United as he could only make 27 league appearances for United during his 4 years stay at the Premier League club due to consistent injuries.

FERGIE BACKS MOYES

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.

HODGSON LOOKS ON

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.

UP FOR THE CUP

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.