YAYA IMPRESSES HARGREAVES

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.”

HARGREAVES WATCHES BAYERN DRAW

The Bundesliga match played between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at Allianz Arena on Saturday has ended in a draw. Both the teams scored one goal each and bagged one point each. This was the second draw for Bayern Munich in the league.

However, this draw didn’t have any impact on the position of the two teams in the points table. Bayern Munich is still at the top of the table with 38 points in 15 matches, while, Borussia is still at no. 3 with 27 points in 15 matches.

Both the teams played with a defensive approach in the first half. There were no goals scored in the first 45 minutes. But, in the second half, the Bayern team came with all guns blazing. Bayern managed to take the lead in the 67th minute of the match. Toni Kroos was the one who scored the opening goal of the match. He got the pass from Thomas Muller just outside the penalty area and he drove the ball powerfully into the goal post.

But, Bayern lost the lead just after 7 minutes. Mario Gotze got a long ball. He controlled it with his chest and fired it through the legs of Manuel Neuer to level the scores.
Gotze got another opportunity in the 77th minute of the match, but, this time, he didn’t manage to take the advantage. His shot was cleared by Schweinsteiger and Borussia couldn’t take the lead.

In the 86th minute of the match, Mario Gomez was sent on to the field, but, that didn’t make any difference for Bayern. Gomez wasn’t able to create any opportunity during his brief stay on the field.

Bayern earned a corner in the last minute of the match, but, Javi Martinez’s shot was brilliantly saved by Weidenfeller.
Bayern Munich will now take on BATE Borisov in a Champions League match on Wednesday.

GREEN MIGHT LEAVE

The QPR manager Mark Hughes has suggested that the England international goalkeeper Robert Green can be allowed to leave the club in the January transfer window after the arrival of the Brazilian international Julio Cesar on the last day of the transfer window.

Robert Green was signed by the club on a free transfer from West Ham in the summer. He has signed a contract worth around £ 40,000 per week with the London club. However, QPR had the opportunity to bring in the Brazil international Julio Cesar on the final day of the transfer window and they took advantage of it.

Julio Cesar comes with the big reputation of playing in the high-profile matches like the Champions League finals. He is also the holder of many trophies including the Champions League title he won back in 2010. As a result, it is expected that Julio Cesar will be the first choice goalkeeper for QPR. The club manager Mark Hughes has said that he has to look at the prospect of building the club and not individual players. As a result, he will not stand in the way of Robert Green should he decide to leave the club in the January transfer window.

“That isn’t my concern. That may concern Rob in terms of his international standing but from my point of view I have got to make sure we are strong as a club. If in the future any of my keepers came to me and said they felt their future lay elsewhere then we can have a conversation about that and make a decision that benefited everyone. But at the moment it’s early days and the challenge is there for all my keepers,” said Mark Hughes in response to the future of the former West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green.

HARGREAVES TRAINS WITH QPR

Premier league club QPR have confirmed that the former Manchester City and Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves is now training with them.

QPR have been extremely active in the transfer window so far and they have decided to take a gamble on the former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who has been plagued by injury problems in the last few years. It was one of the reasons for the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to consider letting Hargreaves leave on a free transfer a few seasons ago. Manchester city tried to get him back to full fitness, but they have ultimately failed in the attempts.

However, with the lack of quality apparent throughout the side, Mark Hughes has decided to bring in the former England international, despite the injury problems. The 31-year-old has played 42 matches for the England national team and Mark Hughes reckons that his presence will certainly add to the team. He will be training with the first-team regular basis and it will be up to Mark Hughes to decide whether the club should retain him permanently on a contract. Even if Owen Hargreaves does sign a new contract with the London club, then it is likely to be on a pay as you play basis.

“Owen is training with the group. There is no obligation for either party. He is keen to retain his fitness and we are more than happy to help him by allowing him to train with us and use our facility at Harlington,” said the QPR manager Mark Hughes. “I don’t want to chase something. If I get the right fit I will go for it. But I am not forced to do anything and if I can’t get back to the level I used to, I don’t want to play,” said Hargreaves a few months back.

ENGLAND CAN WIN IT

Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves has said that he feels that England have the necessary ammunition to succeed at the Euro 2012. England went into the tournament definitely not as one of the favourites, but they have done well to emerge as the winners of their group after victories over Sweden and Ukraine in the final two group games.

As a result, they have avoided Spain in the quarter-finals of the tournament, but will still have to face the 2006 world champions in the form of Italy. Many have said that the quarter-finals have been the nemesis for England, but Owen Hargreaves believes that this England team has what it takes to succeed at this tournament.

England have never done well in a major tournament since winning the 1966 World Cup that was held at home. England have been eliminated from a major competition like the Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup on penalties at this stage. Due to the fact that they will be facing an inform Italy side that has Andrea Pirlo totally dictating play against the opposition, many have suggested that this will be the end of the road for England at the euro 2012. The former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves differs from this opinion.

“The 2004 and 2006 teams were stronger individually but if these guys can play as a group and maximise, then there is potential. It is about playing well as a team and working together. They look like they are doing that right now. Getting to the quarter-final is not an achievement but people look at it as just reaching a quarter-final. You need to look at the fashion in which you went out. In 2002 we lost 2-1 to a Brazil side, that went on to win it, in 35C heat,” said Hargreaves.

HARGREAVES MOVES ON

Manchester city have revealed that they will not be offering a new contract to former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who has been part of the title winning team this season.

Manchester city stunned the Premier league world by announcing the signing of Owen Hargreaves this season in order to make up for the lack of quality defensive midfielders at the club. It was a strange decision by Manchester city given that Hargreaves was just released from Manchester United after failing to recover from his injury problems.

The Canadian born England international has suffered a number of knee injuries in recent seasons, which has limited him to a handful of starts in the last few years.

It was quite clearly a gamble by Roberto Mancini to take on Hargreaves into the squad. He has played just four matches for City this season. It is now expected that the midfielder will announce his retirement from the game after failing to make any progress in the last three years to come back fit. The midfielder was a £ 17 million signing from Bayern Munich for Manchester United a few years ago. He made a just 18 league starts for Manchester United in three seasons before moving on.

“We took a gamble on Owen because he was such a fantastic player. We thought we could try to get him fit in two or three months and then he would be able to play. But it hasn’t worked out quite like that. When you have a player who hasn’t played for two years and he starts to train every day there are small problems all the time. Problems in the knees or the hamstrings. So Owen hasn’t been able to play when we have needed him,” said Roberto Mancini regarding the decision on Owen Hargreaves.

OWEN OFF ON LOAN

Owen Hargreaves was released from his contract by Manchester United last year after he suffered a number of injuries which restricted his abilities on the field.

This gave a chance for Manchester City to scoop up the talented youngster for itself. This was a calculated gamble by the City management as Hargreaves was an influential player for club as well as country.

But their plan didn’t work out as planned and he only made 4 appearances for the club, in which he scored only once. According to City management, they had hoped that they would be able to get him match-ready in a couple of weeks but after a hiatus of nearly two years, small problems kept cropping up.
As City aren’t expected to renew their contract with the English midfielder after his injuries, the rumor mills are abuzz with gossip that he might be moving to Reading on a loan.

Reading is a lower division club and because of the lesser pressure, Hargreaves could return to match-ready health quite soon. Getting a player from the most respected league in the country might seem very ambitious for a second division club, but a similar deal was almost finalized with another player from Robert Mancini’s side.

This, therefore, might not be very far-fetched. Another reason that Brian McDermott, the side’s manager, could be looking to get Hargreaves on board is that Mikele Leigterwood has had a recurring thigh problem.

A number of people, however, aren’t convinced that Reading can afford the high wages of the Canadian-born midfielder. These people believe that Hargreaves will be taken on by Reading in a pay-as-you-play scheme. This would be beneficial to the club, as they would have to pay less money; it would also benefit Hargreaves giving him more incentive to get back into shape soon and play more matches.