Owen’s woe leaves Sir Alex needing a ‘Plan B’

United need Hargreaves to return

United need Hargreaves to return

It is no secret that Man United have suffered these past couple weeks with injuries. With Patrice Evra our only fit recognised defender, we have had to draft the likes of Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick into the backline and as adept as they are in midfield, its more than obvious that neither are defenders.

To compound the problem, in dropping these two back into defence their presence is missed in the middle of the park, Fletcher especially, as seen against Fulham.

In an ideal world our injury problems would have been eased as we had been told that Owen Hargreaves would be back in first team action on November. Then this was changed to the December 8th tie against Wolfsburg but both dates came and went and still no Hargo.

Its getting to a stage where these shifting dates are becoming somewhat of an annoyance. We have all seen the pictures and footage of him running and training but how close, if ever, is he to a first team return?

With chronic tendinitis in both of his knees, it is best not to rush him back so when he does return he is at the peak of his powers but Fergie will have to wonder, after such a lengthy spell out of the team will Hargreaves be the same player? Another factor is if the injury will have a psychological affect on his robust all action style?

Since signing Hargreaves for £18m in 2007 he has made just 37 appearances, the last being against Chelsea at the start of last season and his combative nature is needed back in the team especially with United looking to peg Chelsea back and win the title again for a 4th consecutive time.

At the start of the season it was said having Hargreaves back would be equivalent to a new signing and how we need him now. His versatility is essential as he is a central midfielder by trade but can also operate down the right flank as a defender or a winger. But in our current situation it would be at right back that he would be most welcome freeing Darren Fletcher to maraud around the pitch in his usual fashion but instead his rehab has taken longer than expected and we are left with 2 defeats against Aston Villa and Fulham who  took full advantage of playing against a makeshift defence.

The latest we have heard now is that he should be returning in January along with Rio Ferdinand but by then it could be too late.

I don’t think the situation requires a knee jerk reaction and that we should go and buy someone in January if he isn’t coming back but United know when he will be fit and if he keeps missing these deadlines that are set for his return then maybe Fergie needs a ‘plan b’ for his plan b.

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NEW Soccer AM IIII DVD OUT NOW – Order your copy now