Fergie queries Hargreaves view

Former United midfielder Hargreaves, who made an outstanding

goalscoring debut for rivals Manchester City on Wednesday night,

claimed he felt like a “guinea pig” during four injury-plagued

seasons at Old Trafford as he was given several injections which he

believes actually hindered his recovery from a tendinitis problem

that first surfaced during his time at Bayern Munich. United are

considering a formal response, which is expected to be released

later on Friday. But Ferguson is adamant any criticism of his

back-room team is completely without foundation. “We are trying to

analyse all the stuff he has said and there will be a statement

later to address that,” Ferguson said. “As far as I am concerned,

my medical staff is one of the main reasons why we have been so

successful over the last few years. “Do you think we would be

successful if they were not 100% brilliant? Our doctor and his five

physios are fantastic – that is my opinion and that is more

important than what anyone else has to say about it.” Hargreaves

underwent surgery on both knees during the 2008-09 season.

Following the operations, Hargreaves played just six minutes of

first-team football as he battled to regain fitness and was

eventually released by United in the summer. The 30-year-old

claimed the medical treatment he received at United did more harm

than good. “I received some injections but my tendon was never the

same,” he said. “After the injections, I tried to get back on my

feet and they said my tendon was good, but it felt like I was made

out of glass. “With my tendon injury, I’ve had to be a guinea pig

for a lot of these treatments. All the people there [at United] are

lovely and everybody tries their best, but at times you come to a

certain point where you need to make a decision. “I wanted to play.

Everyone wanted me to play, so it’s not really an option to say,

‘sit it out and rest for six months’. With hindsight it’s a lot

easier, but I wish I had not had the injections.” Amazingly, three

weeks after signing for City in a shock move shortly before the

transfer window closed, Hargreaves was fit enough to play almost an

hour in the Blues’ Carling Cup win over Birmingham on Wednesday. He

even crowned the occasion with a goal, something he only managed

twice during his entire time at Old Trafford. City manager Roberto

Mancini opted to tread a delicate path this morning, although he

confirmed Hargreaves is now pain free. “There are no problems,

apart from a bit of tiredness,” Mancini said. “He has been out for

two years, which is a long period. He has worked hard for the last

six months in Canada. And I hope it has solved all his problems. “I

don’t think they (United) got it wrong. I just hope he will be

lucky in the next two years. “After something like this, it can

happen that after one or two games he might have a problem with his

ankle or hamstring or something. “But I remember him very well when

he played for United and Bayern. He was an incredible midfielder.

“United paid £17million for him and he is 30 years old. On top

form he is one of the best midfielders in Europe.” Hargreaves will

not be considered for Saturday’s Premier League encounter with

Everton at the Etihad Stadium and is ineligible for Tuesday’s

Champions League trip to former club Bayern Munich. Asked about

Hargreaves’ comments, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “The

doctor takes the responsibility to treat the players. If the

players feel they have been badly treated they have to turn to the

medical department – you do not want to interfere with that. I feel

that everybody at a club should just not interfere with the next

one. “I never forced anybody to play. I have stopped many who

wanted to play and didn’t play them. Personally I do not feel

concerned by that problem at all. My belief is that if a player is

not 100%, do not play him no matter how good he is. I have always

stuck to that.”