Owen Hargreaves caught the smackdown from Alex Ferguson after Hargreaves said he still wants to play for England at the World Cup. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the idea that bowing out of tournaments early gives you more time to focus on league matches that you still have control over. However, I don’t know if this is exactly the same because what we’re seeing is a guy who wants to play for country just being honest about it.
Dreaming of playing in the World Cup for your homeland is far different from having to focus on playing an international tournament CONCURRENT with the club season. Now, if Hargreaves was going on about Champion’s League matches before EPL matches that might be a problem. We can speculate in the media ll day long about stuff like that, but the players don’t have time for it.
When you want to play for Queen and Country I think that can be pretty inspiring. Just imagine the tradition and legacy of English football. Now imagine how much it would mean in England if that team made a run. Hargreaves may be over-romanticizing the whole thing, but I would be really pumped up by it. I think it would make me play better.
Now, why does Alex Ferguson disagree? Well, he’s only got ONE job and he’s got to find a way to handle men who have more than one job. In doing so he has to keep focus on his job and not getting fired. The players have a little bit more room for error because they get to play for England AND in the EPL and it’s all hunky-dory for them
However, if I were Fergie I’d say, “I hope that prospect of playing for Queen and Country is a motivating factor for Owen” and leave it at that. Everybody’s happy and you aren’t dealing with your stuff in the media.