Hargreaves backed by Bayern
19 Jun 2006 - 11:02:14
Bayern Munich's general manager Uli Hoeness has claimed England fans are too arrogant to recognise the qualities Owen Hargreaves can bring to the national team.
The 25-year-old Bayern midfielder has never managed to convince supporters that he is worth a place in the England squad and was booed when he came off the bench during the World Cup victory against Paraguay.
Hargreaves is set to start Tuesday's final Group B match against Sweden in the holding midfield role after Sven-Goran Eriksson decided he could not risk Steven Gerrard picking up a booking which would rule him out of England's last 16 tie.
Many fans will wonder why he has got the nod ahead of Tottenham's Michael Carrick, but Hoeness believes the only mystery is why Eriksson does not use Hargreaves more often.
"The big problem with the English people is that they are too short-sighted," said Hoeness.
"They are very arrogant because they think that football begins and ends within the borders of their country.
"They believe that no one else can play good football outside of England.
"When I look at England's midfield formation so far in this World Cup, I think 'Thank you, Mr Eriksson' because I know they can not work.
"How can you have Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard and Joe Cole all together?
"Everyone wants to run forward. Who will be the defensive midfielder there?
"If people had ever taken the time to watch Owen Hargreaves they would have seen he has done extremely well for Bayern and that he can do the same for England when he is given the chance to do so."