'Not a finger-jabbing rant'

Many news organisations are getting themselves into a flap over Owen Hargreaves comments in an interview given to Daniel Taylor in the Guardian: ‘Owen Hargreaves: “It felt like I was made out of glass”‘. Taylor makes clear at the start that:

Despite the magnitude of what he is saying, it is not bitterness in Owen Hargreaves’s voice. There is no overwhelming sense of malice or resentment and, at various moments, he talks warmly of all the “lovely people” he came across during those years at Manchester United when he was faced with his hardest times.

It is not a finger-jabbing rant and, now with Manchester City, he is sensitive to stirring up trouble between the two clubs.

However:

equally, there is the sense of a man who is clear in his mind that the medical staff at Old Trafford administered the wrong treatment for his knee problems and put his career on the line just at the point when he should have been at the peak of his profession.

He talks of being used as a “guinea pig” and wishing that he had had the foresight to say no when the club’s medical staff decided to treat his extreme form of tendinitis with a series of injections.

So, Hargreaves clearly believes that he was administered the wrong treatment for his knee whilst at Manchester United, but he isn’t ranting about it and Taylor’s balanced account of the interview makes this clear.

Sadly, about an hour later the Guardian covered the story again in a different part of their website, note the not-exactly-subtle change of tone in the headline: ‘Owen Hargreaves says Manchester United treated him like a “guinea pig”‘. Sigh. This is followed by a much more antagonistic account of the interview and the story then quickly made its way around the other newspapers and news organisations and now they are following up with ‘Fergie blasts back’ headlines and the story is set to run and run.

All easy copy, no doubt, but it’s all much ado about nothing. Like so much of newspaper content.

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