Why the return of Shinji Kagawa is so important for United

by Sam Peoples

Shinji Kagawa moved to Manchester United with great expectations as he was the first player of his ilk to ever grace the Old Trafford stage but at this point of the season, the much vaunted playmaker has yet to really show United fans what he’s really about.

The lack of real world class performances is no fault of the diminutive Japanese as a combination of injury, adjustment to the physical nature of the Premier League and Sir Alex Ferguson not knowing how to use the former Dortmund man has seen Kagawa shunted to the left or played in a deeper role.

Even though situations have seen Kagawa look like a shadow of his usual self, the Japanese star has shown United fans glimpses of what he’s all about. His goal against Tottenham was reminiscent of his skill and knowledge of space. A simple movement between centre back and fullback and a world class chip to find the back of the net.

Kagawa not only showed what he’s capable of but brought the best out of van Persie. Neat passes into van Persie’s feet and the willingness to follow up his pass allowed van Persie to play with his back to goal which is when he really shows his class.

Kagawa continued to do well but a seemingly innocuous blow to the knee saw him leave the field. He was injured longer than expected and a few had even forgotten that the Japanese had signed for United.

With Kagawa’s return, many hoped he’d explode into action, like he did at Dortmund where he had broken a bone in his foot. There was no such explosion but a very wary Sir Alex as the Japanese has been carefully managed. During this re-integration, Kagawa may not be at his free flowing best but the sheer movement and vision integrated into his hard-working nature have left United fans squealing for more.

In a turn of events that could not have been seen, Manchester United has once again been blessed with a plethora of attacking talents. The once Rooney-reliant United have seen van Persie become their talisman alongside the ever reliable Rooney. The door seems to have been opened for Kagawa with Rooney’s injury and with West Ham in the FA Cup tonight, Kagawa should be given the chance to go through his repertoire of abilities.

The former Dortmund player will definitely bring a new dimension to United as he is a genuine playmaker, something that Wayne Rooney is being moulded into with varying success.

In Rooney and van Persie, United have two of the most naturally gifted players in the league. These players can change a game in a moment and with the vision and creativity of Kagawa, United could reach the goal of 100 goals in a premier league season with ease.

This all depends on whether United can get Rooney back to his defence-bullying best rather than the placid footballer that he has become. In recent times United have been weak defensively and with attack being the best form of defence, an attacking trio of Rooney, van Persie and Kagawa would definitely be the embodiment of attacking perfection.

Like all attacking players, they are reliant on the midfield. In Anderson, Carrick and Cleverley, United have players who can get the ball forward and allow the forwards to express themselves. It’s only a matter of becoming accustomed to the positions being taken up by their team mate.

With half a season to go, and Kagawa reaching full fitness, I am of the opinion that the young man will be the fulcrum of this United team. Against a star-studded Real Madrid team, Kagawa could be the difference between Champions League progression or another knock-out round elimination.

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Natanel 01/06/2013 - 09:20

Hi guys. I wrote this artice. The “Sir Alex doesn’t know how to use Kagawa” part is backed up by Sir Alex’s tendency to not know how to use certain players. Anderson was best behind the main striker and was converted into a deep MF player but has only recently been tried as an AM. Veron was played higher than he used to play, when he was most effective as a deeper kind of playmaker (similar to Scholes these days). A player like Young or Nani are best when they drift inward but with the 442 used, they weren’t allowed to fully express themself. Hopefully all these pieces will line up soon

abubakar 01/06/2013 - 07:08

De Gea rafeal ferdinand smalling evra
Young cleverley carrick giggs
Rooney vanpersie
For realmadrid match

abubakar 01/06/2013 - 07:08

De Gea rafeal ferdinand smalling evra
Young cleverley carrick giggs
Rooney vanpersie

COLLINS MBAH 01/06/2013 - 05:08

Thank God all our injuriy players r coming back at the right time.

Redfan1999 01/05/2013 - 22:08

What a load of —-smalling has lost it for the time being ,Evans is the future of united don’t knock him.we just need a leader .

Snoop dogg 01/05/2013 - 17:35

I think kagawa will come good..united are getting much better now fergies gone back to our principals of attacking football…last season united were unusually negative especially against top teams..kagawa will finish strongly..my homie dr dre agrees

john 01/05/2013 - 14:25

Dude smalling n evanz whose faster??huh??its evans dog

saeed 01/05/2013 - 14:15

you are right this formation will make mufc outstanding.

realist 01/05/2013 - 14:09

SAF not knowing how to use him?
Maybe you should write to him and tell him what he should be doing?!

GGMU 01/05/2013 - 14:14

What’s got your knickers in a twist! It was a suggestion! And besides kagawa an Rooney have seemed unable to stay match fit at the same time long enough to give a system like this a chance it could work providing creative attacking play without losing the traditional wing play of Manchester United!

GGMU 01/05/2013 - 13:18

…………..de gea……….
Rafael, smalling, vidic, Evra


Valencia kagawa Rooney young


A strong attacking midfield with Carrick to sit back and provide defensive cover, I know he’s not the best midfielder but he’s the most all rounded midfielder we have ATM. Kagawa and Rooney to link up with RVP, an interchangeable triangle of attack. Hopefully Valencia can rediscover his form and his partnership with rafael will be great! Ashley young is looking more promising recently so hopefully he will only get better. We could beat Madrid with this formation.

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j 01/05/2013 - 12:21

…………de dea
rafael smalling vidic evra
.van persie..rooney
hope this team starts against real. Smalling in place of evans coz of his pace to cover ronaldo

zenix 01/05/2013 - 13:12

Yeah dude you got that formation right. I hope Fergie implements it.

obinna 01/05/2013 - 13:31

Our football is based on wing play.

karl 01/05/2013 - 21:56

this is wat i want the team to be aswell,hopefully it can work well but with madrid defo using wingers i think we need to do so aswell so the wingers will be able to back up evra and rafael


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