Manchester United attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa still has to put in some effort before he can cement a starting position on the team’s first XI, this according to United’s new manager David Moyes who cast his eye on the Japanese international in the Red Devils’ 1-0 Capital One Cup win over traditional rivals Liverpool. This was only Kagawa’s second start of the season, his first coming in the side’s comprehensive Champions League victory against German side Bayer Leverkusen.
Initially deployed in his now customary wide left position, Kagawa became more influential when switching to the opposite flank and cutting inside from the right with fellow first team outsider Nani wreaking havoc on the other flank. United won 1-0 through a 46th-minute goal from Javier Hernandez, with Kagawa showing flashes of brilliance which might just be the reason why Sir Alex Ferguson was so persistent in his pursuit of the Japanese midfielder. Contrary to public perception, Moyes actually seems convinced that there is more to Kagawa than his current lack of form and fitness. Moyes understands that Kagawa is still working his way towards full fitness after being sidelined by a virus. “He did OK. I thought he grew into the game a little bit more,” Moyes said after Wednesday’s game. “There were bits which I was pleased with, and bits where we were looking for a little bit more,” he added.
“A lot’s been said about his lack of playing time, but I think most people who watched would say he’s still short of being really at full match fitness,” the United manager concluded. The game against Liverpool spelled a bit of vindication for Moyes after being pommelled at the Etihad Stadium in the first Manchester derby of the season – where Kagawa also failed to feature. Fans and pundits alike are questioning Moyes’ selection, saying that Kagawa could provide that creativity in a more central midfield role. The fact that Wayne Rooney is playing sharp and inspired football in the no. 10 role does not help the Japanese midfielder’s cause, but his showing this last game – along with fellow first XI outsider Nani, who had a wonderful game creating from the flank – should keep him in the manager’s selection process.
[via Fox News]