Attacking trio lights way to a more dynamic approach

Juan Mata, Shinji Kagawa, Newcastle

Imagine for a moment a Manchester United side without Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney. In the kind of thought experiment common in pubs throughout the land consider, if you will, whether United could actually be better off without two of the finest strikers in Europe? Odd as the premise may seem, there is growing […]

Moyes finds feet in United’s flexibility

Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooney

There was something especially beautiful about Manchester United’s performance in Germany this week. True, the Reds have struck five before and there have undoubtedly been better performances, even on the road. And there will certainly be bigger games and finer opponents this season. Yet, there is a sense that United’s thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen is […]

Kagawa’s new role offers attacking balance and a defensive headache

Shinji Kagawa

Shinji Kagawa hadn’t been given a real opportunity by David Moyes, with no apparent rationale, until Manchester United’s victory over Real Sociedad last week. However, the European game and subsequent encounter with Stoke City, have demonstrated not only the Japanese player’s abilities, but also Moyes’ tactical nous in adapting to changing circumstances this season. The […]

Shinji freed, but Moyes’ mindset remains shackled

Shinji Kagawa, David Moyes

It was a fleeting moment, but for many inside Old Trafford, one of real beauty: Shinji Kagawa freed from the left and deployed, at long last, in his favoured position at number 10. Legion Manchester United supporters have waited months to see it, and while there were no angels weeping, nor doves soaring high over […]

Shinji could become Moyes’ liberator

Shinji Kagawa

In 10 years under David Moyes Everton relied heavily on width. With Sir Alex Ferguson also a believer, Moyes has persisted with the philosophy in his new role at Manchester United, although the result has been mixed at best. Sides facing the Reds tend to focus on retaining a defensive shape, and an attacking philosophy […]

Kagawa joins magical marketing tour with much to gain

Shinji Kagawa

Funny thing, Shinji Kagawa’s return from an extended summer break; one that just happens to coincide with the third leg of Manchester United’s extensive summer tour. As David Moyes’ players touched down at Tokyo’s Narita airport on Sunday night so United’s Japanese international joined the squad having sat out matches in Thailand and Australia. Cynics […]

Kagawa may be permanently consigned to the left

Shinji Kagawa

There should be no doubting Shinji Kagawa’s class. During the 2011/2012 season he was a genuine contender for the best player in the Bundesliga – a title that went to Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marco Reus, the player who would replace Kagawa at Borussia Dortmund. The campaign marked the pinnacle of the Japanese player’s career to date. […]

Kagawa returns – the question is where

The highlight of Shinji Kagawa’s disrupted season isn’t quite a star turn at the Manchester United Christmas party, although those of a more cynical persuasion may be forgiven for making the observation. Certainly the Japanese playmaker has contributed little in recent weeks after suffering a knee injury that has sidelined the former Borussia Dortmund star […]

Three into two for Kagawa, RvP and Roo

Kagawa van Persie Rooney

There is more than one way to win a football match, it is often said, although at Manchester United leading from an attacking front has so often been the club’s purpose. Not always in recent times though, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson turning to more pragmatic ideals when, on occasion, faced with more limited resources […]

Welbeck told to hit 20 in fight for United place

Danny Welbeck

Danny Welbeck can barely have wished for a better first full campaign in Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad. Having returned from a year on loan at Sunderland the Longsight-born striker made 39 appearances for Manchester United last term, 27 of them starts, scoring 12 goals in all competitions. Now, Ferguson has set Welbeck a new task; […]