The Kagawa Conundrum

kagawa6How do you solve a problem like Shinji?

We can all agree that Shinji Kagawa is a very good Footballer. He has great technique, a great first touch and FootballDons were very excited when we saw he was making his way to the Premier league. However for one reason or another, his Utd career has been quite up-and-down. In his first season any inconsistencies can be partly forgiven due to him being a young, new player in a new country and a new division.

But he hasn’t exactly kicked on this campaign has he? Until last night that is. What all Utd fans will be hoping is that his performance last night in his preferred ‘Number 10′ role, will have persuaded Moyes to start him their more often and not stick him out on the left wing where he can’t get totally involved in the game (still miles better than Young we must add). He was instrumental last night for the Red Devils, his link up play with Rooney being particularly impressive. But with RVP  rumoured to be returning on Sunday, how does Moyes incorporate his three best attacking players into his side?

The way we see it, he has three options:

1) Stick with his favoured 4-4-1-1 option and keep Kagawa on the left and Rooney just behind RVP. This is what we expect Moyes to do against Spurs. It keeps them all in the team, it’s the formation they’ve been using all season and it plays to Rooney’s strengths. However as shown last night, this doesn’t play to Kagawa’s strengths and perhaps even hinders the team. With Shinji wanting to constantly cut in and get involved it leaves Patrice Evra exposed and can lead to conceding goals (as seen against Stoke at Old Trafford earlier on in the season). This will be a concern for Moyes as Tottenhams Right hand side is very attacking, with Walker keen to overlap at any point. We’d suggest that even if this was going to be the Utd managers long-term solution, to play a more defence minded winger on Sunday to help Evra out.

2) Stick with his favoured 4-4-1-1 Play Kagawa in the centre of Midfield, with Rooney just behind RVP. We’ve seen a lot of fans/pundits calling for this but to us Kagawa isn’t defensively strong enough to play in the heart of midfield. Perhaps against weaker opposition at home it could work, if he was alongside a Phil Jones say? But against the top teams we suspect he could get found out and bullied. That’s not to say it’s not worth a shot though. It would bring the Japanese international into the centre of the pitch and would certainly be an attacking move, but it could easily backfire.

3) Change to a 3-5-2 formation, allowing Kagawa to play behind a front two of Rooney and RVP. This is probably our favoured option, but that might just be because we love a 3-5-2 formation. It makes sense to us though as it plays to the Utd squads strength and they certainly have the personnel for it. Just think; De Gea in goal. A back three made up of Jones/Smalling/Vidic/Ferdinand/Evans. Rafael/Valencia and Evra as the wing-backs. Two sitting Midfielders made up of Carrick/Giggs/Jones/Fellaini and then Kagawa behind Rooney and RVP. It’s defensively strong and allows Utd’s three best attacking threats to all play their favoured position. It also means Moyes won’t have to use and wingers, a position which they have been fairly weak in so far this campaign. We can’t see Moyes using this though, as a change of formation mid-season probably isn’t the brightest idea.

So that’s our opinion of David Moyes’ current selection dilema. But never mind us, what would YOU do if you had the chance?

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