Manchester United have an almighty task on, over the next 9 days, if they want to reach the semis. Noone is really giving them too much of a chance in this one. Because, while Bayern are flying high and beating allcomers, Manchester United look almost unrecognisable from their finest incarnations.
David Moyes has had a tumultuous time in his first season at Manchester United and, particularly in the biggest games, has looked out of his depth. No David. Tactics aren’t a popular bite-sized mint.
But, while Manchester United are in the competition they have hope. And if David Moyes can buck a trend and select the best available team then who knows what Manchester United can achieve.
One player who surely must start is Shinji Kagawa. He’s been criminally under used this season, even though every time Manchester United have one of their fleeting, really good games he tends to be on the pitch. Just in the last few weeks he’s been involved in United’s best performances – 4-1 vs Aston Villa and the away win at West Ham.
But, too often, he is left out for the biggest games.
Manchester United have lacked pace and speed of thought in the middle. This is what Kagawa is good at. He plays with his head up and gets things moving. He’s technically superb and he has an eye for goal. He also puts in a real shift and is a natural athlete.
With Juan Mata cup-tied you would have thought that Kagawa’s creativity would be especially important to the attacking areas of this team. But David Moyes seems to be more concerned about not getting battered than setting his team out to scare the opposition.
Sadly, we fear that Kagawa could miss out again and be brought on with 20 minutes left, when the game has already been terminally shaped. But this is a player who was at the very heart if the Dortmund side which overhauled Bayern for the German title a few years back. He knows how they work and he can add the speed of play which Manchester United desperately need in behind Rooney.
So, Mr Moyes. If you want the complete support of the Manchester United faithful you have to stop putting square pegs in round holes. In the absence of Mata and RvP, get Kagawa on the ball in his best position at number ten in behind Wazza – and reap the benefits on Tuesday.
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