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Kagawa: I wish I could have played for Fergie for longer

Shinji Kagawa has today sung the praises of our retiring manager and expressed his regrets that he didn’t get to play for him for longer.

“He has a magnetic power,” Kagawa told “I felt it the first time I met him, from the way he conducts himself and also from working with him on the pitch. He communicates well with his players and respects them. As the season went on, I got to communicate with him more, both on football and other subjects. That was important. He is a friendly person and his spirit is much younger than his age. I think that’s because of his achievements over the years, and also his personality. I wish I could have played much longer under him. What he has achieved for the club is tremendous – he is in a class of his own.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Brummie red says:

    Got 2 tickets for the last game on Sunday vs West Brom, can’t go due to other commitments. Will sell for the value bought …..Gutted Contact for more details

  2. bill991 says:

    I’m not sure what it is but SAF reminder of optimus prime lol

  3. Bobby Charlton's Combover says:

    “Anders will be in goal. I will play one or two younger players, and I want to play Jonny Evans and Phil Jones at centre-half because they are the future.

    Is Ferguson saying Jones is ear-marked for the centre-half position and not the utility player we were led to believe? I hope so.

  4. Diego says:

    Bobby Charlton’s Combover
    doesn’t matter, Moyes will have his own opinion anyways.

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    I think Jones will prove a tad short and a few stone light for CB. Just my opinion. The lad is so good on the ball I fancy him as interchanging with Carrick and filling in on the back line. Not good enough crosser or at long balls for every day use at FB, but will improve and good in a pinch. Future is bright.

    Think Evans and Smalling could do a job if we don’t bring in anyone. But my bet is that we will bring in one or two more CB’s.

  6. Ruks says:

    I really fear 4 shinji’s man united career under moyes. I hope he is given faith like Saf did. I think we have had bigger talents but kagawa a totally diffent player any we’v had at OT; he’s swagger on the ball is like no other.

  7. Costas says:

    You’ll have to do with Moyes now. :P

  8. King Eric says:

    Fletch hi mate. Jones a few stone light? He’s a beast!

  9. FletchTHEMAN says:

    King Eric, Just my opinion. He will be the smallest CB we have had since Bruce. Nothing wrong with Brucie ofcourse. But the game has changed since the early 90′s. Just don’t fancy a 1.80m (6′) CB going up against the Fellani’s/Carrols/Toures etc of the league. Fine in the CL, but not going to be all that in the prem.

    Good stout lad and true. Seems intelligent and 2 footed. But the gods left him a bit small for requirements at CB if you ask me.

    Here are your comparisons:
    Vidic 1.89
    Ferdinand 1.89
    Smalling 1.92
    Evans 1.89
    (Old boy Gerard Pique 1.92)

    Looking at the top 4 this year. None have a CB under 1.88′.

    Jones 1.80′ Go on then!

  10. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Sir Alex Presser

    Team news:
    1. No Injuries.
    2. Lindegaard will start.
    3. Rafael is out (Red Card love to, David Luis)
    4. “Jones and Evans at center back….. “they could be the future”
    5. Will bring along some youngsters. Probably Keane, Cole and Adnan Januzaj from the Reserves.

    No mention of Powell but I heard a rumor that he underwent surgery (anyone have an update)

    So that is our starting point for picking the starting 11.

  11. denton davey says:

    FletchTHEMAN @ 12:52: “Think Evans and Smalling could do a job if we don’t bring in anyone.”

    There’s the rub; both of these guys have the talent to form a good pairing but both of these guys seem to get injured a lot.

    The first two items on the new manager’s agenda are going to be sorting out TheWayneBoy’s future and (mane) “the midfield hole” and then determining what to do with MrJones who is just too good a footballer to be used as a central defender. If, as I have suggested, these two guys are re-assigned to fill “the midfield hole” then the issue of depth/quality at central defence comes to the fore – Rio and CaptainVidic can’t really go on much longer (one is a fitness wreck and the other is now injury-prone) so Evans/Smalling/Keane become UTD’s line of central defence going forward unless there is a transfer that’s under the radar (too bad that Zizou intervened and turned Rafael Varane’s head last summer !)

    @ 13:17: “the smallest CB we have had since Bruce.” StevieB is now 437 stone so you must be referencing an earlier version of the man.

  12. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Davie :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Think Brucie’s been under a wee bit of strain mate. AND IT SHOWS!!!!

    PS I agree about the CBs. I think we will bring in one or two. And expect and we buy to make Jones look small. Cheers

  13. NBI Red Onion says:

    Height helps with heading but so does positioning and speed. How tall is Ramos?

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    NBI. Wiki has Ramos at 1.83m (6′). But we arn’t talking about CL and La Liga mate. We are talking about the EPL and the Kenwayne Jones of this world.

    Top 4 in EPL have significantly bigger CHs than in La Liga. Been true for years, and for a reason.

  15. kanchelskis says:

    Anyone see what Waddle’s come out with?

    Thinks Beckham isn’t in the PL’s 1000 top players.

    That’s right, he thinks there have been ONE THOUSAND better PL players than David Beckham.

    What a complete and utter twat.

  16. Sam says:

    It all depends on the defenders make up. Jones has fantastic potential – his tough,confident and brave – learns fast. Those things can easily make up for being an inch or two shorter than the rest.
    Look at players like Puyol, Cannavaro, baresi, beckenbauer, bobby moore, maldini. Not the tallest of defenders, but they were quality.

  17. Sam says:

    Is Phil Jones even 1.80 m? Espn has him at 1.88 m

  18. roboo7 says:

    Jones maybe that slight shorter but hes strong on the ball quick strong in the airand a beast of a tackler.

  19. medumtum says:

    Yup if he is good enough he is tall enough. The bigger problem will be to determine, as denton pointed out, whats his best position. The da silvas are fine moving forward but can leave our team a little low on physicality. Evras been caught out defensively as well. On the other hand Jones’ long passes have been poor. Which mean he still has a bit of settling in to do before we decide on a spot. Biggest concern is midfield. Scholesy is gone, dont have anybody except Carrick now. No rumors floating around of a major midfield buy either, unless you count fabregas, and that doesn’t look right with Xavi aging.

  20. rijah says:

    I don’t think Jones should be going for a defender slot, especially after the last match goal that Swansea hit against us. He made a mess of it to be true.

  21. kanchelskis says:


    So, because of one mistake you’ve identified, you take that as a definitive sign that he’ll never be a defender?

    That’s what young players do. Make mistakes, learn from them.

    Jones will mature into a centre-half, and a very good one at that.

  22. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Jones is only 21 and a cracking tallent. Might give him a few years before making big judgements.

    My points have nothing to do with his skills. He is a very good CB by training and temperment. Just feel CB isn’t why we bought him. Time will tell.

    For those wanting a second look at rijah is talking about, the Swans goal was at 1:12 on this video. My thought is that Phil did alright but there man took it well. I wouldn’t be too harsh on Jones. My worry is about his ability in the air, not on the ground.

  23. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Legenadry fabio cannavaro is 5ft 8 and became the world’s best defender at his absolute prime, if jones was aspiring to reach that level, height won’t come into it.

  24. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Kanchelskis – some have indicated that his ability to go on a barnstorming run would be a waste if he gets stuck at centre back but as he gains more experience and carries more baggage, those runs will be cut down a notch anyway. Jones is most comfortable at centre back and it’s where he’ll probably settle, he will of course ocassionally venture into other roles as versatility can be a positive but as we found with some players, it can derail any potential they have, they’ll become the get out card for managers to patch up a crack in the team rather than be key components of a team.

  25. kanchelskis says:


    In the right set-up, there’s nothing to stop a CB going on a barnstorming run. We saw it from Rio in his prime. Evans fancies it every now and then. Elsewhere, David Luiz, Sergio Ramos (another converted RB), Puyol do it. Hell, even Laurent Koscielny loves a burst out of defence!

  26. Tope99 says:

    Phil is a wonderful talent,his tackling is good and puts in good shifts as a defender but if he wants to play as a midfielder or d new manager wants him as a midfielder then he has to improve on some things like passing.I expect Shinji to be a star next season and I also expect Moyes to bring in a midfielder there are some good midfielders who are good in tackling and are creative like dortmund’s Gundogan and PSG’s Verratti

  27. kanchelskis says:


    Like the look of Gundongan. He was class in both legs against Madrid.

    Would almost feel bad though – Dortmund have just been ransacked for their good players over the last couple of years!

  28. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Kanchelskis – Agreed. I’ve seen lucio doing it too, it’s all about picking the right time to join the attack, a centre back with an instinct like that can be a bonus and i feel with more experience (which equates more reading of the game and composure) he’ll get better and stronger in that position. Some mention the fact his height could count against him but let’s be honest, that’s an indictment on the premier league really, the fact we are worried about the likes andy carroll and stoke rather than focusing on how teams will out-witt others technically is an embarassment, phil jones at that height abd talent + desire should be able to hack it, he needs to be given time and given the benefit of the doubt.

  29. FletchTHEMAN says:

    You footy manager types make me laugh.

    Fabio Cannavaro never played in the EPL. Only played in Italy and Spain where they play on the deck most of the time. Also usually partnered with taller defenders.

    United have committed to fairly small FBs. We were picked appart, in the air, by Madrid trying to isolate Ronaldo with our FBs. Worked a treat as well.

    Go on then. Name all you want. You will find you are naming lads who never came to england, or played the best years a decade ago.

  30. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Kanchelskis – It’s not for us to get teary eyed about teams losing players, i like dortmund but if the opportunity to take gundogan, lewandowski, hummels, pzscek and reus, i would take them all with no sense of guilt. Ha. On gundogan, i agree. As great a complete central midfielder you will find, he can control the game and at only 22. Sven bender alongside is also a terrific defensive midfield, tough and competitive as a fucking granite, if you’re looking for anything close to a roy keane with more potential then he is.

  31. Tope99 says:

    In midfield Moyes should be looking at:
    Sven Bender
    Ilkay Gundogan
    Luiz Gustavo
    Marco Verratti
    We need a new winger but good ones are getting rear or jst are hard to get at the moment

  32. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Yeah right. anyone knowledgeable who watches enough can understand. Fabio admittedly played outside this league but he also came up againsy various opponents from different leagues and came out on top more often than not. He was quick, strong, determined and fairly strong in the air as he had a great leap. Height isn’t everything, i thought this league going backwards would have learnt their lessons but clearly not. I’m sure jones would get a fitting partner that bring the best out of him but i cannot see why physique can stop talented players making it, football has shifted slightly. Ronaldo can beat anyone and i mean any centre back in the air, the portuguese is 6ft plus but he also adds that extra leap, he would have beaten even vida in the air. If united followed the philosophy of only aerial ability, they would follow the model tony pulis has at stoke, disguising bamboo sticks as centre halves.

  33. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tope – gustavo is quality and out of all the midfield players at bayern, the most avalaible will be him. Good technically, strong defensively and reads the game well, whether he’s on united’s radar is a matter for us to find out, highly doubt it but he’s in the brazil squad, s player that is probably more suited to the premier league. Strootman too, quality all round central midfielder, they are getting very very difficult to find.

  34. Tope99 says:

    my only fear is moyes will go for cheap players

  35. samuel - united WE stand says:

    The fact of the matter is there’s a massive gap yo fill in central midfield and it cannot be ignored anymore or the club will pay for the consequences. Legendary paul scholes gone, never going to find a player of that unique talent again but we can.mould another team with different characteristics. I’m glad for fletch getting back gradually but he won’t be that energetic dynamo again, his game was based around tracking, tackling and closing down opposition, can anyone really see him returning as same player?. Anderson is talented and as close to the answer as we can get but injury wise he can’t be trusted, he’ll have to get extremely fit and complete an entire season with more regular time to convince, he came on against swansea and changed the game with his drive but that was for a meagre 20 bloody mins, he needs to play longer than that, he needs to go pre season and work harder than anyone. Tom cleverley is just not the answer in terms of being a dominant central mid, he can be a key player but not standing out. Legendary Giggsy game time should downsize and shouldn’t play centrally either.

    There’s nick powell, januzaj, larnell cole, lingard, tunnicliffe. Talented younger players but they need accomplished top players in central mid guiding them, pressure to be an immediate answer should be avoided. This is why united must invest, tge club is losing players and not replacing the quality.

  36. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Tope – i would like to give moyes the benefit of the doubt. I have my reservation about him but although he’s not perfect, fergie still knows far more than i do and i’m willing as are many willing to sit patiently and observe his ability to carry on united’s philosophy, his transfer signings (fergie wasn’t entirely perfect at it but he hit the right jackpot more often than not), his ability to take a firm grip on the players e.t.c but here’s hoping he notices and rectifies the issue we’ve all discussed for years.

  37. Tope99 says:

    I’m okay with Moyes but i hope he just sits and realizes that this is Man United,the signings need to be really quality so that they can keep competing with the likes of Real,Barca,dortmund,buyern,etc in the CL and the club has to keep dominating english football

  38. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Top99. Cheers son. Truth of the matter. “Cheep players” turn into expensive players when United are involved.

    Was Bebe cheep, Javier Cheep….. What is cheep?

    You always take a risk that non big money players will be able to handle United type pressure and the squad system.

    Finding United quality players is a gift.
    Veron, Forlan? They couldn’t hack it.
    Lucas? Obi Mikel? They wanted city lights and the chav lifestyle
    Tevez? Who the 3&@! know what he wanted.

    Moyes will have to make his own way.
    His biggest problem is making a entire corporation, built around Fergie, work for him.
    Moyes needs to be cut some serious slack.

  39. roboo7 says:

    Baresi (ac milan) played over 500 games won major honours and he was under 5.10.

  40. King Eric says:

    Cannavaro was absolutely top class.

    kanchelskis – Yes heard that mullet haired cunt’s claims that Beck’s doesn’t make 1000. What a fucking idiot. Go find the ball from the Turin car park you cunt.

  41. King Eric says:

    “disguising bamboo sticks as centre halves” . Ha quality.

  42. Sam says:

    I have seen Kevin Strootman play a few times, and i don’t rate him highly – maybe brendan can pair him with Joe Allen and it’ll surely be their year. Verratti and Gundagon are top drawer, getting any one of the two would be fantastic. I rate ramires too, has improved a lot in the last two seasons. He’d be a good replacement for fletcher.

    Waddle is a cunt, wonder if he considers himself in the top 1000…Fat prick.


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