After Manchester United battled back to claim a 2-2 draw at Upton Park on Wednesday after falling behind twice, a big talking point to come out of the game was to why Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take arguably the best player on the pitch off at a crucial point of the game – Shinji Kagawa.
The midfielder was in inspired form and assisted both of United’s before Ferguson strangely decided to take him off and put Hernandez on.
And speaking at his pre-match press conference this morning, Ferguson admitted that maybe he got things wrong – something he does not do very often.
He said: “The ironic thing was, when we were chasing a goal with 14 minutes left, I decided to put Chicharito on and Shinji made the second goal.
“I’d already given the fourth official the card, Chicha was standing on the touchline and then we scored the second goal. I think if I’d have changed my decision then we would have won it.
“He made a terrific first goal. There were a few involved in that build-up but he had the composure to take the player on in a tight area and roll the ball to Valencia for a tap-in. He’s doing very well.”
Kagawa has been one of United’s stand out men in the past few months. The Japanese sensation has so far made 17 appearances for the United in his debut season in the Premier League scoring five goals along the way.
His standout moment was a superb hat-trick and all round display in the 4-0 win over Norwich which made him the first Asian player to score a hat-trick in the Premier League.
He had originally struggled at the start of the season after being mainly used on the wide left but when he has played down the middle, he has caused defenders problems and created chances that not many other players in the Premier League could create.
Ferguson continued: “He’s doing very well for us now. He has fantastic composure on the ball and his decision-making is good.
“He has a good selection of passes; he seems to always pick the more sensible pass.”
And when Sir Alex speaks so highly of a player in his first season at the club, we know for sure that there is plenty more to come from Kagawa who is yet to fully hit the ground running at Old Trafford.