"It was a very beautiful period" - Former Manchester United star claims he wanted to work longer with Sir Alex Ferguson

Shinji Kagawa fondly remembers the "beautiful period" under Sir Alex Ferguson
Shinji Kagawa fondly remembers the "beautiful period" under Sir Alex Ferguson

Former Manchester United forward Shinji Kagawa has reminisced about the time he spent under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, calling it “a great honor.”

Impressed with his displays for Borussia Dortmund, Ferguson signed the former Japan international ahead of the 2012-13 season. Manchester United won their 20th Premier League title at the end of the campaign, after which Ferguson decided to retire.

Rio Ferdinand and Robin van Persie mentioned that earlier on in 2012-13 Sir Alex Ferguson said to Rooney, Kagawa, Scholes and Carrick that if they do not pass to van Persie when he makes a run then they will not play.That threat eventually led to this at the end of the season:

In an interview with De Morgen, Kagawa looked back on his season under the Scot manager, wishing he had a little more time with him. The 33-year-old said:

“I had the privilege of working with Ferguson for a year which was a great honour. I wanted to work with him longer, but fate decreed otherwise. It was a very beautiful period. Ferguson really wanted me in; I’ll never forget that. At the time, I didn’t think about that, that I was working with such a legend. Now I realise much better who he really is. If I’m honest, my first year at Manchester United was okay.”

Kagawa then hailed Robin van Persie as the hero of Manchester United’s triumph in 2012-13, admitting he didn’t have much confidence during his first season in England. He explained:

“We won the title, but that was because of Robin van Persie. He scored 26 goals that season. I didn’t have as much confidence anymore as I did during my passage at Dortmund. The adjustment in England was not always easy; there were sometimes doubts. A new language, system, coach, environment.”

Kagawa, who currently plays for Belgian outfit Sint-Truidense V.V., stated that Ferguson’s retirement blindsided him. He admitted that he was hoping to play “another year” under the 13-time Premier League-winning manager.

He concluded by saying:

“Ferguson left after my first year, and I really didn’t see that coming. It was Ferguson who brought me to Manchester, eh. I thought I could work with him for at least another year.”

Kagawa spent one more season at Old Trafford before returning to Dortmund. Ferguson’s successor David Moyes did not trust the Japanese enough to give him regular opportunities, which ultimately paved the way for his return to the Bundesliga. Between 2012 and 2014, Kagawa played 57 games for United, registering six goals and 10 assists.

Manchester United need a resolute and tactically sound manager to bring their glory days back

The Red Devils’ Champions League Round of 16 exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid in March ensured that they would remain trophyless for the fifth consecutive season. United have lost a lot of ground to the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. To get out of the rut, they not only need committed players, but also a manager who knows how to string encouraging results together.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has tried his best to guide the ship, but positive results have been few and far between. With him set to depart at the end of the season, the onus will be on the Manchester United board to get a sound replacement.

Manchester United are discussing with Erik ten Hag about budget, players, long-term plans, staff members considered key points to reach full agreement. 🔴 #MUFC €2m release clause NOT an issue - ten Hag & Man Utd are talking about the project.📲 More:…

Ajax’s Eric ten Hag has emerged as the front-runner (via Fabrizio Romano), but nothing has been made official yet. With the summer transfer window on the horizon, United must move quickly to announce their new manager. Without a clear project, they are unlikely to be able to convince the biggest players to join their cause.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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