• Premier League

Van Gaal: Kagawa not buying into my philosophy

ESPN staff
August 25, 2014
Louis van Gaal and Shinji Kagawa did not see eye to eye on Manchester United's pre-season tour of the United States © Getty Images

Louis van Gaal said Shinji Kagawa does not want to play his brand of football as he explained the Japan international's absence from the Manchester United team so far this season.

Kagawa has been an unused substitute in both league games, even though Van Gaal has had what he called the worst injury crisis of his managerial career, with nine players sidelined and new signing Marcos Rojo ineligible to debut in United's 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

The Dutchman tried to play Kagawa as one of his two central midfielders during United's pre-season tour of the United States. But he said in his news conference at the Stadium of Light: "Kagawa did not wish to fulfil my wishes, my philosophy when I played him in the United States."

Juan Mata has been operating in Kagawa's preferred position behind the strikers and Van Gaal explained in July: "Kagawa was a No.10 at [Borussia] Dortmund but I want to try him at No. 6 and No. 8."

But while United have made a slow start under Van Gaal, collecting a solitary point from their first two league games, Robin van Persie believes the results will soon come.

Van Persie told Sky Sports: "I worked with him for two years, and he's very clear. He's clear in what he asks of each player in the team every day. So, where I can, I will help the other players.

"I think that everyone has faith and everyone believes in the staff and players. We have great players, and it's just a matter of time before the points will start coming in."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close