This time David Moyes has a valid reason for omitting Shinji Kagawa from his match-day squad, but United fans are still not happy.
When the Manchester United squad was announced for today’s match against Crystal Palace, the surprise appearance of a recovered Wayne Rooney did not stop fans from noting the baffling absence of Shinji Kagawa.
Although a quick bit of investigating revealed it was not as baffling as first thought – the Japanese playmaker simply has the flu.
But regardless of the reason for his latest absence, there is a question to be answered as to why a player of such quality has so far failed to be given regular chances to impress, under managers both new and old.
When questioned last week as to why he had used Kagawa so sparingly so far this season, David Moyes gave a simple explanation.
In short, he blamed air-miles.
“There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet,” Moyes told Sky Sports.
“But if you look at it, most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.”
It is a fair point, but one that does not stand up to analysis.
Wasn’t Javier Hernandez also involved in the Confederations Cup for Mexico this summer? And yet doesn’t he find himself on the bench this afternoon?
And weren’t the likes of Oscar, Paulinho and Neymar all part of the Brazil squad for the same competition – the side that got all the way to the final and ultimately won?
And then there are the losing finalists Spain, who had the likes of Roberto Soldado, Jesus Navas and Santi Cazorla in their squad – players who all appeared for their sides when the new season kicked off.
In fact a glance at the Confederations Cup squads throws up a whole host of players from across the world who are now turning out regularly for their clubs.
Given the reason for today’s absence, United fans should be happy that Moyes has given a chance to the prodigiously gifted Adnan Januzaj.
But the reaction on Twitter to those who did not know Kagawa was ill speaks volumes for the feeling among United fans the world over when it comes to their criminally-underused but potential future-legend Kagawa.
Here is a selection of tweets following what they thought at the time was another snub:
You can use Pienaar at Everton, but can't use Kagawa at ManUtd... #MoyesKnowsTho..— Innöcently Guïlty (@Yemzine) September 14, 2013
#bbcfootball if Moyes doesnt need Kagawa then he shd make it clear— Stephen Kwesi Assan (@pakashassan) September 14, 2013
Fabio instead of Rafael. Anderson instead of Fellaini. Young instead of Kagawa. Damn.!— Shark Attack (@SyahrulAshraff) September 14, 2013
No Kagawa... Against Palace??? Poor from you Moyesy! #unitedvpalace— Ryan Taylor (@RyanTaylor23) September 14, 2013
Kagawa should seek a move away from old trafford n go back to BVB. Sahin(sp) did it— Guardi-amla (@justrezo) September 14, 2013
All this talk about United needing an attacking, creative midfielder and Kagawa doesn't even get in the squad #GiveYourHeadAShakeMoyes— Joshua Booth (@JoshuaBooth2) September 14, 2013
I don't get why this idiot doesn't play kagawa. Omitting a player of his quality for 4 successive games is not fair for him— Abdul (@itzmajeed) September 14, 2013
Kagawa not even in the squad today, he surely has to think of a loan move in January if this keeps us #FreeShinji— BVB Scotland (@bvbscotland) September 14, 2013
if kagawa is left out this season and subsequently leaves I'll find it very hard to support David Moyes— alex thompson (@dewster99) September 14, 2013
Anderson in the starting XI and Kagawa doesnt make the squad! Moyes must be a Trojan Horse #FreeShinji— George Jefferis (@XPonyRideX) September 14, 2013
image: © Marcel Sigg