Shinji Kagawa sets high standards for himself.
Indeed, despite catching the eye with a number of sparkling displays shortly after his summer arrival from German champions Borussia Dortmund, the Japanese midfielder claims he’s not been happy with his performances in a Reds shirt so far.
Now fit again after a knee injury forced him to miss United’s last 15 games of 2012, Kagawa is determined to prove why Sir Alex was so intent on bringing him to Old Trafford and help the Reds win back the Barclays Premier League.
How are you enjoying life as a Manchester United player?
I’m in a fantastic environment, training everyday with top players. At the same time, being with a big club like Manchester United, I know we are always expected to win trophies, which I haven’t accomplished yet. All I can do is work hard every day. I love playing at Old Trafford, though, and I’m always amazed by the atmosphere of the stadium. We’ve managed many come-from-behind wins this season, which is very difficult. But if we go 1-0 down and then equalise, the feeling of unity between the supporters and players is incredible. Those moments encourage the players and make us feel like we can score another goal at any time.
Which of your United team-mates are you closest to?
I talk a lot with Alexaner Büttner, who’s also in his first season with the team. We have that in common. Also, I spend a bit of time with David De Gea because I take English classes with him. I’m working hard to study English so I can communicate better with my team-mates.
Have you learnt much about Manchester United's history?
Yes, I know about all those historical events in the past, like the Munich air crash. For me, personally, the fact that an Asian player, Ji-Sung Park, played for the club had a big impact on me. I used to watch United matches on TV when I was little.
How have you found life in Manchester?
The weather is not as good as I imagined [laughs]! It rains a lot and it’s often cloudy. But I’m used to it now. My house is relaxing and I’ve found some nice restaurants. Most of all, I’m able to focus only on football in Manchester, which is very good for a football player. Once in a while