New Manchester United manager David Moyes put a testing pre-season behind him as his side beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 in the Community Shield at a sun-soaked Wembley yesterday.
The successor to the legendary Alex Ferguson had to endure transfer market frustration and speculation surrounding the future of Wayne Rooney during a disappointing run of two wins in seven friendly games.
His luck changed in the traditional curtain-raiser to the English season, however, as Robin van Persie scored a goal in each half to give Moyes his first piece of silverware at the helm of the English giants.
“I class that as another piece of silverware for Sir Alex really. I was in charge today, but the ones going forward will be down to me,” Moyes said. The 50-year-old Scot’s attention will now turn to next Sunday’s Premier League opener at Swansea City.
Michael Carrick, United’s man of the match, heralded his side’s improvement, telling BBC Radio 5 Live: “We looked a lot better today. We were in control of the game, and we felt we could score.”
Three months on, meanwhile, from their shock win over Manchester City in the FA Cup final, Wigan showed enough quality to suggest they are well placed to bounce back from relegation to the Championship at the first attempt.
“All in all, we’re disappointed to lose the game, but in spells we showed we could play,” said Wigan manager Owen Coyle. “We’ll take lessons from today — there’s one or two things we can learn from — and move forward.”
Moyes loses his cool
Meanwhile, Moyes lost his patience after being questioned about unsettled striker Wayne Rooney yesterday. Rooney is reportedly unhappy at Old Trafford and has been the subject of two unsuccessful bids from Chelsea recently.
Moyes said media reports about Rooney’s training programme have been inaccurate. Rooney trained with United’s reserves this week after hurting his shoulder in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Real Betis, but Moyes said that was at Rooney’s request, rather than as a form of punishment.
“Wayne has trained, and some of you might not like hearing this, but I didn’t fall out with Wayne,” Moyes said during a terse post-game presser.
“Some of you wrote untruths. Wayne trained with the reserves because it was his asking. He couldn’t have (physical) contact, he had a shoulder injury. In case you don’t know, we used him as a floating player, which means he doesn’t play for either team, he plays between either team.
“He played as a floating player so he didn’t get injured. So any of you who wrote anything else are misleading your readers.”