David Moyes was part of ITV’s panel for England’s 3-2 victory over Scotland at Wembley Stadium last night and watched as ‘injured’ Wayne Rooney started for the Three Lions.
The forward had been training with the youth team towards the end of last week and wasn’t able to play in the Community Shield because of an injury but was declared fully fit by Roy Hodgson just 24 hours later and the forward played 67 minutes against Scotland before making way for match winner Rickie Lambert.
ITV’s panel did not really press Moyes on it as they had probably been briefed on what they were allowed to ask but the Scot didn’t offer any sort of explanation on Rooney’s miraculous return to fitness, only that he was pleased to see him play.
Essentially Manchester United’s wish for him to be there had the desired effect as people aren’t questioning Rooney’s future as much as they were and Moyes’ presence in the studio gave off the impression that there was nothing amiss. There is no way the lads in PR would have allowed him to be there if it had turned out otherwise, if there was nothing wrong there would have been a manager’s press conference before the match against Wigan.
It also gave Moyes a vehicle in which to reiterate publicly that the player in a controlled environment without the chance of being harassed by anyone that will challenge him. He also come up with some other guff designed to please the United fans by saying they’re looking at several targets (they’ll get Fellaini).
I’m not particularly fussed about whether or not Rooney makes the switch to West London and he wouldn’t be my choice, but as long as the approach makes Moyes and company’s life a little more difficult it’s worth doing. The fact that United have been so defensive with their public relations demonstrates that Jose Mourinho has already gotten under their skin.