Wayne Rooney is available for selection for Manchester United’s Community Shield meeting with Wigan Athletic at Wembley on Sunday. The news gives David Moyes a dilemma after Rooney recovered from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of Tuesday’s friendly with AIK in Stockholm.
After that game Moyes downplayed the seriousness of the problem and the player’s camp were also of the same view. Now, having been selected by Roy Hodgson for the England squad for Wednesday evening’s friendly with Scotland, which is just three day days later at Wembley, Rooney has come through two intensive training sessions with the reserves on Thursday and Friday and is available to Moyes should the Scot wish to choose him to face Wigan.
Rooney broke his recent silence by posting a comment on his Facebook page. “Can’t wait to join up with the England squad and hopefully play in a competitive match, they always are against Scotland,” he said. “Big thanks to Roy Hodgson for selecting me and showing his faith and support, appreciate it.”
Given the dispute between Rooney and the club, which has caused him to seek a move to Chelsea, Moyes faces a difficult choice. The striker has trained well since suffering the hamstring injury that limited his involvement in United’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia to one day before he had to fly home, with Rooney able to continue his intensive conditioning due to the shoulder injury being minor.
Moyes is also considering whether to select an XI to face Wigan that would rest several of his senior players before next Saturday’s opening Premier League fixture at Swansea City as the new manager aims to get off to a winning start to his tenure. With José Mourinho’s Chelsea the opponents for United in the following fixture, before the trips to Liverpool in the next game and Manchester City in the club’s fifth league outing of what is a tough start to the title defence, Moyes is conscious a solid start to the campaign is required. The manager, though, is excited by the challenge. “I just cannot wait to get the season started. As I have said before, I know what it is like to walk out at Old Trafford as the manager of the opposition, so to step out in front of more than 75,000 fans as the Manchester United manager will be a special moment for me,” said Moyes. “Being given the chance to manage a club like this was a dream come true for me and probably more so given that the previous manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, wanted me to be in charge of the club. I’m really looking forward to it.
“The support I’ve had from everybody has been tremendous. It won’t always be easy but I just hope we can all work together. My sole goal is to be successful and have a winning team. I hope that, over the years, we can enjoy plenty of success.”
Regarding the Community Shield, he added: “I will be trying to make this the first trophy of many. But, if we win, it’s really something that will have been earned by Sir Alex. It’s because of his good work in the Premier League last season that we’re in the Community Shield. I’ll do my best to finish off the job but it’s Sir Alex who will deserve a lot of the credit if we’re successful at Wembley.”
© Guardian News & Media Limited 2014