David Moyes is hopeful that all of his players remain injury free following this week’s batch of international friendlies, as he prepares for his first Barclays Premier League match as Manchester United manager.
Four days after lifting the FA Community Shield at Wembley, the boss was back at the national stadium on Wednesday night to watch his native Scotland lose 3-2 to England. Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Wilfried Zaha were all involved and thankfully all emerged unscathed.
Elsewhere, Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were both in action, for Holland and Japan respectively, while Angelo Henriquez featured for Chile in Denmark. Once again, all three appeared to avoid injury.
Speaking to MUTV on Thursday, Moyes cut a relieved figure. He told the official club channel: “It was great to get Wayne some [game] time, I thought Danny and Tom did well also, but overall the big thing was that they came through without any injuries. Hopefully, we’ll get no injuries from that game. And not just that game, we have to make sure that all of the other players who have been away on international duty return [without a problem].”
Quizzed on the scheduling of this week’s international break, the manager said: “I don’t think anybody likes this friendly in the week before the start of the season. But as far as I know, I think it ends now and this will be the last one which we have in August before the start of a season. It was the same for all clubs and all managers, but I think it is a week when everyone wants to put their final preparations in place and when you don’t have all the players at your disposal, it is difficult.”
Of course, throughout this summer’s Tour 2013 presented by Aon, Moyes was able to analyse his personnel, working out the different strengths and weaknesses of United's title-winning squad. But can something be learned from watching the players in action for their individual nations?
“Over the years, I have watched the United players playing for their countries at different times. But I think when you are the manager you look at it in a different light. I was able to look at Danny and Tom differently, Wayne as well, seeing how they were performing and how they were doing.