Updated 19:57 Tuesday 6 August
Manchester United flew to Sweden on Monday, at the start of a week that features three matches in three different cities and the chance for David Moyes to pick up his first piece of silverware in the Community Shield.
That fixture, against Wigan Athletic at Wembley, will cap a busy seven days that began in Stockholm with Tuesday night’s friendly against AIK Fotboll and also includes Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Friday.
Moyes took a strong 18-man squad to Sweden, including players who missed out on the recent three-week trip to Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong through injury or extended holidays following summer international commitments.
There was no Wayne Rooney, however, who missed the trip due to a shoulder injury sustained in a weekend friendly game.
All three matches this week should provide a stern test ahead of the Reds’ first Barclays Premier League match, away at Swansea City on Saturday 17 August, but it’s the Community Shield that will matter most to players, fans and, of course, the new Manchester United manager.
No longer a friendly season curtain-raiser, the Community Shield is now counted as a full-blown competitive fixture. And for David Moyes it’s a chance to begin his Reds career with a trophy.
Speaking with the club’s official monthly magazine Inside United (out this Wednesday 7 August), Moyes admitted he wants to get his hands on the Shield, although acknowledges the lion’s share of the credit – should he be successful – belongs elsewhere.