Saturday 16 December 2017

In-tray on desk of United's new manager

Wayne Rooney

It is too simplistic for Moyes to want this delicate matter settled quickly. That will happen if player and manager are of one mind and wish for Rooney to remain.

And such a scenario would come with a significant clause – an apology for Alex Ferguson's claim that Rooney slapped in a transfer request. That wouldn't go down well with Ferguson.

With Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck all operating out of position last season, has the time come for ties to be severed? If that is the case, no resolution can be anticipated until much nearer the transfer window.

Backroom team

With Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele all gone, it is an open secret that Steve Round, Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden will be following Moyes to United from Everton. The big unknown is whether Phil Neville will be accompanying them. It might be an astute move.

Midfield conundrum

Since Cristiano Ronaldo departed in 2009, it has been widely claimed that United's midfield is sub-standard, although they have since won two Premier League titles and lost the other two by a single point and on goal difference respectively. But, with Paul Scholes retired, Darren Fletcher facing a battle just to save his career and Anderson surely out of last chances, reinforcements are needed.

Thiago Alcantara would be a handy purchase from Barcelona, and PSV's Kevin Strootman would be a useful addition.

Big name signing

The return of Ronaldo would be a real signal of intent, as would the capture of Gareth Bale. But any signing has to fit into a team pattern, and not dilute the impact of Robin van Persie.

The media

Ferguson's relationship with the press was difficult at times, but he was capable of creating a headline with a single sentence. Moyes can be confrontational when the mood takes him.

The Scot must tread carefully as he will not be afforded the deference Ferguson enjoyed.

Irish Independent

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