New manager David Moyes has criticised the series of fixtures Manchester United have been handed at the start of the season, hinting it is a deliberate ploy by the Premier League to give them a tough opening.
The champions travel to Swansea City tomorrow for their first match of the new campaign but, among their following four games, the champions host Chelsea and travel to Manchester City and Liverpool.
“I think it’s the hardest start for 20 years that Manchester United have had,” said Moyes who took over in the close season following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
“I hope it’s not because Manchester United won the league quite comfortably last year that the fixtures have been made much more difficult,” Moyes told the BBC. “I find it hard to believe that’s the way the balls came out of the bag, that’s for sure.”
Moyes added that no decision had been made on whether unsettled striker Wayne Rooney, who has missed most of pre-season but played more than an hour for England in their 3-2 win over Scotland on Wednesday, would take part in tomorrow’s match.
Both sides have had competitive action in recent weeks. United beat Wigan Athletic 2-0 in the Community Shield on Sunday, while Swansea defeated Swedish club Malmo in a two-legged Europa League qualifier.
Nemanja Vidic trusts Manchester United and new manager Moyes to get it right in their handling of Wayne Rooney.
With Hodgson reporting Rooney had suffered no ill effects from his 65-minute work-out, he must now be in contention for at least a place on the bench for Saturday’s Premier League opener at Swansea, even if it is probably too much to believe he will start. Yet Rooney’s state of fitness does not address the desire he has to join Chelsea, who have already had two bids turned down for the 27-year-old.
United have continued to insist all summer the former Everton man is not for sale. It is a situation that has the potential to create headaches inside the Red Devils dressing room.
Yet Vidic is happy with Rooney being there. And he has faith in United to deal with the problem in the correct manner.
“Wayne is training well, the club is strong and know what they are doing,” he told Sky Sports News. “I have trust in the manager. Wayne had a few small injuries in the last few weeks, but he has trained very well. He didn’t have as many games but the season is long and I think he will deal with it.”
Moyes has refused to say whether Rooney will be in his squad at the weekend, when he begins work as United manager in earnest.