Preston vs Manchester United: Five things we learnt - Hodgson has no problem with Wayne Rooney in midfield, someone still loves Moyes

There is no Kevin Kilbane suite at Preston North End, Van Gaal must be feeling the cold and there is still a place in football for Peter Ridsdale

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Hodgson doesn’t mind Rooney playing in midfield

We know this because the England manager told us so. “It doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “That’s the first thing I must say,” the emphatic nature of the point in no way intimating that his answer had been worked out far in advance.

He also offered his sympathies to club managers, who have “their own personnel and their own things they must do” to contort their squads to fit the varied requirements on the pitch. A gregarious point, but not one that has applied to Manchester United all that much in the last 25 years.

Though Rooney had not scored a goal in 2015 until the 88th minute last night (team-mate Chris Smalling has two, and he does not have the privilege even of playing in midfield) he will not be playing in midfield for England at any point in the near future. Not to make way for Harry Kane, or indeed anyone.


“It will take a lot before I start thinking along those lines,” Hodgson said. “It’s a lot to ask a 19 or 20-year-old to take over that responsibility from someone with a hundred caps who’s scored most of our goals in qualifying.”

Someone out there still loves David Moyes

It took the Preston fans less than 10 minutes to start chanting “There’s only one David Moyes.”

It is hardly the first song Manchester United fans have heard about their former manager but this was the first one meant entirely in earnest. It was at Deepdale that Moyes made his managerial debut, in 1998 and guided a struggling team to the Second Division in 2000 and lost in the First Division play-off the following year. He would go on to great(ish) things.

Real Sociedad manager David Moyes

There is no Kevin Kilbane suite at Preston North End

When Preston sold Kilbane to West Bromwich for £1m, in 1997 he became the most profitable product in the history of the club’s academy. But this fact is not reflected in Deepdale’s fixtures and fittings, and the man himself is not happy about it. “There’s even a David Beckham suite,” he said at half-time. “He only played about four games for Preston.” Beckham ahead of Kilbane? The injustice.

Louis van Gaal must be feeling the cold

Once upon a time, you knew it was a cold night wherever United were playing because Sir Alex had his black cardigan zipped right up to his chin beneath his thick grey coat. Van Gaal, on the other hand, prefers a nice cashmere scarf in resplendent red. “Cold? I’m never cold. I’m hot-blooded, my wife says so too,” Mr Van Gaal once claimed. Yet there was no one else on either bench in cashmere.

Peter Ridsdale still has  a role in football

All right, so we probably knew this already, but he still cuts a curious figure up in the VIP seats. For the record, the notorious former Leeds chairman still insists that his gambling on Champions League football at Elland Road at the turn of the century had nothing to do with that once great club ending up not in the Champions League but in League One, and with more than £100m of debt.

Peter Ridsdale

We can only hope that Ridsdale’s plans for Preston North End aren’t hinged on a record-breaking Cup run.