Wayne Rooney will not be riled by Alex Ferguson book row, claims David Moyes

Moyes says Ferguson can 'write what he wishes' although his claim that everyone will 'enjoy' the book is rather unlikely

No, David Moyes had not read it. No, he had not been warned what would be in it. No, Wayne Rooney would not be affected by anything in Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography. The sixth and presumably final book Ferguson has written about himself will cast a shadow in tonight’s Champions League fixture but only from the piles that will be available in the Old Trafford megastore.

It is perhaps just as well for Moyes that there is only one target of Ferguson’s autobiography who is still at Manchester United, and the criticisms of Rooney – that he has been unfit, that he handed in a transfer  request, that he dislikes operating as a midfielder – are already well known.

The man Ferguson hand-picked to succeed him had no concerns that Rooney would lack focus for tonight’s Champions League encounter with Real Sociedad. “He has been focused since the first day of pre-season,” said Moyes. “He is in good form, looking after himself and playing well.

“Alex Ferguson can write what he wishes. He is his own man. Everyone at Old Trafford will love to hear what he has to say, certainly the supporters will. I am sure everyone will enjoy reading it.”

The definition of “everyone” might not include Roy Keane, the Beckhams or Rooney, although the last has  unquestionably prospered under the direction of Moyes, the man who as manager of Everton once sued him for libel.

One of the first significant things Moyes said on becoming manager of United was that he regarded Rooney as a centre-forward rather than the  all-purpose gap-plugging playground footballer that he became in Ferguson’s final two seasons that finished with him on the bench.

Rooney’s response has come in goals – five in seven games. However, it should be noted that Rooney’s two best seasons in Manchester have been those in which United did not win the title.

If that is a pattern that may well be repeated domestically, then the Champions League, the competition in which Moyes might have been  expected to struggle, has begun as well as can be hoped. Four points from Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk is a more than reasonable return and they should earn three more against Sociedad tonight. Adnan Januzaj has been added to United’s Champions League squad since he has now spent the requisite time in England to be classified as a youth player for the competition.

The last time a club from the Basque Country came to Old Trafford was an illustration of how far United were falling in Europe in Ferguson’s final two seasons. Having failed to even qualify from their group, United found themselves in the cheap seats of the Europa League in 2012, not just beaten but outplayed by an Athletic Bilbao side brilliantly orchestrated by Marcelo Bielsa.

It would be hard to imagine a repetition. United are not the only club coming to terms with a new manager. Philippe Montanier, who took Sociedad to fourth in La Liga last season has returned to France to manage Rennes, while the holding midfielder Asier Illarramendi, one of the jewels of their youth policy, was sold to Real Madrid for £27m. The statistics suggest both have been missed.

Since qualifying by knocking out Lyons, Sociedad have played nine games and won only the last, 2-1 at Valencia. Having lost to Leverkusen and Shakhtar their only means of surviving in this group or even grasping a place in the Europa League is to win either at Old Trafford or the Anoeta.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before