The Premier League champions beat Wigan 2-0 on Sunday, but what has David Moyes learned about his team?
Manchester United warmed up for the start of the Premier League next weekend with a comfortable 2-0 win over Wigan at Wembley on Sunday.
In truth, the Old Trafford outfit were rarely put under much pressure from Owen Coyle’s men, but a number of things became apparent about United’s performance.
Over-reliance on Robin?
Robin van Persie started where he left off last season by bagging both of United’s goals and being the main attacking threat for the Red Devils. If the club want to retain their Premier League title, the Netherlands international will need to have another season of consistently hitting the back of the net.
However, with Wayne Rooney conspicuous by his absence and the transfer saga around him continuing, David Moyes will need to make sure that the club are not over-reliant on Van Persie for goalscoring. Yes the likes of Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa can hit the net on a regular basis too, but Rooney has proven that he can get the 20+ goals needed to win the division if given the chance.
Zaha – a new star in the making
New winger Wilfried Zaha got his first competitive outing in a United shirt, and showed the Wembley crowd a glimpse of what he is capable of. The former Crystal Palace man has featured for the bulk of pre-season, and again showed some neat touches on the ball, and that he was not afraid to pull out a trick or two, or take on a defender.
Zaha has all the attributes to make him a top winger for United, but Moyes will urge the youngster to focus on his end product over a fancy trick or flick. If he can do that, Zaha could well command a first-team place for the bulk of the season.
This is Tom Cleverley’s year
Whether United succeed or fail in their attempts to sign a new central midfielder, Tom Cleverley has a chance to impress this season. The England international had a frustrating campaign last term, but now fully fit he has a chance to hit the ground running under Moyes.
Cleverley looked sharp throughout the encounter against Wigan. He was the first to put his foot in when needed, showed energy to get around the park and played a number of well-executed and cute passes. Cleverley needs to live up to his potential this term, and could be a key man for United if he does.
Phil Jones is a centre-back
Phil Jones started at centre-back but was pushed out to right-back when Rafael went off injured in the first half. The fact that Moyes put Chris Smalling in at centre-back and sent Jones out to the flank is a reflection on the fact that he can be trusted to play across the back four.
However, he did not look entirely comfortable in the full-back berth and although he is more than capable of playing there, will be more effective in the centre of United’s rearguard. A partnership with Nemanja Vidic would be an uncompromising one, and could be United’s first choice pairing when everyone is fit.
Silverware and a confidence boost
Although it is only the Community Shield and it was won against a team that got relegated from the Premier League last term, United and David Moyes will be glad to have won the trophy. It is the Scot’s first piece of major silverware, and avoiding the potential banana skin that the Latics offered will boost confidence.
Moyes’ real test starts next week away to Swansea, but after a few questionable results in pre-season, the new United manager will be glad to have got the win this weekend – which will keep his doubters at bay for a week longer.