As David Moyes prepares for his first Manchester derby, he has moved to quash speculation that Sir Alex Ferguson still has a say when it comes to team affairs.
The former Manchester United manager was seen in the crowd during last week’s Champions League match against Bayer Leverkusen. And he later had his say on Wayne Rooney’s return to form. But Moyes told the Daily Mail that visibility and influence on team affairs were two very different things.
Speaking of Ferguson’s new role as a director, Moyes said, “I’m happy for him to be here. He is not interfering. There is no interference whatsoever because he knows what it is to be a manager and he knows what that entails. You have to get on with the job yourself.”
Moyes is undoubtedly his own man. But this afternoon will be his biggest test so far.
And what better day than that of the Manchester derby to release a story about a player reportedly attracting the interest of both United and City.
The Daily Star has repeated previous claims that Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta has rejected a new contract, putting both English clubs on high alert.
But in truth we cannot see the Spaniard leaving the club he has served with such aplomb.
We cannot say the same for Ander Herrera, who may have missed out on a move to Old Trafford in the summer, but who looks set for a big-money switch somewhere in the not-too-distant future.
And his Athletic Bilbao teammate Mikel Balenziaga has told Spanish website El Desmarque that Herrera’s brief late-summer of uncertainty has not affected how his fellow players see him.
When asked how it was being with Herrera after the interest and failed bid from United, Balenziaga said, “I see it the same as ever. There is no difference when Manchester talk began or later.”
image: © grb1989