Moyes' middle way

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Last Updated: 12/07/13 at 12:25 Post Comment

Moyes: plenty to deal with ahead of the new season

Moyes: plenty to deal with ahead of the new season

The new Premier League season can't be far away!

That means Sky Sports expert Gary Neville will soon be back on your screens and even though he's been enjoying some much-deserved time off, he's still been keeping a close eye on all of the hot topics of the summer.

Opinionated as ever, he has been giving his views on how things are shaping up ahead of the new season, starting with his former club Manchester United.

Read on for his thoughts on David Moyes' work so far, the Wayne Rooney situation and why signing a replacement for Paul Scholes must be a priority...

Gary on Moyes' impact so far

This is a settling-in period and I would say a critical period for any new manager. The good thing about it is he's got from the first day of pre-season. Managers sometimes get appointed late on in pre-season or when the games have already started, but he has got enough time in the next four to six weeks to really start to understand his squad.

The thing about David Moyes and his great strength is as a managerial coach. He's active on the training pitch, he gets involved with his players and I'm sure they'll be starting to understand him.

Gary on the need for a central midfielder

You'd have to say that last year Michael Carrick was outstanding in midfield and played in nearly every game. Tom Cleverley certainly played very well and they've got Anderson and Phil Jones and Ryan Giggs is still there, though Paul Scholes has gone now.

What Sir Alex Ferguson was great at - and people will look at this now he's left - is that he'd think if he bought a couple of midfield players then what about Tom Cleverley? How do you get Phil Jones a game? You always have to weigh up the damage you do to your squad by signing players unnecessarily.

However, I'm pretty certain it's got to be an area that David Moyes will be looking at because of the retirement of Paul Scholes and the heavy reliance on Michael Carrick to play in all the games that he did.

I would think it's absolutely a certainty that David Moyes would be looking to strengthen in that particular area of the pitch. If he gets a couple of injuries - particularly to Carrick and Cleverley - then he would be very light.

Gary on brother Phil getting a coaching role

I was delighted for Philip being appointed as a coach. At the end of last season he wanted to carry on playing, he was desperate to carry on playing, but his body was telling him that he couldn't any more.

This is a little bit like coming home. He had a great time at Everton and he loved it, but I suppose Manchester United is where his heart is.

To have the opportunity to come back is wonderful for him and will be a great experience. He's as committed and dedicated to football as anybody that I know and I'm sure he'll absolutely give it his all.

Gary on Wayne Rooney's future

I was on the pitch at the end of last season, live on air, when the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] announced that Wayne had asked to leave. We were all surprised, as I think everybody was.

But I'm always hopeful. I think Wayne Rooney and Man United go together. We're all aware of how big the football club is and you can achieve all of your ambitions there, but Wayne is ambitious himself. He has to obviously make his mind up, but the club will have a part to play in that.

One thing about United, and it's always the same, is they never panic through situations. Whatever's happening, they always do things in a controlled manner. Even though there have been rumblings about Wayne, he has come back into pre-season training it would seem without much of a fuss. It will all unfold in the next few weeks.

Nev on the United fans

I genuinely think the fans will be fine with Rooney. He's been too good a player - a great player - for Manchester United and the fans will accept that.

Obviously they want players to be committed to the club, but the one thing about Wayne Rooney is wherever he plays his football and whatever is going on, he's always 100% committed to what he does.

The fans will basically get behind the players who are out on the pitch. I very rarely see, in fact I've not seen in 26 years, a Manchester United player treated harshly by Manchester United fans, particularly the ones that have served them well and did their all.

Wayne can certainly put himself into that category, so I have no doubts on that score.

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