Moyes: I picked a player who couldn't kick

Shaun Botterill

After last night's defeat against Bayern Munich, David Moyes was quick to bemoan the schoolboy errors that led to Bayern's equaliser. He also made a startling admission about the fitness of Wayne Rooney.

Speaking after last night' fleeting flirtation with hope, David Moyes bemoaned the manner in whch United did the hard work, got their goal, and then immediately allowed Bayern back into the tie.

As a schoolboy you get told: ‘Once you score don't concede right away'. We conceded too quickly. It was always going to be a tough night. When we got the first goal we needed to give ourselves five or 10 minutes to stop them from getting the ball. But from the kick-off they went up the pitch and scored. I don't know if it was concentration or the thrill of having scored [that made us switch off]. We've got enough experience on the pitch where we should have been able to do that tonight.

He's right, of course. United's concentration up until the goal had been admirable and their defensive shape had been strong. Immediately afterwards ... not so much. Still, whichever particular members of the back four were responsible, they at least had a better game than Wayne Rooney, who spent much of the game moving with all freedom of a heavily-tranquilised rhinoceros. As Moyes later explained:

I thought at times he was having a struggle striking the ball on some occasions. I was concerned that he hadn't trained all week and he had taken an injection. But he is so vital a player to us, especially with Robin van Persie out. But he just had a couple of opportunities and he couldn't quite take them.

Er, pardon?

I thought at times he was having a struggle striking the ball on some occasions.

What?

at times he was having a struggle striking the ball

Oh, wow.

a struggle striking the ball

We at TBB have not had the privilege of scrutinising the curriculum at Football Management School. So we do not know if picking a player who can't kick the ball counts as a schoolboy error, or merely an error. Well, we say "merely"; apart from forgetting to pick a goalkeeper, we're struggling to think of any error so fundamental, so mind-thumpingly stupid, as this. No, wait! We've got one! Not substituting him.

It's called football, David. Your players need to be able to hit the ball with their foot.

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