Manchester United Training

Subtext is everything!

As in, the subtext of David Moyes first declaring on Friday, without a hint of subterfuge to be fair, that Rooney was “touch and go” for the Champions League second leg quarter final this week:

Moyes said: “Wayne is injured. He has a badly bruised toe so he won’t be involved [against Newcastle]. It will be touch and go for Wayne for Wednesday. With a lot of toe injuries you have to make sure there isn’t a hairline fracture or crack in your toe. We will have all that checked.

“It is a toe injury and they are never easy when you get one. You could see him limping in the game towards the end quite badly. There is not an awful lot you can do with a toe injury – sometimes you can feel better quite quickly with them and sometimes you need an injection possibly to play with it if it is bruising.”

And then reports today, like a biblical miracle, of Wayne’s last minute recovery and the slim but real possibility he will indeed play against Bayern. Pep Guardiola knows what’s up:

“He is going to play, 100%. He is going to play – I bet you a big, big glass of beer. I believe he is going to play, and Valencia too. Rooney is going to play. He is a big player.”

Apparently he plans to do so hepped up on “powerful pain killing tablets.”

This little shadow act is an old gambit, but perhaps Man United are right to give it a try, particularly with the perception that Bayern are “rattled” after a less than stellar midweek performance at Old Trafford and their 1-0 loss to Augsburg on the weekend. But this match will not be won or lost on the performance of Rooney.