Fans hail Moyes as Rooney broods

Posted by Mark Payne

The singing was loud and sustained. "Come on David Moyes," implored the traveling support. After the final whistle on Saturday, the Scot walked to the stand and applauded those who had encouraged the team all afternoon. Manchester United registered the first classy performance of the Moyes era in a 4-1 win at Swansea, and the supporters like what they see.

It must have been a relief that the football grabbed centre stage. For too long now, the focus has been on the tense standoff between Wayne Rooney and Manchester United. The striker wants out and United won't sell.

Rooney was given a half-hour and played professionally but grumpily. His pass for Danny Welbeck's second was a pertinent reminder of his supreme quality as a footballer. But he didn't celebrate with his teammates; he barely celebrated at all.

-Chelsea prepare final bid for Rooney
-Moyes praises Rooney
-Brewin: United find top gear

Those teammates were proving their own point, though. In a weekend when Arsenal, a reported destination for Rooney, were humbled 3-1 at home by mighty Aston Villa, United crushed this highly rated Swansea side.

At some point, it will dawn on Rooney he is not going to be sold to Chelsea. The fans have been fair and sang his name when he came on. His performance was professional and productive. If he can maintain that, he will play.

"He was incredibly committed," Moyes said when asked about Rooney's performance. So were the rest of the team. Welbeck looked sharp and his second goal would have made Eric Cantona proud. Nemanja Vidic was fit and the match of Michu; behind him David de Gea was dominant in the 18-yard box. Manchester United are in rude health.

Robin van Persie attracts attention only for his football nowadays. He has been the top Premier League scorer the past two seasons and it looks like he wants to make it three in a row. Nobody has heard a peep out of him all summer, but he was back in Wales doing his job to the highest standard.

In his final address to the fans, Sir Alex Ferguson demanded they back their new manager. They obliged Saturday and Moyes' name was sung loud and long throughout the second half. Down at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger was booed at full time.

This United side appear to have lost none of their professionalism under the new man. In fact, this was United's best opening-day result since 2007-08, when they last won the Champions League.

It is too early to talk of this season being as successful, but most pundits have written United off this year. They will all be changing their tune after this result.

It doesn't matter who you are -- four goals away from home against a team as organized as Swansea is impressive. The Swans are a slick bunch and had a stronger grip on the game for the opening period. As soon as van Persie intervened, however, United's class told.

The mood among the traveling support was buoyant as they headed home. There is a growing feeling that Moyes is the right man for the job. A new banner proclaims him "the chosen one." While he will be given time to bed in at United, the early signs are he is right at home already.

Follow Mark on Twitter @markjpayne


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.