We spoke to Patrice Evra at the beginning of what the Frenchman hopes will be another successful season at United...
Did you miss Old Trafford over the summer?
Of course. It’s a privilege to play for Manchester United and I try and enjoy every moment at this club. When you pull on the shirt you also pull on the history that comes with it and you need to do that history proud and respect what’s come before. There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being a Manchester United player but I enjoy the challenge.
Are you confident of winning more trophies this season?
Pre-season went well – we won a lot of games and scored a lot. The only matches we lost were on penalties so we feel we’re ready to go. But pre-season is pre-season and once the league begins it’s a different story – you start from scratch. So it’s difficult to say how we’ll go but I can tell you one thing: the team are desperate to win the league again. We’ve bought a few new players and they’ve adapted very well, so we’re looking forward to challenging again for trophies.
Much has been made of losing Cristiano Ronaldo, but Antonio Valencia doesn’t look too bad…
He’s been very good and I think he’s the sort of player that gives us good balance. But people shouldn’t compare Valencia to Ronaldo: they’re completely different people and completely different players. You can see already that Valencia brings something new to the team and I think he’s a very good buy.
What’s he like to mark? I’m sure you’ve come up against him in training…
Yes, but he has no chance against me! I don’t care who I’m marking, I always try and be strong in the tackle and win the ball. But it’s true he’s a very good player. I like his mentality – he wants to improve, he’s powerful and he likes to run at defenders.
Do you think your role will change this season?
I was getting forward more in pre-season. Then again, that’s how we always like to play, with attacking full-backs. But maybe this season we’ll see more of the left and right backs in the final third. When you had Ronaldo in front of you sometimes it was tempting to just give him the ball because you knew he could make something happen. We’d overlap sometimes but usually he could manage on his own. Maybe we’ll attack using more players – more like a team – this season.