“Teddy [Sheringham] was never happy being left out, and certainly Coley was never happy being left out!” Sir Alex added. “He’d be grumpy and groan for days about it. He wanted to play all the time. I think it’s great if the players want to play all the time. I think the important thing is that they feel they make a contribution over the course of the season.
“That’s where [in ‘99] they felt that they made their contribution. They all scored such important goals whether coming on or actually starting. It’s legend that Sheringham and Solskjaer scored those goals in the Champions League final, and Teddy came on and scored in the FA Cup final. It’s contributions like that that you can’t dismiss.”
Welbeck is still developing as a player and Sir Alex is mindful of giving him the opportunities he needs to keep improving. “What you have to do is be fair,” he said. “It would have been harder for someone more experienced to be left out in 99. It wasn’t easy. The day we won the league I took Teddy off against his old team because I felt the change was needed. I was sure he was not happy at all. But their contribution was that they all played their part over the course of the season. Danny will get opportunities.”