exports in Henrik Larsson and Jesper Blomqvist. Henrik was just a fantastic player with a great eye for goal and a really intelligent footballer as well. I had a bad experience of playing in Sweden against Gothenburg in 1994 when Jesper did me for one of the goals! He really was an excellent player. It sounds disrespectful to say this but he was an excellent understudy to Ryan Giggs. He was very slight but had great balance and he was tougher than he looked. And he knew his position very well.
Every pre-season is important and every time Manchester United play a match it’s important, but this time around for the players they really are starting afresh with a new manager to impress. Obviously David Moyes will have watched them previously and will know a lot about them, but it’s only when you actually work closely with somebody that you understand how they work and what they’re like. He’ll be surprised by some players in terms of their level in training – watching players in training is completely different to seeing them in matches.
Pre-season will be a showground to demonstrate to David what they can do and to try and impress him. You always want to impress the Manchester United manager, but the fact that it’s a new one makes it as exciting as ever and it will be demanding and challenging for the players. The old manager knew the players like the back of his hand, but they don’t have that comfort anymore. They need to impress again.