I worked with many great assistants to Sir Alex Ferguson over the years. Yet sometimes a manager's second-in-command is more suited to that role than any other. You confide in them - you tell them things that you would not tell the manager - and they are that bridge between the boss and the players.
There was no better manager at developing young players than Sir Alex. He knew just when to bring them in and take them out, and he believed in Paul Pogba. For once, in Paul's case, it did not work out. The timing was wrong, and the difference between expectation on the player's side and the manager's idea of his development did not match up.
Part of being a Manchester United player under Sir Alex Ferguson, perhaps the most important part of being one of United's attacking players was that when you were in possession, you had to take risks in order to create goal-scoring chances. It was not an option; it was an obligation.
People say that Rooney could have been like Lionel Messi, a more prolific goalscorer who dribbles past opponents more. But they are different characters. You will never see Messi snapping around the heels of an opponent to win the ball back deep in his own half. Wayne does that all the time, and sometimes that enthusiasm will count against him.
When I started as a pro at United, I played alongside Bryan Robson in the A-team and later in the senior side. With Bryan, it didn't matter what level we were playing or which one of his team-mates got kicked. Within five minutes, you could guarantee that the opponent in question would be in a heap on the floor, courtesy of Bryan.
If you want a measure of how private a place the dressing room was when I was growing up at Manchester United, consider this: even Sir Alex Ferguson would knock before coming into the dressing room at the Cliff, the old training ground. The dressing room is for the players - and the players only.
At United, my United, we had been honed into a ruthless team who played great football but, ultimately, were there to win football matches and league titles. At Newcastle, they could certainly play on their day, and the crowd was formidable, but there was a weakness - a vulnerability that you could seek out.
United fans don't care if the team only has 40 per cent possession as long as they are watching an attacking team. My experience was that the supporters understood that even our best teams, even the teams with Peter Schmeichel or Edwin van der Sar in goal, were going to concede goals.
We played 63 games in the treble-winning season of 1999, and I cannot remember feeling tired once. We won the league title with the last game of the season, and along the way, we knew that in any game we could miss out on this chance of a lifetime to win all three. We had 22 players who were ready to be called on at any moment.