"There is pressure on everyone now and the manager has already mentioned that," he said. "Credit to the new owners, they have spent the money they promised and there is real competition for places.
"There are a lot of players now. I've never known a squad as strong. Every position is covered by two international players and it's going to be a headache for the manager in our first game away at Aston Villa.
"The manager has shown he's prepared to be ruthless and sell people if necessary, as he did with Luis Garcia and Craig Bellamy. Luis did superbly for Liverpool and I sent him a message when he went, saying I was sad to see him go.
"But the manager felt the time was right. Being ruthless is part of being a top manager. He got on great with Luis but he felt the time was right. That is what you have to do at this level - that is why he is managing at this level."