Arbeloa: My Liverpool start was inhumane

Alvaro Arbeloa admits he thought he had made a big mistake when he first joined Liverpool.

"I didn't know where I was in my first week with Liverpool," he said. "It went badly, and the image I remember from those early days is of the manager criticising everything I did, from the way I did some basketball practice to how I played my football.

"My first fortnight at the club was inhumane, but I am grateful to him now for filling me in on how the team works. It is a well-run club and I found it easy to adapt to their way of working.

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"People say the manager is grumpy but I have only seen that once. He is serious-minded, though, and I can assure you nobody enjoys themselves during the training sessions. There is a great seriousness about them because that is where we go to work."

Off the pitch, though, Arbeloa has found the regime more forgiving.

"Things are different over here compared to Spain,' he said. "Star players can go out and have a beer and nobody will cause them any trouble."

Arbeloa described how Jamie Carragher rules Liverpool's dressing room while Steven Gerrard is the team's inspiration on the field.

"Jamie is the true boss in the changing room," he said. "He orders everyone around and yells a lot but, to be fair, he has a CV equal to Fernando Hierro's for Real Madrid and the Spain national team. He sees and hears everything and keeps us informed about what is happening.

"Gerrard is also important. He is like Zinedine Zidane - a genius who doesn't like to be the centre of attention. He is the first to make runs, to lend a hand or to get stuck in when necessary."

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