The England defender revealed: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't doubt myself a bit early on. I was trying to move house, my missus had just given birth, so there were other things keeping me occupied.
"But every footballer wants to play football and I wasn't, so it wasn't good at the time.
"It was the first time I'd moved anywhere to play football and it was hard.
"I knew I had to bide my time but I was never quite sure how long it was going to take.
"The people I was used to training with at Sheffield United were decent but not all were internationals.
"But coming here, nearly everybody I faced was and trying to defend one-on-ones with Mikel (Arteta) and Steven (Pienaar) every day was tough. I wouldn't say I struggled but I did find it hard.
"The gaffer spoke to me and told me to be patient. At times it was hard to believe him but thankfully I got my chance and, when I did, luckily the team started doing well so I stayed in.
"I got back in for those two games against West Ham and that's when I started properly feeling part of the team and contributing.
"The last 12 months have been fantastic."