I am still struggling to adjust. I keep telling myself that the move was the right thing but doubts creep in.
I don’t feel one of the boys here. At Liverpool I’d go into training, see Dirk’s face, and immediately feel better about myself. I miss this.
Today at training I made another faux pas. We were getting changed and JT dropped his armband, I picked it up and handed it back to him. Everyone went quiet. I had to go and stand on the naughty step for 10 minutes. Nnobody is allowed to touch his armband unless he hands it to them. I don’t even know why he needed to wear it, we were only going swimming.
That’s the second time I’ve been on the naughty step this week. We were playing five-a-side and Frank took a shot, it hit me then two defenders, crashed against the post and went in off the goalkeeper's back. I queried why Frank was celebrating so much as it was clearly an own goal. I had to stand on the step for 20 minutes that time.
After swimming JT tried to make small talk to build bridges. He asked me how my new house is and I told him it was great, but the drive was very narrow and I struggled to get my Range Rover through. He said he knew what I meant as it took him ages too. I don’t understand as I haven’t invited him around yet, perhaps it’s some Cockney nonsense. I nodded.
We then all had something to eat. I finished first and went to leave the table, everyone looked astonished. I was told I had to ask first, so I asked. JT, Frank, Didier and Ashley then had a five-minute debate about it and gave me permission.
The tactics talk for the Manchester United game was interesting. All about pressing and watching their key players, which areas to exploit, who is getting picked and how we’ll be set up. Mr Abramovich is a very accomplished speaker.
Ashley brought a gun in last week, this big rifle thing. I was bemused as to why but JT explained to me it was part of his new training ground tours. Apparently the ‘punters’ had been concerned they weren’t getting value for their ten grand a go and so Ashley and JT are setting up a clay pigeon range so the corporates can do some team building after he’s showed them around the facilities. He told me it’s all part of being a captain and then touched his armband and growled.
It’s certainly very different here.
the chunky hipster