Arbeloa lifts lid on Rafa’s strict Liverpool regime

One player who’s been the least affected by Rafael Benitez’s perceived rotation policy is Alvaro Arbeloa, with the Spaniard featuring regularly for the Reds in the early part of the season before succumbing to injury. The versatile defender made his international debut during the week, although he may incur his club manager’s wrath according to the Daily Mail, especially the comments regarding the early part of his Liverpool career.

‘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.

‘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.’

Same that the Liverpool skipper didn’t track back for United’s opener on Sunday if he’s so willing to get stuck in. Being part of the Liverpool squad is clearly no laughing matter and it’s clear that Benitez will fail to see the funny side of things if the Reds slip up against Everton in the derby and Arsenal in the Champions League.

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