In his column in this month’s FourFourTwo magazine, the 31-year-old also explained that you need a month of ‘real football’ before anyone can judge a club’s new signings.
“I’ve seen lots of players come and go at Liverpool and have always said that you get to judge a player’s qualities – or lack of them – once the real stuff is underway,” said the defender.
“We’re professionals and everyone puts it in for friendlies, but I wouldn’t judge a player until the real football begins and so by mid-September new players have been sized up and rated accordingly.”
“We’re all living together on pre-season tours so you do start to get to know each other, but it’s all quite polite at first.”
“Come September when you’re travelling around the country and playing for points, things will be said and done in training or during matches that can cause tensions but on the more positive note, you can get closer too and a crop of players who are gelling nicely will be starting to feel that togetherness properly kick in about a month into the season.”
Liverpool have endured a stuttering start to their Premier League campaign losing two of their first four fixtures, but insists his team are unaffected by negativity from the media.
“What happens though if you lose a couple of games? Newspapers have to be sold and these days the press will crucify,” he continued.
“Fans can jump on that bandwagon and you sense the negativity at grounds, but as players you have to look at the bigger picture.”
“The worry is if those defeats come, and behind the scenes the players aren’t gelling, systems being used aren’t working and the dressing room is like a morgue.”
“That’s when players worry, not when they look at the back pages.”
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