“I don’t know if I was a bargain,” he said. “It was different. Just like going into a ping-pong machine, like a basketball game, continuously up and down. The intensity. Technically, I wasn’t surprised. I train and see players’ quality be the same as in Holland, technically. But you go into a game and wow, the intensity is completely different.
“If you lose the ball, it ends up there. If you lose it there, it ends up there. One rhythm, just up and down. It was a bit of a shock to get used to in the beginning.
“Under Andre Villa-Boas, I was in and out of the team at the time. I think also the club and the team was on and off. Against the top six, we lost a lot of games but, apart from that, we did okay. Then he left and Tim Sherwood took over at the end of that season and then Poch [Mauricio Pochettino] came in.
“I think, obviously, I had Poch for a lot longer than the other managers and I think what we did and what we created with him, the team we had was incredible. So, learning wise, I did learn from Poch. You’d have the ball less in training than before but have the ball a lot more in the games. With him, there was a lot of tough training, a lot of running, which is important for the physical part. We were a young side so, for us, it was the perfect mix and, just in the game, to play free.”
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