MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has spoken of his shock at the intensity of training sessions at his new club Tottenham Hotspur.
"In England they have a different system of training," he told the Russian Sovetski-Sport paper.
"Right now the games are on Wednesday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday. The training is like this - those who played get to recover, and the rest do light training with the ball. It's not that tough," he began.
"But when there is a week's gap between games, training is serious. I barely survived it when I'd just arrived. I looked at my watch and saw that the training session had gone on for exactly two hours! Then another half an hour in the gym! Two and a half hours! Can you imagine that?" he said.
"I trained like never in my life before, I swear! The weights started to get to me, and I stopped and said to the trainer, 'I can't do this.' That's how they work - I'm shocked. I thought it would be a lot easier," he said.
Pavlyuchenko, whose three goals in five matches at Euro 2008 attracted the attention of Tottenham manager Juande Ramos, moved to the London club from Spartak Moscow at the end of August in a reported $28 million deal. He replaced Bulgarian star Dimitar Berbatov, who recently signed for Manchester United.
The striker, labeled a "sleeping giant" by Russian national side manager Guus Hiddink before Euro 2008, also said that he was disappointed by his first two games for his new club.
His first game for the club saw Tottenham lose 2-1 at home to Aston Villa, and the second, also a home game, a 0-0 draw with Wigan. Pavlyuchenko was substituted at half-time in the Wigan match in what Ramos called a tactical decision" that did not reflect on the striker's performance.
Tottenham are currently bottom of the English Premier League and are without a win in five games, their worst start to a season for 34 years.
"Personally, I didn't enjoy the first match or the second. I didn't like how I played. I asked Juande Ramos why he had taken me off and he said that it wasn't because I played badly, but because he had decided to change the tactical scheme. He told me not to fret about it. He's a good bloke, and easy to talk to," said Pavlyuchenko.
Despite the less than successful nature of his first two games in England, the Russian international was very impressed by Tottenham's White Hart Lane stadium and the club's fans.
"White Hart lane is crazy!" he said. "I don't even know how to describe it. You go out for a game and you get goosebumps. The field is like a snooker table - it's super! The fans sing, yell, and stand up and applaud. They don't even need goals... running, battling for the ball... that's what the English love," Pavlyuchenko said.
Tottenham travel to Newcastle United for a Carling Cup 3rd round tie on Wednesday evening.
I know, he doesn't mean how it's read (keep it in context) but I'm sure some tabloid rag will pick up the 'they don't need goals' quote. If he thinks the WHL crowd is crazy, then I can't wait for us to start winning games. We have been anything but crazy thus far. Apart from 20 minutes here and there.
As for the training, sounds like he is being a tad too honest. Two and half hours training? Try sitting in front of a monitor for 8 hours while your brain melts from boredom.