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Massive f*ck up this was by Benitez, but in saying that was this what brought on Alonso's upshot in form last season to put himself in the shop window because the previous seasons beforehand he was was'nt special and we only saw the real Xabi Alonso last season, beforehand we only saw glimpses of his real ability.
Watched the 'Real' game last night and the way he strolls about with relative ease, ditributing the ball about without having a seconds thought had me purring.
That the problem though isn't it. For two seasons Alonso was blighted by injuries and his form was poor. Many people wanted Barry as he was excellent and the driving force of a strong Villa side, plus he was english and the theory was that Barry and Gerrard in the centre of midfield for both us and england could only make things better. Whether it was Rafa's negotiation technique or the board not fronting up the money for Barry we won't know but either way we didn't get him. Alonso then manages to get himself fit, plays the best football of his life and helps us to 2nd in the league. Summer comes along and Real turn up offering 30mil, 3x what we expected the season before, and roughly double(he was 13.5 or something when we bought him i believe) what we paid initially. This being a WC year, and seeing the opportunity to play in a Madrid team with the likes of Ramos, Kaka, Ronaldo etc he couldn't really turn it down.
Its a bit of a catch 22 as if Rafa had done nothing at the start of last season, when we all wanted Barry and Alonso had been poor again he would have got slated, but because of what Rafa did Alonso had the season of his life and now that he is gone, Rafa is yet again slated.
- 3 Replies to ianburns252
Ian I think you hit it on the head. Problem is we all have perfect hindsight. It’s easy to sit on here on a Monday and start shouting out Rafa should have done this or done that, but ask what were people asking for on Friday?
For anyone who read further than the headline on this story, it’s also important to note what Alonso himself said about both Rafa and the club overall. It’s obvious he respects Rafa, loves the club, and has fast friends amongst the players, and not just the Spanish lads. But he moved on because the siren call of Madrid, and the fact he saw his own position has not being central to Liverpool FC.
I think the fact that we've not replaced Alonso with another deep sitting holding midfielder with ability to provide the long ball is also very telling. We've yet to see what Aqualani can really do, but by all accounts while he does have a strong passing range, he's not a deep sitting midfielder. He's someone much more likely to get up the field and attack the box himself.
Makes me think Alonso leaving was less about Barry potentially coming in, but the system changes that might mean. Many keep on about Rafa playing two holding midfielders all the time, when in fact Lucas keeps finding himself in the opponents box, which is not normally where you'd find a defensive midfielder, nor where you often saw Alonso.