Why Would Xabi Alonso Be a Perfect Replacement For Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool Manager?

Why Would Xabi Alonso Be a Perfect Replacement For Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool Manager?

Ever since Jurgen Klopp announced his decision to leave the coaching duties at Liverpool FC at the end of the season, the English club and its fanbase have been in disbelief. The Reds saw many ups and downs for the past several years which left the club on the periphery. The arrival of Klopp at Anfield back in 2015 lifted the morale of the city and the club’s fortunes were heavily transformed by the former Borussia Dortmund gaffer which turned them into one of the most feared teams in European football.

As the managerial position of Liverpool club will be vacant at the end of the season, the club management is in hunt of a prominent manager who will not only take over as the coach but also could continue the successful run the Reds have been enjoying for the last couple of years, thanks to Klopp.

According to The Daily Mail, names such as Jose Mourinho, Rubin Amorim, and Xabi Alonso have been discussed in the Reds’ camp, with the latter two being the frontrunners to be the next Liverpool coach. Between these two, many believe that Alonso holds a better chance to be in charge of the Reds from the next season, given the history of the player-turned-coach with the English club in the past.

The immense contribution Klopp has had on the development of the current Liverpool team is something to be spoken about for a long period. To replace him in the club is to be the most difficult task the owners will face in recent times. Teams such as Manchester United and Arsenal are still struggling to replace Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, even a decade after their exit. With commendable success at his disposal, Alonso might be a great replacement for Klopp to run the club at full throttle.

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Why Should Liverpool FC Hire Alonso as Their Coach?

Xabi Alonso Be a Perfect Replacement For Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool Manager?
Xabi Alonso (From Getty Images)

With the German coach leaving at the end of the season, Liverpool would need someone who can deliver success week in, and week out and has the guts and courage to keep the players in line and get the best out of them. The club owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG) would also look for a coach who will use the academy players prominently.

Xabi Alonso is said to be a suitable candidate for the Reds to replace the great Klopp. With Liverpool looking for someone who can align with the squad built and developed by Klopp, and implement the same approach that has brought them results on the turf, the Spanish coach, walking in the park at the moment with his team’s success, seems like the perfect candidate to take over from Klopp.

Experience & Success

In terms of senior team coaching experience, Alonso is not yet a veteran manager. Before taking the managerial job at Bayer Leverkusen, the former Liverpool midfielder cut his teeth coaching Real Madrid’s U-14 side and Real Sociedad’s B team. After his appointment at Leverkusen, Alonso faced challenges in the early stages as a manager, but found his footing later on, guiding the German side to secure the longest undefeated run in the history of Bundesliga – a league primarily dominated by the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

After 25 match weeks, Leverkusen are on top of the league standings and 10 points ahead of the mighty Bavarians. With Alonso at the helm, the Leverkusen fans are dreaming of the first Bundesliga crown this season in their 119-year-old history. The Spanish coach has also led his team into the Europa League, achieving constant success that Liverpool would want from their next manager as well.

Style of Play

Alonso prefers to set up in a 3-4-3 shape and implement coaching styles and principles akin to the elite managers. Just like Klopp’s Liverpool, Alonso’s Leverkusen also executes a possession-dominant style of play, securing an average possession of around 60% in almost every game. The German side, managed by the Spaniard, plays an attacking and aggressive style of football just like Liverpool does in the Premier League.

Alonso’s record in expected goals (xG), shots on target, big chances and goals scored on a regular match basis is very much similar to the Reds who are relentless in high pressing. Alonso has taught his Leverkusen side the art of counter-attacking football, a trait he inherited from his former club Real Madrid, the artists of counterattacks. With these managerial abilities, Xabi might thrive as the Liverpool coach.

Academy Players’ Development

Jurgen Klopp’s contribution to Liverpool mostly lies in the development of the club’s young academy players. This might be the greatest legacy of the German coach in England. The recent matches against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup and Manchester United in the Premier League serve as the best examples to support this claim. In both of these games, Klopp deployed his young players alongside the regulars.

And the young guns repaid that trust by helping Liverpool win those matches. As Alonso has not spent too much time at Leverkusen, limiting his exposure to nurturing the young talents there, his stints as a coach for Real Madrid U-16 and Real Sociedad’s B team provided him with the necessary insight into the psychological approach of the young footballers. Similar to Klopp, Alonso might also extract the best from the Liverpool academy players as the latter is young and can get enough time to get to know the young players in the club.

Personality

Jurgen Klopp has not only been the face of the club but also the first man of the city of Liverpool for almost a decade. His passion and unparalleled ability to motivate and inspire players are just commendable. The former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher once said: “Klopp is Liverpool.” The Reds would want any coach coming in to possess this type of mentality whose presence both on and off the field would motivate the players and fans.

Alonso has that aura and personality to fill the vacuum to be left by the outgoing Klopp. As a former Liverpool player and a successful footballer, the Leverkusen coach can easily blend into the players’ space, earning trust and respect from them. His past attachment with the club, also ensures that the fans would openly welcome him as their new manager.

Jose Mourinho, one of the great managers in the world, saw the managerial potential in Xabi Alonso back in the days when the two were plying their trade in Read Madrid. The “Special One” found a glimpse of Pep Guardiola in the former Spanish midfielder when the latter played under him in Madrid. Now, after so many years, the current Bayer Leverkusen manager’s success in Germany is proving Mourinho to be prophetic.

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