Xabi Alonso

Last week marked the 16th anniversary of Steven Gerrard’s debut in a Liverpool shirt. At the tender age of 18 Gerrard made his bow as a last minute substitute against Blackburn Rovers. Since that day he has played over 687 games for his boyhood club, scoring 176 goals. In 2013 he struck his 100th Premier […]

In Part I, I looked at the individual members of the back ‘5’ (including the GK), and the most likely rotational or still to return individuals, each with their own pluses and minuses. In Part II, I want to look at the midfield options and striker responsibilities relative to defence, the overall strategy and tactics […]

Liverpool Football Club is known for having some legendary central midfielders with names like Ian Callaghan, Graeme Souness, Jan Molby, Xabi Alonso and of course Steven Gerrard. So it goes without saying that anyone coming into the Liverpool midfield has some big shoes to fill.

    We could sit here all day, and debate what areas of our current squad needs strengthening. We could also discuss potential targets, and how realistic a chance of a certain team accepting a bid, and a certain player joining.   In fact, I have read many a debate on the the forums here […]

The third, and final, instalment of our nostalgic look at the midfield trio of the 2008/2009 season will concentrate on their performance in the attacking third of the pitch. We'd expect Xabi Alonso to be ahead in the race for most creative central midfielder out of the three. Xabi's passing, whether it be a simple pass or a long ball, was always of the highest quality. We'll look at how much of his passing helped in creating chances for Liverpool FC in the season 2008/2009 and how his midfield partners did in comparison.
In this instalment we're going to discuss tackling, possession duels, interceptions, blocks and fouls conceded or won. As you know this is going to fit right into Javier Mascherano's. You'd not expect this one to be close at all and expect Mascherano to be far and away the better tackler out of the three.
"We've got the best midfield in the world!" is what reverberated in Anfield and mainly on the Kop in the heights of Rafael Benitez's reign at Anfield. The song mentioned Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascheranoooooooooo! We loved that song, we loved that midfield quartet. Since then we've undergone a total transformation in midfield, no longer does it have the passing range of Alonso or the terrier like tackling of Mascherano or Sissoko.
Since Alonso's big money departure to join Spanish giants Real Madrid, we have never quite come to terms with his loss. Many actually believe this has caused our decline over the last few seasons.

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