3 Sep 2014

Carra admits: I'd have 'loved' to see LFC to sign 'incredible' €10m superstar. Still time?

Ah, Xabi Alonso. What a legend. You'd be hard-pressed to find many LFC who don't hold the Spanish maestro in high esteem, and Jamie Carragher is no exception. Carra has called for LFC to re-sign Alonso several times in the past, but after his €10m move to Bayern Munich, the dream of an Anfield return is almost certainly over.

Yes Please: Carra would 'love' LFC to sign €10m star BR hailed as 'incredible'. Still time?

Analysing Spain vs. France during Euro 2012, Carragher - still an LFC player at the time - made it clear how much he wanted Alonso back at Liverpool:

"It just sickens me to see him in the red of Spain and not the red of Liverpool. We'd love to have him back. He was a fantastic player at our club".

Carra clearly still misses Alonso, and in his column for the Daily Mail this week, he noted:

"I’d have loved to have seen Xabi Alonso come back to the Premier League instead of moving to Bayern Munich. He’s such a good passer of the ball".

Alonso has been linked with Liverpool many times over the last few years, but after signing for Bayern, he explained why a return to Anfield was never on the cards:

"I had five great years at Liverpool and I would rather just keep that memory as it is".

It would've been amazing to have Alonso back, but Liverpool fans (myself included) tend to romanticise the possibility without considering the reality. The Spaniard is a bona-fide world class midfielder with peerless experience, but it would've been disappointing to see him return to Anfield and spend most of his time on the bench (due to squad rotation/preference for younger players etc).

Unfortunately, a midfield containing Gerrard and Alonso lacks pace and mobility, and with Rodgers' preference for constant pressing in midfield, those two would probably struggle to dominate. There's already partial evidence of that over the last year, with Gerrard struggling to maintain the high-intensity pressing Rodgers requires, which has often led to the Reds' midfield being overrun.

You can get away with one or the other in the team, but not (IMO) both. It's a shame, though, because if ever there was a player who symbolises a major part of Brendan Rodgers' football philosophy, it's Alonso. With his football intelligence and genius passing range, he'd almost certainly fit right in.

If only Alonso - described last season by Rodgers as an 'incredible' player - hadn't been forced out of the club...

To this day, many fans refuse to accept that Rafa Benitez's crass pursuit of Gareth Barry is the main reason Alonso left, but the man himself admitted as much in an interview in September 2009:

"Last summer when the club proposed that I had to be sold to buy new players it was a difficult moment and decision to accept, but I accepted it as a professional. That moment changed my mind, from that moment it was time for a change".

Bravo to Benitez for signing Alonso in the first place, but his very public pursuit of Gareth Barry basically amounted to a public vote of ‘no confidence’, and who could blame Alonso for wanting to leave after that? It's no surprise that Liverpool finished 7th without Alonso the year after, and to this day, he's never been adequately replaced.

Is there still a glimmer of hope for the future? Alonso is only 32 at the moment, and when his contract with Bayern expires, he'll be 34. Gary McAllister was 35 when he joined Liverpool, and he went on to have a superb impact for the club.

There's still hope!



  1. For sure Rafa forced Xabi to leave, thankfully he himself followed shorty as well. As we know returning to a club as a player for a second spell is rarely successful so we should let it go now. Difference is that Gary McCallister's first stint with us was his only one, to bad we didn't sign him ten years earlier as he would have been a legend.

  2. i agree completely that a midfield of both gerrard and alonso wont work in liverpool style of play..it hurts me to say that gerrard alone fears me there in midfield..i think he should be playing a little less now,a very good player but not a defensive one(those killer long balls and set pieces are joy to watch) but the most important part of our game is tackles and interceptions if someone in defensive mid can get them in abundance then we will be flying in the game.

  3. Great player I'd love to see him back at Liverpool but It seems he'd rather create new memories with Bayern than trying to chase the old ones and i can't criticise that.

  4. If alonso was to come, I would prefer him to be starting over gerrard. He would just be the perfect holding midfielder. ( i love gerrard but in reality alonso is miles ahead of him at his current position)

  5. Nevergonnacrackthecode10:33 pm, September 03, 2014

    There is no way we can play gerrard and alonso at the same time

    we play a high line and press a lot neither can do that alonso never could and gerrard has slowed a lot

  6. And they all call you a cold hearted cynic Jamie!

    There is no doubt that Benitez attempt to sell him pretty much forced him out the door.
    was a major factor in our 08/09 title push. Not just with his on-field
    performances which were exceptional, but he also played a huge part in
    the morale of the team. I remember seeing an interview with Gerrard when
    he talked about Alonso, in the second half of the season, organising
    weekly movie-nights and dinners in his home for the squad. He was a huge
    influence on galvanising the team spirit on and off the pitch.
    To go from that to being put up for auction to finance a move for Gareth Barry had to be a massive kick in the stones.
    is to me the most monumentous error of judgement Benitez ever made. He
    will always be one of my all time favourite Liverpool players and it's
    still a joy to watch him. Even if he came back for his swan song season
    at the age of 34 it would be a pleasure to see him on the jersey again.
    Class class act!

  7. Thierry Henry back at Arsenal, know it was only for a couple of games, but did nothing to tarnish his legacy. Scored a few goals aswell :)

  8. The only way Xabi would've fitted in our squad is if he was rotated with Gerrard. We couldn't play them both in the same team anymore.
    You're absolutely right about Rafa's treatment of Alonso being the reason he left. Losing Alonso and Mascherano devastated our midfield. We're only just starting to recover now. I shudder to think of the depths we could've dropped to had Gerrard decided to jump ship. Anyone with a problem about how the club is being run and managed at the moment should remember Hicks, Gillett, Rick Parry and Roy Hodgson. Thank god for Rodgers and FSG is all I have to say

  9. Amen Brother.

  10. To be fair to Benitez, the season before we pushed on and got second, Alonso had a pretty average season, if i recall correctly. (I'm sure someone will prove me wrong).

  11. Spot on. I mean... Gareth Barry!!! No disrespect to the lad, he's a decent player by all accounts but to try to replace Xabi Alonso with him is just madness. Rafa made a fair few baffling decisions in his time with us but that one took the biscuit

  12. The problem started when Xabi chose to be at the birth of his first child over a champions league game which I'm pretty sure was meaningless anyway although I could be wrong about that last bit. Rafa didn't like it and tried to sell him to Juventus for about half the money we eventually got from Madrid for him.
    It's fairly common for a sportsman's form to drop in the first year of his first child's birth. The season after he was sensational

  13. ,Although I don't agree with what Benitez did lets be clear on his reason for doing so. Benitez felt he could sell Alonso for 20-30 million and bring in Barry for 8 million leaving money in he bank to further strengthen in a time when Hicks and Gillet were sucking the club dry. Again I don't agree with it, a player like Alonso should never be sacrificed, but he and Alonso had also fallen out which was again Rafa's fault if you ask me.

    In fairness Benitez was losing the plot at this stage, fighting too many battles with the board, which as it turns out were very necessary, he exposed those two Americans for what the were, contrast his actions with Alex Fergusons with the Glazers and its clear we have a lot to thank Rafa for still.

  14. Another poor England performance.Liverpool players looked good.The link up play between Sterling and Sturridge was fantastic.Wayne Rooney again played well below his club standard.

  15. I had hope until alonso said that he doesn't want to risk ruining that 5 year memory

  16. yes and i think its about time songs about rafa were gone and afew new ones about this team...rafa bought and sold over 140 players some never played ..he liked tactical draws which is why we lost a league title chance ..i cant wait to see what squad we will have in two years time

  17. Let's stick with the romantic memories and not spoil it. Alonso was a great player in that season before he was sold, truly world class, and was a huge part of the reason why we went so close to a title. Any return to Anfield would diminish that, I think even in current form. He'd be capable of playing the same role as Gerrard does right now, and probably at a similar level. He'd struggle a little bit with the pace and the defensive requirements, just like Gerrard does, but he'd be great going forward, a real visionary to set up the attack, just like Gerrard.

    Alonso felt like he was pushed out of the team but in reality he could have stayed. He was personally affected by the pursuit of Barry, the attempt to sell him the year before. That's all to be expected, it's all quite human and normal, but Liverpool would have happily kept him around after he put in what was a brilliant season. He wasn't forced out, he chose to leave, and while there are good reasons why he felt like he had to move on, it was still his choice. He could have gotten over the disappointment of being considered dispensable and realised that it was his own form that was in no small way responsible. He didn't and although Rafa has plenty of shared responsibility in that, it's not as if Alonso was some helpless victim and the club was determined to get rid of him at any cost.

  18. No you're right, he definitely wasn't at his best that season, but even still, his class was always there to see.
    But good point, he wasn't perfect.

  19. Top player but not really what we needed. We need back up to Gerrard, someone who can give us more solidity, Alonso doesn't give us that. We could have done with someone like Song - amazed to see him rock up at Upton Park.

  20. What a shame. What frustrated me the most was the following year after Rafa tried to sell Alonso for Barry, he tried to recant that it was never his intention to let Xabi leave. Definitely the beginning of the end of the Rafa era. I just hope that Rodgers doesn`t follow in his footsteps with the departure of Agger and other publicly known outcasts.

  21. Ha! I think it was either now or never. I was really hoping for this deal last season, like everyone else. What a legend!

    To be honest, I found Rafa annoying beyond belief since the FA Cup victory against West Ham. He was hell bent on putting the "breaks" on the team. A moment etched in my mind was the Alonso substitution for Lucas when it was 2-2 against Hull after being 2-0 down from early goals (inc. a Carra OG)...I couldn't believe what I was seeing. This was 2008, a couple of years before Lucas won us over (arguably one of the games that cost us the title). Subbing Torres against QPR when we needed a goal. Freezing out Benayoun when that little genius (at times) scored so many vital 1-0 goals. His personal attitude toward players cost us years of depth in the squad, and the beautiful midfielder Xabi Alonso. Watching him at arguably his best for Real Madrid, was such a difficult thing. Oh Rafa...

  22. loved alonso will always be a legend but there are some short sightedness on here ! The reason rafawanted Barry so badly at the time was cos alonso had been having niggling injuries then average form! rafa wasn't to know then alonso would go on to having his best season in a red shirt