Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Alonso's latest comments about Liverpool unwelcome

Ex Liverpool player Xabi Alonso has revealed that he made up his mind to leave Liverpool after being told he was to be sold in order to finance new players. Speaking on Sky Sports Spanish football show 'Revista De La Liga', the Spanish international also explained that it was a very difficult decision to leave the club after five years.

"It was a tough call and a very difficult decision for me to leave Liverpool," said Alonso. "During my five years I was lucky enough to experience some wonderful nights at Anfield, to experience the support of probably the best fans in the world. That’s why I have always been very grateful and I will always have them in my mind and It’s been an absolute pleasure.”

The Real Madrid player also talked about his relationship with Benitez, adding: "There have been a lot of rumours but as I've said before, it was simply a professional relationship. I have always tried to do what he asked me to do on the pitch. I tried to do the talking on the pitch. When the birth of my child happened, I had to take a decision to be with my family because it was an important moment. Last summer when the club proposed that I had to be sold to get finance to sign new players it was a difficult moment to accept that, but I accepted it as a professional. That moment probably changed my mind, maybe from that moment it was time for a change."

I along with all Liverpool fans was bitterly disappointed when Alonso departed. He was my personal 'player of the season' last term round, however I feel that this interview is misjudged. Liverpool FC has had enough criticism thrown in its direction in the past few weeks and this type of interview will only serve to further fuel the critics intent on throwing more muck in the clubs direction.

Yes, it could be argued that Alonso is justified in wanting to leave Liverpool and even speak publicly about the departure. However, he has signed an incredibly lucrative deal at Madrid, earning vastly more then in the Premiership thanks to Spanish tax breaks. He has not taken a 'step down' in his career and for many Spaniards 'Real' sits at the peak of the football elite. So in a sense, despite his assessment of being a 'professional', this interview can only stir trouble.

Alonso was a brilliant player, however its important that we shouldn't view his time at Liverpool through rose tinted spectacles. His form dipped in his 3rd and 4th seasons with the Reds, albeit blighted somewhat by injury. Although the Spanish international remained a fan favourite his performances during this period were incredibly frustrating.

Its possible these two seasons of indifference prompted Rafa to contemplate selling Alonso. The seeds of his departure were sown however, in March 2008, when the player asked to remain in England ahead of the Champions League second leg tie against Inter Milan in Italy. The midfielder stayed in Merseyside to be present for the birth of his son who was delivered hours before kick off on March the 11th. However the incident is said to have caused much friction between player and manager with press headlines at the time suggesting Alonso would be sold that summer. The following transfer window produced the infamous tug of war between Villa and Liverpool over Gareth Barry with Alonso being sold to Juventus to finance the deal. However both moves collapsed when the Italian club were unwilling to meet Liverpool's £16m valuation of Alonso.

The close call certainly galvanised Alonso's form. His last season with the Reds was his best and most consistent. Possibly in a bid to show-off what Benitez may have lost, Alonso gave masterful performances in the centre of the pitch. As the player said himself: "I tried to do the talking on the pitch." Such commanding displays certainly changed Benitez's mind when he insisted the Spanish international was integral to his future plans.

That summer however, it was Alonso who decided he wanted to leave the club revealing the news to the manager once the season had finished in May. Three months of speculation and public tug of war began. The player eventually signed for Madrid 11 days before the start of the new Premiership season.

The move clearly disrupted the Reds pre-season and start to the Premiership campaign, with the press eager to highlight Alonso departure as the reason.

Alonso's new interview is completely unwanted. He may have innocently accepted to do it, thinking the Sky show would only ask questions about his new 'La Liga' career, or he may have decided to leave a departing blow to Benitez. Either way, the fans do not want it.

Most Reds suporters (and this site) wish Alonso the best of luck, however the fans have had enough of public outbursts creating unwelcome headlines. They want the team and the football to do the talking from now on.

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