Home News Pep Guardiola’s verdict on Xabi Alonso’s “wow” management amid Liverpool links

Pep Guardiola’s verdict on Xabi Alonso’s “wow” management amid Liverpool links

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Pep Guardiola is not eager to get drawn into the discussion of Liverpool’s next manager, but he did have plenty of compliments to dish out for frontrunner Xabi Alonso.

We’re reaching the stage of the season where Jurgen Klopp is reaching ‘the last’ stage, the last trip to a particular stadium or the last goal a player will score for him in the Carabao Cup.

Virgil van Dijk has that particular honour, but with every last, it is a continual reminder of the big hole the club needs to fill.

Alonso remains at the top of the wishlist when it comes to successors, though it remains to be seen whether he is ready to leave Bayer Leverkusen.

2WC1PC0 Augsburg, Deutschland. 13th Jan, 2024. Xabi Alonso (Trainer Bayer 04 Leverkusen) 1. Fussball Bundesliga: FC Augsburg - Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Augsburg, WWK Arena am 13.01.2024 DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO. Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

The Spaniard is edging closer to delivering Leverkusen’s first-ever Bundesliga title, and Guardiola, who worked with the Spaniard at Bayern Munich, was asked if he would be a good fit at Anfield.

“It’s a question for Liverpool, and, of course, I’m not going to answer because I don’t know the ideas that they have,” Guardiola responded.

However, while he would not be drawn into matchmaking for Liverpool, the Man City boss did express plenty of admiration for Alonso.

“If you ask me [about] the job he is doing, honestly? Wow. He’s unbeaten, the only team in modern football that’s unbeaten in all competitions and fighting in that way with Bayern Munich,” Guardiold said.

“Now they have the most important part of the season. Now they are in the position that they cannot win the Bundesliga, they can lose the Bundesliga because everybody thinks it’s done. Now is the most difficult thing, it’s not done until it’s done.

“But wow, not just the way they play, they didn’t lose one game in Europa League, in [DFB] Pokal in Germany, and Bundesliga, and the way they’re playing.

“I was incredibly fortunate to have him for one year and a half, two seasons, and he’s such an intelligent player, so intelligent.

“In that moment, yeah [I could see him becoming a manager].

“There are holding midfielders, when they ask you questions and how curious they are about the game you realise that this guy, if he will retire and will be at home, he will be annoyed and nothing to do, and says, ‘OK, I’m going to go back to my business in world football’.

“Normally holding midfielders like him, [Javier] Mascherano, [Sergio] Busquets – the holding midfielders I had, Rodri, [Ilkay] Gundogan – they will be involved in football for sure because they have a vision for a global perspective.

“[Alonso] was such an incredible, top-class player otherwise you cannot play for Liverpool, [Real] Madrid, and after Bayern Munich, and a part of Real Sociedad, you cannot play in these teams if you are not a top-class player, an intelligent one, skills and so on.

“He took a [lot of] good decisions and I’m so happy for him, he deserves it, he’s a lovely, lovely guy.”

We will have to see if Alonso is to go toe to toe with Guardiola next season, but his Leverkusen side are currently on a run of 33 games unbeaten – a new German record – and sit eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with 11 matches remaining.