Liverpool manager hunt: Alonso already assessed to replace Klopp | Football | Sport

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Liverpool icon Jamie Carragher has shared how Xabi Alonso annoyed him before he even kicked a ball for Liverpool, and why it could mean he goes on to become a quality manager at Anfield should he land the position.

Alonso is currently being tipped as the top choice to take over from Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool due to his excellent work as manager of Bayer Leverkusen, who are leading the Bundesliga.

Before becoming a successful coach, Alonso had an outstanding playing career, winning the Champions League with Liverpool and earning numerous major honours with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Spain.

However, when Alonso joined Rafa Benitez’s team in 2004, not much was known about him in England. Looking back on their time together, Carragher praised Alonso’s understanding of football but confessed that the former midfielder didn’t make the best first impression at Liverpool.

Carragher told The Redmen TV: “Me and him used to talk about football a lot and you could tell when he first came in, he got football,” and “I always think, as a little thing, players who lack pace, they’ve got think about the game more.”

He added: “It makes you think. You’ve got to get yourself out of situations. You’ve got to make sure you don’t find yourself in certain situations and Xabi was one of them.

“He couldn’t run but he was a thinker of the game. He was obviously a great passer of the ball but he was always thinking about the game.”

“I always remember that when he signed for us he missed the first couple of games of the season.

“I remember Rafa saying – and don’t forget Xabi was only 22 – ‘We’ve got this player coming. He’s a fantastic player. He’s already spoke about where the team can improve, all the tactical things.'”

Carragher went on to share his initial reaction, adding: “I’m reading this and thinking, ‘Who the f****** hell does he think he is? 22, coming over from Spain, telling us where we’re going wrong, f****** let’s see you in the shirt first,’ and laughed about it.”

On Saturday, Alonso showed he’s got what it takes to be a coach as his Leverkusen side continued their winning streak. The league leaders beat Heidenheim 2-1 away, continuing their unbeaten run and eight points clear at the top, even before Bayern Munich played against VfL Bochum.

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