13 July 2009

You Reap What You Sow

Well, the Alonso saga has finally come full circle with last year’s Barry fiasco.
XABI ALONSO has told Rafa Benitez he wants to quit Anfield and sign for Real Madrid – but Liverpool will not grant his wish unless the Spanish giants come up with a fee in the region of £35m.”
Shit. Shit shit shit shit shit. Karma is a bitch. It’s the same situation as Gareth Barry the previous summer. And I expect and encourage Liverpool to act exactly as Aston Villa did.

This news sucks. I don’t need to rehash the multiple Alonso posts from the last few months. His exit would pose some serious problems. If he goes, a replacement has to be bought – Gerrard should not be pushed back into central midfield, not at the cost of his partnership with Torres – but that’s a conversation for another day.

If you don’t want to play for Liverpool, well, honestly, fuck off. Bigger and better players have left the club before. However, he’s not leaving for less than £35m, and I still think Liverpool should hold out for more. He’s worth it, and Madrid’s got the money. Make Real pay through the nose. Make Real pay every penny in advance. And if they don’t, Alonso'll stay. Either he’ll come back with a chip of his shoulder, like this season, or he’ll rot in the reserves for three years. Whichever. The fee is £35m, Madrid. I’d take Sneidjer and £25m as well, but I’m not the negotiator.

God, I hope Liverpool meets Real in the Champions League again this year. I’d thoroughly enough another four-goal annihilation.


Anonymous said...

Real Madrid will destroy Liverpool scum bags alonso isn't worth more than 20 mill last year he was linked to arsenal for about 18 mill now he's over 30 that bullshit Rafa is stupid go Ferguson 4 strait seem inevitable

Abhiram said...

Nate, it looks very dubious piece of reporting to me. Not a single quote in the whole article. I think this has got something to do with Real. Are they bribing the echo now? Or are the echo reporters aping the marca and writing invisible stories?

If this really is true, i would just say 'Thank you Xabi for the 2 good years you gave us, your first and your last' to him.

john said...

25 + Sneidjer would be a decent bit of business. And i think he might add something to the squad instead of simply being a "replacement" for Alonso.

I've had some second thoughts about Alonso lately as well. After watching the Spain US game where it looked exactly like Liverpool v. Stoke (or similar; sorry Stoke fans)I began to wonder if Alonso doesn't contribute to that formula that plagued Liverpool last season.

I'm not seasoned enough to point to exactly what is is about Alonso that contributes to this sort of result, but it's a hunch.

nate said...


If Tony Barrett writes it, I believe it. And there are very, very few football "journalists" I'll say that about.

Mike Georger said...

I won't believe it until he hands in a written request, considering how back and forth this (media driven) saga has been, I refuse to believe there is any room for vagueness on the player's part and if he has done this without asking formally for a request then he has the worst agent ever.

Though I do not agree that this is some sort of cosmic payback for last summer. Alonso had a very poor two seasons leading up to last summer, marred by durability concerns and a penchant for taking stupid fouls (namely the first goal in Athens, which was the result of him making a boneheaded tackle). For him to come out and bitch about the taxes in England, yet get offended by other business aspects of the game that happen all the time, is ludicrous. If he leaves and says it is because of last summer, I won't believe him one bit. Especially considering the statements he made about the fans being so good to him the past year. It will be for money 100%. What Basque player has a 'boyhood dream' (as every other player who has signed with Real this summer has had) for playing for Franco's team?

Mike Georger said...

Oh, and, if he DOES want to leave, don't let him leave for less than forty. Again, Real have zero right to haggle at this point. Also, Ronaldo came out and said last summer he wanted to leave for Real, and he still had a great season for United. Alonso is still under contract, there is no need to sell him right now unless there is an immediate replacement on the horizon, which I seriously doubt there is.

(I'm really pissed off about this whole situation)

Mike Georger said...

Sorry for the triple post.

So apparently if he doesn't hand in a transfer request and is transferred he gets ten percent of the sale, according to several places on the interwebs. If that's the case, that explains this a bit more, and also makes me angrier about it.

drew said...

All the leverage remains on our side, and even though it's Barrett it's still worth noting that Alonso has given the press nothing. (Remember too that he's been on honeymoon the past couple weeks.)

Short of a written transfer request, which I don't believe Alonso will resort to, we can keep the price as high as we like and wait for Real to meet it. I can't see Xabi's performances suffering from discontent as he will be desperate to keep his place in Spain's extremely competitive midfield for the World Cup.

If he did tell Benitez he wants out--and I likewise have no reason to doubt Barrett--I would fully expect Rafa to ask him to see out this one more year, and then he can make a grand return to Spain draped with medals around his neck from both the Premiership and World Cup.

nate said...

I agree with many of your opinions above, guys.

My post comes off harsh. I love Xabi for what he's given the team (and I think both Georger and Abhiram are unduly harsh - his first and most recent were his two best seasons, but he wasn't gash for the other three, and injury had a lot to do with it). But if you don't want to be at Liverpool, go. But you'll only go for fair value.

Abhiram posted an interesting article in the comments for the Owen post, which is worth mentioning here. The relevant part:

"Benitez isn't everyone's cup of tea, but you didn't need rose-tinted glasses to recognise the central truth of what he was arguing last Friday. Glen Johnson could have made more money by going to Manchester City or, indeed, returning to Chelsea from Portsmouth. That he chose Liverpool instead spoke of an ambition pitched to something beyond the big house and the stable of fast cars.

Fernando Torres indicated earlier this summer that a lucrative move does not interest him as he already earns "more than enough money" at Liverpool...

In a world dripping with self-interest and wealth, Benitez actually seems to be nurturing quaint ideals like loyalty and communal ambition at Anfield."


That's a wonderful thing, and absolutely the Liverpool way. And why if Alonso wants to leave, he should leave, no matter his importance to the team. But again, only for the right price.

As also mentioned by commentators above, it helps that Alonso is such a class professional that I've no worry he'd sulk or underperform if he stays

Mike Georger said...

I'm not saying he was horrible, he just had two bad seasons and thus shouldn't be hurt that they looked at a different avenue, it happens. Just saying I think that's a poor excuse if he uses it.

Mike Georger said...

From Fox Soccer: "With Xabi Alonso now as good as gone"

Yet in the same article they say Alonso is 30. I don't know what to think anymore.

nate said...

I wouldn't go by what Fox Soccer says. The only thing FSC knows that we don't is why Steven Cohen still has a job.

Also, I agree with your comment above the last, except I reckon they were two "mediocre" seasons instead of "bad." He set high standards in his first, that's for sure.

Abhiram said...

Nate, i was not harsh on Alonso. I was trying to find avenues to make a mockery of this news.

I'll not be happy if he leaves but its just not the end of the world. We'll have to look at alternatives and i can bet all the money i have right now that Rafa has already found out a few options so as not to hinder our movement in the midfield.

Definition of a good season is different for Alonso. It cannot be judged by the number of goals or assists in his name. But most of the times he starts the movement and has a hand in most of the goals. I feel he had a very good first season and the previous season. I would not want to rate his other seasons as his overall rating would decrease if i do that. I would be very happy if he stayed on as we have the best chance of winning the Premier league this season. His five years of service will see him win both the CL and the PL if he stays on for one more year.

Ace Cowboy said...

Nate, it's acceptable to be a bit harsh in your post, for sure. I just don't waste the energy any more. It's modern-day, money-drenched European football. There's no loyalty from management, there's no loyalty from managers, there's no loyalty from players. There are guys who do the right thing most of the time, who make the right moves most of the time. There are guys who do the wrong thing most of the time, who make the wrong moves most of the time. But what everyone has in common is that they all do what they think is best.

At this point, if the story is to be believed, Xabi believes his best move is taking a cut of a huge transfer fee and head back to his home country, to a big club in a good league. Does it suck for us? Of course. But we'll get a nice sum for him and life will move on. If Torres or Stevie were to beg out at this point, I'd flip my lid, if I were actually wearing a lid, or a sombrero even. But while Xabi is a great player with fantastic vision and control, he will be replaced. Probably not with the Deaf Lesbian Known As Lucas, but someone will step up. To be honest I'd rather lose Xabi than Mascherano.

And after what we put him through last summer, trying desperately to sell him to buy Barry, can we really put all the blame on him at this point?

Mike Georger said...

Considering that the last round of 'Alonso has asked to leave' rumors were started by Balague on his website last week, him coming out today and saying he doesn't think it will go through could be a good sign.