Xabi Alonso, the legendary former midfielder of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, decided to choose a coaching career after retiring from the field. After successful “apprenticeship” periods at Real Madrid Castilla and Real Sociedad B, Alonso takes on the challenge of leading Bayer Leverkusen in 2022.
Alonso took over Leverkusen in a context where the team was in crisis and facing the risk of relegation. However, the Spanish strategist seemed to turn into a “witch”, casting magic to recreate the club in Northwest Germany. At the end of the 2022/2023 season, the team nicknamed “Werkself” finished 7th and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.
By this season, Leverkusen proudly topped the table after 10 unbeaten matches, ranking above defending champion Bayern Munich. Obviously, Alonso’s impact was terrible. It’s even more surprising to know that this is the first professional project in Alonso’s young coaching career.
Alonso’s mark did not come from luck. The secret lies in the top tactical thinking of a former famous player. Alonso’s coaching philosophy revolves around a style of play based on ball control and pressure.
The 41-year-old coach emphasized the importance of controlling the ball and weaving passes across the lines. The team focuses on positional discipline and deployment from the back, with the central defenders playing an important role. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City is a typical model for this way of playing.
Leverkusen also focuses a lot on taking advantage of the central striker. Victor Boniface, who has the ability to hold the ball extremely well, is the target for full-backs and attacking midfielders. The two wings under Alonso did not hesitate to push forward, launch early crosses or coordinate overlapping.
When asked about his coaching style, Alonso summed it up in two words: “adaptive”. Captain Leverkusen explained: “My goal in playing football is to control, organize, and help my teammates play better. That’s all. Do I have a special style? No! The important thing is the players.” how I feel. If they don’t understand what I say, my ideas are useless. I have to change, apply the philosophy that suits them.”
Not only focusing on tactics, Xabi Alonso knows he needs to create a star player for the team. Alonso’s coaching style has a positive impact on every player at Leverkusen.
Florian Wirtz – the current top star in German football – shows improved creativity and contributes to more goals. Jeremie Frimpong – an attacking full-back – plays excellently in Alonso’s system. The player with three bloodlines (Dutch, Ghanaian, English) provides speed and mobility on the right wing. Two young talents like Amine Adli and Adam Hlozek also developed strongly.
In the Leverkusen squad, any player can become an explosive point. This season alone, each of Grimaldo, Boniface, Frimpong, Hofmann, Wirtz and Adli has contributed to more than 10 goals. The numbers prove its effectiveness. Alonso’s 3-4-3 system helps his students maximize their attacking ability, bringing important goals and converting them into scores.
Bayer Leverkusen under Xabi Alonso’s reign earned the best points in the club’s history. The team has had a strong rise in the Bundesliga rankings this year. After only 10 matches this season, Leverkusen is currently leading the Bundesliga with 28/30 points and only stumbled in the 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich. The home team at BayArena is currently ranked second in the number of goals scored and is among the five teams with the fewest goals conceded.
In the Europa League arena, Bayer Leverkusen won the maximum points in 4 matches. Alonso’s team scored 12 goals and conceded only twice. Based on the sublime performance of the German representative, the Telegraph ranked Leverkusen second in the ability to win the European secondary tournament. Accordingly, Alonso’s army has a 10% chance of winning the throne, 19% less than number one candidate Liverpool.
If Xabi Alonso continues to lead Leverkusen in the right direction, overthrow the dominance of Bayern Munich and reap the glory of European heaven. There is no debate, The strategist from the land of bullfighting deserves to be honored as the number one “witch”. in the highest division of German football at the moment.
Minh Duc | 09:15 November 11, 2023