Xabi Alonso To Takeover At Man United? Michael Owen Weighs In
Could Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso be the man to turn around the fortunes of Man United? A man very familiar with both clubs gives his take.
Current Man United manager Erik ten Hag is under immense pressure right now as off the pitch scandals and on the pitch woes have blighted his team this season.
The Dutchman’s seat is getting hotter in the Old Trafford dugout and with upcoming games against the likes of Liverpool at Anfield, Bayern Munich and Aston Villa it could be soon time that the club’s decision makers begin to look for his successor.
Ten Hag’s Man United are 4/1 to finish in the top four this season according to the latest Premier League betting odds at BoyleSports.
At BoyleSports we caught up with former Man United player and Liverpool star Michael Owen who has given us his verdict on the chances of Xabi Alonso becoming Man United’s next manager and if his status at Anfield could have a factor in his decision to take the Man United job.
Owen also gave us his perspective on what it was like playing on both sides of the famous Man United v Liverpool rivalry, and previews the upcoming game between the two foes.
Xabi Alonso to Be The Next Man United Manager?
It’s hard to say if Alonso’s link to Liverpool would make it difficult for him should he be appointed manager of Manchester United.
Alonso has, in isolation, had an unbelievable start to his managerial career. He always looked like an intelligent player. He was a great passer of the ball who would see things on the pitch that others couldn’t. It’s almost as if the way he played perfectly lent itself to management. His record so far is quite incredible.
It’s not as if Xabi took over Bayern Munich! He’s taken over a team who were a rung lower and he’s made them play incredible football. I’m sure that any team on the world stage that needs a new manager would look at an up-and-coming manager like Xabi.
There has to be a question mark over Manchester United, though, due to his previous clubs. We all know how powerful fans can be when they don’t want something! That could become a hurdle for him.
Why Alonso Is A Longshot To Take Over At Old Trafford
I’ll be honest, I don’t see Alonso joining Manchester United. There’ll be loads of options available to him in the future, and I would have thought that he would probably have his eyes set on the teams that he played for – like Real Madrid or Liverpool – when the opportunity comes up.
I’d have thought Alonso’s more realistic aim would be one of these clubs, but his thoughts could be subconscious. He’ll be fully engrained in what he’s doing now, though, and he has to make his name first.
He’s doing a great job. When the time comes in the future, then the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid may be more tempting for him.
*Xabi Alonso is 40/1 to become the next permanent Man United Manager according to the latest football odds at BoyleSports.
Owen’s Experience Playing For Both Liverpool and Man United
The odd idiot still gives me flack for playing for Man United, but it happens very rarely. It may be the odd person on Twitter or something.
I think anybody who’s sensible or anyone I’ve spent over two minutes explaining the decision to, goes from being stubborn about the decision to understanding it. I would have walked back to Liverpool from Newcastle! I picked up the phone, spoke to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, and told them to tell Rafa Benitez that I was free!
I had that conversation many times after I left Liverpool. People who know the story will know how things panned out step by step. They knew I was desperate to come back to Liverpool throughout my career, as they’re my team. The manager didn’t need me, though, as Fernando Torres signed for the club and Luis Suarez followed him after he left.
At the end of the day, playing football was my job and I needed to stay on top of my game. Of all the teams who were available to me after I left Newcastle, Manchester United was by far the best option.
Liverpool v Man United Preview
The Man United vs Liverpool game is some time away, but I’d say Man United will be a little bit nervous about going to Anfield considering their recent form.
Anfield can be a stadium where you can take a real beating, and Man United have felt that in the past!
Instead of going there with fear and defending the entire game, they should look at how Spurs played against Man City. They had a real plan and arrived at the Etihad with no fear. They could have easily lost 6-1, but that’s the only way you improve! Once you have a blueprint, then you can amend it from there.
My concern with Manchester United is that they’ll go to Anfield and lose 2-0, then a few players will be relieved that it wasn’t a 5-0 embarrassment! If were them, I would pick a way of playing, stick to it, and then hope to get better.
Liverpool v Man United Prediction
I’d say 2-0 to Liverpool. It’ll be a reasonably comfortable win. Look at how the two teams are playing at the moment!
The Man United v Liverpool Rivalry
I still think that Man United vs Liverpool is still the biggest rivalry in English football due to the history. However, if Man City win 15 titles in the next 20 years, then history will point to them being the most decorated team.
If I’m going on the size of the fanbases, histories, stadiums, and everything else surrounding those clubs, then I think more people will tune into Man United vs Liverpool than any other Premier League game. I think it’s still the biggest rivalry.
Is Trent Liverpool’s Next Steven Gerrard?
I don’t think Trent Alexander-Arnold and Steven Gerrard are similar players. Steven was a powerful, goalscoring player who could do everything.
I don’t think there are many better passes of the ball than Trent, and that goes for the history of the Premier League. Look at some of the true greats – Xabi Alonso, Paul Scholes, Kevin De Bruyne, and Steven Gerrard. Trent’s range of passing is incredible. I was watching the game with Glenn Hoddle, who knows a thing or two about creative players, and he was off his seat every two minutes!
Hardly anyone can pass the ball like Trent! He has the vision and the expertise. Playing in midfield isn’t just about passing, though, as you need to do everything else.
Trent playing in midfield is one of football’s biggest dilemmas. Gareth Southgate has been playing him there sometimes, and now Jurgen Klopp has created a hybrid position for him. I don’t think it’s as simple as just playing him in midfield, though, as you’ll be taking something away from the right-back area. It’s a 50/50 debate.
I like him as a right-back in the Liverpool team, but only because I’ve seen him having so much success there in the past. It is a conundrum because Trent is one of the game’s most talented players.
The good thing is he can do both – he’s been great at right-back, but he’s also excelled in midfield. It’s a tough one, but I don’t have a particularly strong view of it.
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