Praise must go to Alonso for scoring the winner on Sunday against Chelsea. It may have been a deflection but Xabi has rightfully claimed the goal as his shot was goal-bound. Xabi was very unlucky not to get a second as his brilliant freekick came off the foot of the post. Here we have a player who was on the verge of leaving Liverpool in the summer but now, according to me, has been our best player so far this term.
It is difficult to say who has been our best player so far this season as virtually everyone in the team has played a tremendous part to get us to the top of the table. For me Xabi has stood out. Here you have a player who Rafa wanted to offload and get Gareth Barry to replace him. Xabi never wanted to leave Liverpool but he felt he was being forced out. Luckily the American owners refused to sanction the purchase of Barry and subsequently Alonso stayed. Many of us wondered how this would affect Xabi. He was either going to roll over and fade into the darkness or step up and be counted. And he has certainly stepped up and done it in a big way.
The way Alonso has been playing reminds me off his form in 2005 when he came to Liverpool. At that time he was rated as one of the best midfielders in Europe and he is slowly working his way back to that reputation. He has been commanding in midfield and stringing passes together like a pro. It is rather surprising how Alonso has not picked up a serious injury this season as he has been on the receiving end of some harsh tackles this season which have led to the tackling players being red carded.
I have been speaking to some Liverpool fans this morning and we talked a bit about Alonso and some concerns were raised; namely, is Xabi playing so well because he is putting himself in the shop window so someone buys him in January or in the summer? We know there are suggestions that Rafa’s relationship with Xabi is not that great and Xabi may still want out of Liverpool. With the way he is playing, I am sure Juventus and Arsenal and wondering why they did not buy him when they had the chance in the summer. Their loss is our gain and I hope Xabi stays at Liverpool for a very long time.