Ja, og jeg støtter ikke at Alonso skulle selges. Men jeg prøver å sette meg inn i resonnementet. Synes det blir i overkant uintelligent og primitivt å avfeie Rafas vurderinger som jævlig dumme el.l. og så være ferdig med analysen.
Hvis man skulle spille med Gerrard på offensiv sentral midtbane og ga én DM bak, og følte man måtte gjøre et valg for å kunne bygge om laget, var det ikke feil å satse på Mascherano som anker. Noe sånt. Men det ble ikke så bra, det er jo lett å være enige om.
Likevel er utgangspunktet mitt at Benitez er en flink fyr. Og da må det jo ligge et snev av fornuft i en baktanke. Slik forklarte han det selv:
In his new book, ‘Champions League Dreams’, Benitez has explained the logic behind the attempts, admitting the Barry’s versatility was an important factor.
“Barry appealed to us for a number of reasons. I have never been the sort of manager who prioritises a system above all else: I am willing to change and adapt my preferred formations given the strength of my squad or the requirements of a particular game,” quotes Football365.
“Barry was perfect: he could play as a central midfielder, of course, but he had some experience as an attacking left-back, which would be a useful option for home games where we were expected to go forward, and even as a left-winger.
“We knew we would have to sell players that summer if we were to raise the funds to bring in the reinforcements – and, in particular, the British reinforcements – we needed,” he wrote.
“That would require parting company with one of our current squad members who would fetch a substantial fee. We decided that the most likely candidate was Xabi Alonso, who had been a great player for us since we signed him from Real Sociedad, but had not quite performed to his best in the last couple of years.
“Negotiations with Aston Villa over Barry were much slower going, though. We could not agree a fee that we felt was suitable and it became increasingly clear there was little or no chance that a deal would be completed. At almost the same time as we made it plain to Juventus that they would have to meet our valuation if they wanted to sign Alonso, we pulled out of talks with Villa.”
Så Barry ble ikke kjøpt, Alonso ble værende - og vi solgte Crouch og fikk inn Riera på venstekanten. Men siden Alonso ble, Gerrard ble liggende som second striker, var det ikke plass til Keane, som forsvant for nesten samme beløp i januar.