Xabi Alonso warned Liverpool job will be like ‘putting his head in a guillotine’ by former team-mate

FORMER Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has claimed that whoever replaces Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, he will be ‘putting their head in a guillotine’.

He then went on to say taking the job at Anfieldwas not far off the impossible task of trying to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

Xabi Alonso will be'putting his head in a guillotine' if he goes to Anfield.


Xabi Alonso will be ‘putting his head in a guillotine’ if he goes to Anfield.Credit: Getty

Following the German’s shock announcement that he would be leaving the reds this summer, Xabi Alonsoshot up to 8/11 favourite to replace him.

In an interview with Betfred, Johnsonsaid: “It’s such a hard situation because any manager that goes in next is essentially putting their head in a guillotine.”

“If they maintain the same level of success, people will say, ‘as you should do because you’ve inherited a great team in a good moment’, so they almost expect it.”

“So you’re potentially setting yourself up to fail.

“For this reason, I think this will put a lot of the big names off.

“It’s almost like the next manager will have to come in and take one for the team.”

And, in spite of the recent rumours, Alonso has not expressed any interest in a move to England,

Johnson, 39, went on, saying: “Liverpool are going to struggle to replace Jurgen Klopp in the same way that Manchester United have struggled to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.”


He cited the reason for this being that managers of the Ferguson / Klopp calibre were a rare find and ‘don’t come around often.’

The situation echoes 2013, when an unlucky David Moyes attempted to fill the gigantic shoes left by Ferguson.

Klopp speaks out after Liverpool suffer huge loss to Arsenal

But Johnson reckons there is a crucial difference this time around.

He said: “Liverpool are run very well and most of the foundations are already in place.

“They’re in a position where they’re probably one of the few clubs where the manager and the coaching staff are the only things that they need to change.”

And in spite of his scepticism about the Anfield role, Johnson does think Alonso is a ‘good option.’

This is mainly due to the six years he spent playing for Liverpool, winning the Champions League with them in 2005.

Xabi Alonso is perfect man for the job

By Dan King

XABI ALONSO ticks almost every box to succeed Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager, and if Bayer Leverkusen don’t let their lead at the top of the Bundesliga slip the case for him to do so will be irresistible.

The former Kop idol knows the club inside out after five seasons at Anfield and has made no secret of his enduring affection.

Alonso has already forged a reputation as an innovative coach playing an attractive, pressing style, usually in a fluid 3-4-2-1 formation.

He has taken Leverkusen from second bottom of the Bundesliga to seven-points clear at the top, putting them on course to be crowned German champions for the first time in their 120-year history.

It’s worth remembering that both Rafa Benitez and Klopp arrived at Anfield with proof they could dethrone clubs who dominated their leagues.

For Alonso to do the same, in only his second season as a top-flight manager, would mark him out as something special.

It is that lack of long-term experience that would still make appointing him to replace Klopp a gamble.

But otherwise, he looks like the perfect candidate as Liverpool are forced to plan a future without the man who made them champions of England, Europe and the world.

He said: “Being an ex-legend of the club and a fan favourite will mean that Xabi’s given time.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s going to be successful, but I think the fans will have more patience with him.

“They will give him more leeway than they would with a manager that doesn’t already have an affiliation with the club.

“So from that side of it, I think it could be a good option.”

Reportedly, the 42-yearold had been contacted by Liverpoolthree months ago, soon after Klopp informed his club of his impending departure.

The purpose of contact was to discover if Alonso had any interest away from Bayern Leverkusen, who currently sit top of the Bundesliga.

The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder finally broke his silenceon the Anfield rumours last week, saying: “At the moment I am really happy here and enjoying my work.

“Each day and game is a challenge. We are in an intense and beautiful journey here at Leverkusen.

“Speculation is normal, but I have great respect and admiration for what Jurgen has done at Liverpool.”

Other candidates for the job include, Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi, Sporting’s Ruben Amorim and Germany‘s Julian Nagelsmann.

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