Bayer Leverkusen had a tough start to the season, but since Xabi Alonso has come in, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder has shot them up the league table.
The German side had only won one of their first eight Bundesliga matches this season and so Gerardo Seoane was promptly sacked in October 2022.
Alonso had built up his managerial CV with Real Sociedad B and when the Bayer Leverkusen job came around, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for him.
“I trained to become a coach one day,” the former Liverpool man told reporters when he was announced as manager. “Now I’ve decided to take this step because it felt right. I feel ready and I made it clear to everyone at the club that I’m highly motivated.
“I know from my time in Germany that Leverkusen are an outstanding club. They’ve always had great players and I can see a lot of quality in the current squad too.
“I was attracted by the club, the project and the team,” Alonso said “It’s very interesting. I feel that I can play an important role here and have an impact on the team, that I can improve the team and myself. I’m really happy to be here. Now I just want to get to work.
“I want to give the team a clear idea of how we want to play,” he continued. “We want to reach that by working every day. I want us to play modern football, be dominant, intense and dynamic.
“The players should enjoy and like how they’re playing. We want the stadium to be packed and to have a great atmosphere. We want the crowd to be pushing us.”
He has certainly had the desired impact since his arrival in Germany as Bayer Leverkusen are now eyeing up a European spot for the end of the season.
Alonso has taken his side to ninth in the Bundesliga and they are now just six points behind Eintracht Frankfurt who currently sit in sixth.
Along with a consistent run in the league, Alonso also has his side competing in Europe as they currently hold a 2-0 lead over Ferencvaros in the Europa League.
Xabi Alonso’s men off to a flying start! 🚀
Leverkusen go 1-0 up with this peach of a hit! 🤩#UEL pic.twitter.com/m7NZtZYHzK
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2023
To illustrate how good the results have been under Alonso, take a look at how the Bundesliga table shapes up since he was appointed in October.
Note: all teams have played 16 games unless otherwise specified.
1. Bayern Munich – 37 points, GD +29
2. Borussia Dortmund – 35 points, GD +18
3. RB Leipzig…
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