The Perfect Defensive System # 1

In this new series called The Perfect Defensive System,we invite you the reader to contribute posts on what you think is the best defensive...
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9.

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Xabi Alonso Bayern Munich

Xabi Alonso joined Bayern Munich this summer after a poor world cup for Spain in Brazil. Selling Alonso after winning the Champions League might not be the best move on paper for Real but nobody so far has managed to understand Florentino Perez’s transfer strategy. In a team filled with midfielders like Schweinsteiger,Martinez,Lahm(Pep’s favorite),Thiago it is difficult to imagine what role Alonso will play as soon as all the players are fit and are in form.


But in Alonso,Pep has bought a very different player to play the role of the deepest midfielder. Pep’s teams always had a intelligent but a short passer as his deepest player just like the role Pep himself played. This role was acknowledged both at Barca and at Bayern as the most important in the team. Sergio Busquets was considered the most important piece in the all conquering Pep’s Barcelona team. And also Pep himself remarked that Philip Lahm is the most intelligent player in the world and played him as the deepest midfielder for Bayern Munich. This position reserved for Pep’s favorite player in the squad is someone who keeps possession,starts attacks and feeds the midfielders ahead of him. Xabi Alonso for his brilliant reading of the game and his good tackling skills doesn’t quite fit the mould. A very good long rang passer, Alonso tends to play a far higher number of long balls than either Busquets or Lahm. Alonso isn’t someone who feeds the midfielders ahead of him,he starts attacks by feeding the wingers or by playing balls over the top.

Comparison between Lahm and Alonso’s roles

 

Maybe Pep wanted a change after the disastrous performance against Real Madrid in the last year’s Champions League. Bayern played a lot more possession of long balls than Barcelona ever did but still Pep hasn’t got it perfectly right at the German Champions. Maybe Alonso will be the missing piece which will propel this Bayern team to the heights scaled by Pep’s Barcelona.

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