Philip Lahm: Alonso is able to prove that great players can be successful coaches
Philip Lahm: Alonso is able to prove that great players can be successful coaches
The former German captain confirmed that his colleague at Bayern can transfer Bayer Leverkusen to the ranks of adults
Wednesday – 28 Jumada al-Awwal 1444 AH – 21 December 2022 AD Issue number [
Alonso (right) and Philipp Lahm hold the 2017 Bundesliga shield together (Getty Images)
London: “The Guardian”
In this article, the former captain of the German national team and Bayern Munich talks about his former colleague Xabi Alonso, describing him as an athlete who possesses intellect and charisma that allows him to transfer his experiences on the field to those he coaches at Bayer. Leverkusen. And he claims to be able to prove the adage that great players can’t be successful coaches wrong. He refers in this regard to Arrigo Sacchi, who was not a prominent player at all; But he was one of the most prominent coaches who changed football.
Philip Lamm says:
I played with many great players, I really enjoyed playing with them, and the managers I played under – Carlo Ancelotti, Josep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes, Felix Magath – won the World Cup or the Champions League when they were players, so they had a lot of experience in how to deal with the players in the locker room, and they know very well how to motivate the players and push them to win, and they work in accordance with the natural hierarchy of the team. Footballers easily know whether a manager has these qualities or not.
Accordingly, I thought Xabi Alonso had all the ingredients to be a successful manager one day; Especially since he has a huge experience in the world of football. He played 3 years for Bayern Munich, and in 2017 we finished our football career together, winning the Bundesliga title again. I was not surprised when he took over the technical leadership of Bayer Leverkusen; Especially since in the last years of his playing life he worked very seriously to prepare himself to enter the coaching world. In addition, Xavi has all the potential and experience that makes him capable of achieving success as a coach. Because he won all possible championships and titles: the European Champions League with Liverpool and Real Madrid, the World Cup, and twice the European Champions League with the Spanish national team, and he also won the domestic league in Spain and Germany.
Even when he was a player, Xavi was very knowledgeable, I enjoyed talking to him, and he had a strong personality that helped him take responsibility and help everyone. He has been achieving impressive levels as a central or defensive midfielder for over a decade. It can be said that he has changed the standards and specifications of playing in this center. Even when Xavi was on the field, his team’s defense left no space for the opposing team. And while he worked to build the attack, he was fully aware of the danger of losing the ball, and he gave his team stability, order and security.
And he has another advantage, which is that he played and played in the 3 strongest leagues in the world: the English Premier League, the German League and the Spanish League. Every manager counted on him as a team leader, including: Guardiola, Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Rafael Benitez and Vicente Del Bosque. And Xavi was able to continue to excel and control the pace of matches at all the big clubs he played for, even as the game became more and more dependent on physical fitness and the competition faster.
Football is his whole life, from the age of five to thirty-five. It is certain that this vast experience will help him a lot when he gives advice and guidance to the players he coaches. In England, Italy and France, it has become a common rule for the technical managers of big clubs to be those who have previously played at a professional level in the first or second division. But in Spain we notice that the three big clubs are coached by people who have previously played at international level with their country’s national teams.
But the situation is different in the Bundesliga. Where Xabi Alonso is an exception to what is happening in the “Bundesliga”. Niko Kovač, coach of Wolfsburg, is the only coach in the competition who has won the championship so far. Oliver Glassner, the coach of Frankfurt, and Urs Fischer, the coach of Union Berlin, won domestic cups in Austria and Switzerland, Andre Breitenreiter, the coach of Hoffenheim, won the cup in Germany with the second division, Bo Svensson, the manager of the Technical Championship in Mainz, Denmark.
In Germany a man can work as a technical director even if he has a very modest football career, you can see a prominent technical director who played in the seventh division or less, or you can see a technical director who is 35 years old. years or less; But it is certain that they all have very good scientific degrees and training to work in the field of training. They follow in the footsteps of Ralf Rangnick, who once said that playing football and coaching are two very different professions.
But I think this approach is wrong. There is certainly no guarantee that a prominent football player will become a successful coach after his football retirement, and there are plenty of examples and evidence for this. In this sense, I would like to refer to Arrigo Sacchi, who was not an outstanding player at all; But he was one of the most outstanding technical managers who changed the shape of football, inventing a defense that relied on possession of the ball. But this exception does not mean that theory can replace practice.
In any case, it cannot be said that the Bundesliga is successful. Despite the presence of many clubs and big cities in Germany, Bayern Munich has been winning the league title without much competition for the last ten years. With the exception of Bayern Munich, German clubs cannot compete with other clubs in continental competitions.
The question arises: Where are the former German footballers who would like to learn the coaching vocation? Certainly, the absence of these former players from the scene means that German football is losing enormous fundamental knowledge. Because these players have a lot of experience with what a player needs to do to take the ball away from the opponent and start attacks, when to go forward and when to go back, how to outplay the opponent in one-on-one matches, when to change the direction of play, where to run, among many others very important details. In addition, these former players know how to build strong teams. As Manchester United’s legendary manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said, coaching is “a work of art”.
Xavi has always been a player you can count on and trust on the pitch. For this reason, I had complete confidence in his ability to succeed in the coaching world once he retired from the game. A coach must be allowed to test his ideas on the field, to apply his coaching philosophy and learn from his mistakes. What many former professional players overlook is that they face the difficult task of learning a new profession, with many things and details such as plans, organization, preparations and office work. Therefore, football associations must play a greater role in the education of young managers.
Xavi started his coaching career cautiously. Unlike many, Xavi did not start his coaching career by taking over the technical leadership of a big team immediately after retirement; But he worked with the youth team of Real Madrid, and with the reserve team of Real Sociedad. He has been training at this level for 4 years now and will surely continue to make a lot of mistakes; But now he’s leading a team under pressure and demanding a win, which is risky. But a coach does not mature and develop overnight, and he needs difficult situations like this to improve and gain experience.
Of course, Xavi’s impressive football career by no means guarantees that he will be a great manager; However, he certainly has all the prerequisites for a coaching career: charisma, age, qualifications, a personality that constantly strives for improvement and knowledge that can only be acquired on the field!