One the most admired and respected midfielders of the last 20 years, Xabi Alonso is beginning to make his mark as a manager.
Many are excited about the prospect of the former Liverpool and Real Madrid maestro becoming a first class coach – a hype that almost went into overdrive after reports emerged that he would be made Borussia Moenchengladbach manager last summer. When Pep Guardiola talks of you as one of the most intelligent players in the game, that doesn’t calm the storm either.
As it were, Alonso continues acquiring managerial acumen in the Segunda division with Real Sociedad‘s B team. There, he gained promotion last season and set the excitement in motion. Even so, it’s been tough induction into the world of Segunda. Currently his Sanse side sit seven points from salvation, managing just 26 goals in their 29 matches.
Naturally, a large focus of the B-team is the development of the younger talents – where Alonso continues to show nous and knowledge. Pivote Martin Zubimendi has been one of the most promising talents in La Liga in the last two seasons, whom Alonso had a hand in developing at Sanse.
As Roberto Ramajo notes, Alonso’s school of midfielders continues to show signs of progress. Benat Turrientes has looked bright and competitive during his first team minutes this season. Alonso’s chosen pivote for Sanse, Jon Ander Olasagasti, is also impressing in the cut and thrust of Segunda.
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, many an eye will be cast over Alonso should he decide to exit Zubieta this summer. Along with Raul Gonzalez, who trains Real Madrid’s B team, Alonso’s name has been mentioned has a future candidate for the hot seat at the Santiago Bernabeu.