In the early hours of the 22nd of March, Christian Falk of SportBild and Bild Sport (yes they are different German news outfits) announced that Xabi Alonso would take over as head coach of Borussia Monchengladbach following the departure of Marco Rose to Borussia Dortmund. Football Twitter went into a frenzy with happiness and the assumption that intelligent footballers make intelligent coaches (not really, see Andrea Pirlo). However, transfer gott Fabrizio Romano (such a beautiful name eh) poured water on his colleague’s story, stating that while the master passer is the main option, Die Fohlen is yet to make a concrete decision regarding the position.
Xabi Alonso would provide a more realistic option than Erik Ten Hag of Ajax, for whom the move would have been a step-down. Former Marco Rose assistant and current Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch looks to be out of the running too and so does Mark Van Bommel.
The Spanish defensive midfielder is currently managing Segunda B side Real Sociedad B. It was at the Basque club that he made his name as an artful passer and a ball-winner before securing a move to Liverpool where he won the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup before a move to Real Madrid in 2009. He won the La Liga and Copa del Rey titles under Jose Mourinho. Then he won another UEFA Champions League title under Carlo Ancelotti before a move to join Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich where he won 3 consecutive Bundesliga titles. Xabi Alonso also won the FIFA World Cup and 2 Euro titles with Spain. As the head coach of Real Sociedad B, he has coached 47 games, losing 11, drawing 12, and winning 24. His side is on a 4-match winning run and on top of their group.
This is a great first step into senior football for Xabi Alonso. It is the perfect middle-ground for him. A team not so bad that he is battling relegation but not so good he is expected to win titles. Just perfect. Like most of his long-range passes.