‘How the hell?’ – Liverpool hero questions Xabi Alonso snub and makes brutal Champions League point

Michael Owen, a former Liverpool striker, contends that Xabi Alonso is committing an error by choosing to remain at Bayer Leverkusen, so eliminating himself as a potential candidate to succeed Jurgen Klopp.

On Friday, the Spaniard made an official declaration that he will remain at the German club. He has the belief that there are still unfinished tasks for him to accomplish with the team in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League in the 2024/25 season.

“I believe that this is the ideal environment for me to grow and enhance my skills as a coach.” I must experience a sense of certainty, and at this moment I am experiencing a strong conviction that this is the appropriate location. “My work is not yet complete,” stated Alonso. “Undoubtedly, all the decisions required thorough analysis, and I made a concerted effort to make the correct choices.”

Many commentators have discussed Alonso’s choice, and now Owen – who was transferred to Real Madrid only six days before Alonso joined Liverpool in August 2004 – has expressed doubts about why Alonso would reject the opportunity to work at Liverpool.

“Leverkusen’s current achievements are remarkable, but it is unlikely that they will win the Champions League or be considered one of Europe’s top teams,” Owen stated in an interview with

“In life, particularly in football, one can devise the most well-crafted strategies, but unforeseen circumstances can always arise,” he further remarked. “When I reflect on my career, I initially believed that I would play for any team. However, unexpectedly, I was presented with a different opportunity, and I realized that such an opportunity might never arise again.”

“Upon receiving an invitation from Real Madrid to join their team, I recognized the unique and limited opportunity at hand, prompting me to carefully consider my next course of action.”

Both Owen and Alonso transferred from Liverpool to Real Madrid, but they have each left distinct legacies at Anfield. In 2009, during the same summer that Alonso transferred to Madrid, Owen negatively impacted his career by joining Manchester United.

The ex-England forward drew a parallel between Alonso’s trajectory and that of a former midfield teammate, remarking: “While it may seem prudent to contemplate a gradual progression and potentially await a transfer to Liverpool, it is worth noting that Steven Gerrard likely entertained similar thoughts during his time at Rangers.”

“Aston Villa was initially seen as a potential intermediate step in his career, but unfortunately, things did not go as expected, and as a result, he is no longer considered a strong candidate for the Liverpool position.”

Alonso is currently on course to guide Leverkusen to their inaugural Bundesliga championship, boasting a commanding 13-point advantage. Furthermore, he will captain the team as they make their comeback in the Champions League next season. Gerrard’s struggles at Aston Villa, resulting in his dismissal in 2022 after just 11 months as manager, have effectively ruled him out as a potential successor to Klopp.

Owen further remarked, “While it may be tempting to devise an ideal course of action, it is important to acknowledge that life is inherently imperfect. Therefore, when presented with the chance to oversee Liverpool, how could one possibly decline, considering his strong emotional connection to the club?”

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