Seeing as Ranieri is best remembered for blowing the 03/04 Champions League semifinal against Monaco (then managed by his predecessor at Juventus, Didier Deschamps), I’m not *too* keen on going through his comments seeking pearls of wisdom.
However, he’s an experienced manager and he’s done quite well in his career so maybe what he says makes some sense. Let’s see what he’s saying.
Talking about Liverpool midfielder and last summer’s Juventus target Xabi Alonso:
“He left me perplexed by the slowness of his movement.
He would have found it hard to support our midfield line seeing as our wingers don’t give support like at Liverpool.
He is a player who, in the midfield of Rafa’s Liverpool, where all of them are little soldiers, finds himself in a fantastic position.”
I had two questions when I read that. One, Liverpool have wingers? really? and two, what does he mean by ‘little soliders and fantastic position’?
Bottom line, Ranieri claims that the reason Juve didn’t pay up for Alonso is because they ‘rejected’ him for being too slow – in which the rejection part makes sense because Alonso staying meant that Liverpool didn’t have the money to buy Barry (or more accurately, Hicks and Gillett didn’t give Rafa the money).
Do you think Alonso is ‘slow’ and Mascherano / Gerrard cover for him in Liverpool’s midfield?