Pep Guardiola has made some significant changes during his time at Bayern Munich. An influx of Spanish players have made their way into the club, with Guardiola introducing a system which focuses on high energy and high pressing.
Xabi Alonso, at the ripe old age of 33, is no longer a player who can perform to the required standards and is slowly becoming a weak-link in Bayern's midfield.
We all know the passing talent Alonso possesses and he can still demonstrate them effectively, but it's the other areas of his game which are costing Bayern dearly.
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Against Wolfsburg in the German Supercup, it seemed obvious to me that Alonso lacked the positional awareness and athleticism necessary to effectively thwart the opposition midfield.
Thiago Alcantara's input was largely anonymous as well, but it was Alonso's lack of control in midfield which spoke volumes. His lack of tenacity and energy has proved costly on various other occasions for Bayern too - namely versus Barcelona.
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Against bigger sides his passing ability will pay no dividends if he is unable to dictate the pace of the game and nullify opposition attacks. It is an issue which Guardiola must solve if he is to achieve the glory he craves at the Allianz.
Answers may already be available at the club
For me the time has come for Alonso to be considered only as a squad player at Bayern, because those challenging for midfield places at the club provide a more complete service.
Thiago, in my opinion, despite his lack of defensive nous, still provides more than Alonso. His creativity and ability to start attacks with his dribbling ability are elements that are crucial to the way Pep's teams operate.
Thiago can pass to a similar standard to that of Alonso as well, but offers more in other areas with his youthful tendencies and athleticism.
Arturo Vidal is another player who provides a more complete service with his boundless energy, tenacity, versatility and defensive awareness. He is also a player who contributes heavily to attacks and he simply has to be a first choice at Bayern this season.
To cover the defensive side Javi Martinez seems like the most logical choice. The former Athletic Bilbao man has often been used as a defender during his time at Bayern, but now might be his time to step into his more natural role once again.
Martinez has the physicality and discipline that is missing from Alonso's game. From my point of view now is the appropriate time for Alonso's command over Bayern's midfield to come to an end.
He can still be a vital addition in the dressing room and the squad with his experience, but now is the time for Guardiola to sacrifice the Spaniard for the good of his team if he wants them to be all-conquering once more.
Football fans, do you think Alonso has become a liability in Bayern's midfield? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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