Jimmy Rice 18 January 2007

Xabi Alonso talks to liverpoolfc.tv about life at Melwood, his thoughts on Player of the Season and why he tries to avoid Momo Sissoko on the pitch…

alonso big interview

What's the mood in the camp right now, Xabi?
It was important to have a good win after two defeats at home. It was quite a strange few days beforehand because we didn't expect to lose two home games against the same team in the cups. Suddenly it changed everything. We needed a convincing win away and we performed well. We did what we had to do and in the end we won easily.
Were you surprised when Rafa picked three strikers against Watford?
I wasn't because we were working on it during the week. Also, at Wigan we played with three centre-backs and three strikers, and it worked quite well. It's an interesting tactic to play.
Does Rafa ever surprise you with his selections and formations?
Yes, you never know what he's going to do. You can't be 100 per cent sure he will do anything, but that is working very well.
Obviously the Watford game helped erase memories of those Arsenal defeats, but one thing the fans will never forget, certainly from the FA Cup game, is the atmosphere. What did the players make of it?
It was really special. The way the fans showed their support to the 96 people who died was amazing. They carried out their protest in front of the BBC cameras live for all the country to see, which was the best way. During those six minutes we had very strange feelings. I couldn't speak with my teammates because it was so noisy, and I think it was almost like the players were respecting those six minutes before they started the game.
Do you get anything like that in Spain?
No, nothing like that. The mosaic was pretty well done! It was a strong and determined protest.
Unfortunately, those games were also responsible for Luis Garcia's injury. He'll be out for six months; how is he and have you spoken to him?
I'm sorry for him, it's a big shame. Of course he has all the support of the club and every one of his teammates. I spoke with him before he had his surgery and also after it. Everything has gone really well and now he will be at home in Barcelona for a few days before he can start physiotherapy. He is out for the long-term but he has to cope with that, we are all professionals. It's a major loss both for him and for the team. The moment he knew it was the cruciate ligament he was down but he is a positive guy. He always tries to have a smile on his face and so now already he is really focused on his recovery.
I think you had a long-term injury in the Champions League season; what advice would you give Luis?
I think he has to be focused on doing things properly. He shouldn't rush too much because that's not always the best way. He needs to respect what his knee is saying to him.

Which Premiership team - aside from Liverpool - has the best atmosphere at their ground?
Win VIP LFC v Man Utd Tickets with Lucozade Sport!
 Supported Platforms  
© Liverpoolfc.tv Ltd | Terms and Conditions | e-ST Terms