When Liverpool signed Joe Allen is August 2012, Brendan Rodgers boldly came out and said “We paid £15m for him and I said that very quickly that price would double and people probably laughed at me.”
Now we as supporters are starting to see just how much the Welshman brings to the team. Because of injuries and general poor form, Allen has only been able to play a squad player role for the club since he joined.
But after the start to the season he has made, I think that Allen is a shoe-in for the first team now. He has a tremendous work rate on him, but also he has a great quality on the ball to keep the momentum of the attack going.
He has a 85.2% pass completion rate so far this season and that is against some very good opposition as well. He has featured against Southampton, Manhester City and Tottenham prior to injury this season, all teams that press high up the pitch. In those games he only gave the ball away nine times out 61 attempted passes.
Allen is also very good when he has the ball at his feet, with the remarkable control that he possesses I always feel comfortable when he has the ball at his feet.
But what I need to explain is why Allen has to start in our team. If we all agree that the diamond is our preferred formation then Allen is a must. The likes of Lallana and Coutinho are great going forward but their defensive contributions are not half as good compared to Allen. The natural feeling for Coutinho and Lallana is to attack, and if they play at the tip of the diamond then that is fine. Yet as one of the central two midfielders, they lose half of their impact.
Allen covers the ground the Gerrard cannot, and is always going deep to fetch the ball from the skipper meaning that the midfield are pressing somebody other than Gerrard. Rodgers once said the Joe Allen may be 5ft 7 in height, but in footballing terms Allen is 7ft 6, and now I am starting to see what he means. His tactical intelligence is so important to this Liverpool side, and I think the fans really do fail to appreciate his huge impact so far this season.
Many have said that he holds back Jordan Henderson – absolute rubbish in my opinion. Allen is a player that releases Henderson, because he is happy to watch the men around Gerrard and stay further back. In fact, Henderson’s displays have lost their impact since Allen has gone out of the team. In the three games Allen appeared in, Henderson played a huge part in Liverpool playing some very good football. Rodgers described his most complete performance under his reign as the 5-0 win over Tottenham last season at White Hart Lane – a game in which Allen and Henderson were superb in the middle of the park.
Since Allen picked up an injury on what proved to be a cursed international break, Liverpool have lost two and drawn one of their three Premier League matches.
Whilst many have cursed the injury to Sturridge, although a major loss, the loss of Allen in my opinion is actually bigger.
Sturridge may well be the one who scores the goals but Joe Allen is somebody who stops them – he finds the ball and wins it back. One of the simplest jobs at first look, but Allen does two in one. He is the defensive minded player Liverpool are looking for, and although he doesn’t possess the magic Xavi does, I can see why the comparison was made.
When Allen returns to the team the fans will see just how much he contributes to the team. It was too much to throw Lallana in so early after his injury and he has struggled to keep up with the work rate Brendan Rodgers’ system takes out of you – although his performance and energy levels in the 1-1 draw with Everton showed he is on the way to becoming a crucial first team player.
Only in the last week has he started to show some promise, and I think if Allen would have been in the team Lallana would have made a far better start to his career. Many say that Henderson is the most important part of our team, I disagree I think having him AND Joe Allen is the best thing for our team.
i completely agree with you, Rodgers was right the diamond works only with specific players and these players are Allen and Sturridge. But liverpool made a big mistake by letting Agger leaving the club. Lovren is useless
Brilliant article! Allen would definitely help steading the ship.
Find it very hard to accept Rodgers treating of Sakho – our best CB with a passing range that make many top midfielders envious. I feel the Wheels are coming off Rodgers Project. He got carried away last season and lost whatever humility that once put him in the Anfield hot seat. I can see us finish 7th again, unfortunately, and it will be down to Rodgers having been caught up in the same stubborness that prevented both GH and Rafa from building on a runner’s up spot.
Spent £220mill in 2 and half season on average hopefuls with no semi final all the while and KKD spent £100mill in 2 season that fetched us carling cup, f.a cup final, hendo and suarez.. BR is average and so is allen, borini, sakho, toure, aspas, can, lambert. Etc. Sold 2 quality and Spirited players as Agger and Suarez. #pathetic #rodgersout
Spent £220mill in 2 and half season on average hopefuls with no semi final all the while and KKD spent £100mill in 2 season that fetched us carling cup, f.a cup final, hendo and suarez.. BR is average and so is allen, borini, sakho, toure, aspas, can, lambert. Etc. Sold 2 quality and Spirited players as agger and luis. Tell sakho to defend and leave passing for passers, he is nt Ronaldinho or Xavi. He should Defend #pathetic #rodgersout
Nigerian Koprince@ Please be quiet. Rodgers isn’t the one just buying these players. We have a scout team that must be telling Rodgers players like Aspas and Alberto are good enough. Rodgers is busy with training the Liverpool squad and preparing for matches, so the scouts do all that work and should be blamed. Rodgers didn’t even know Liverpool were signing Balotelli. Rodgers has really improved Liverpool and we were Looking good until Allen and Sturridge got injured. One big mistake we did make was letting Remy go to Chelsea. He has the pace, strength, goals and experience we needed to replace Sturridge. But again, I don’t think it was Rodgers that didn’t sign him.
I agree with the article. Allen was one of our best players in the opening matches. We’ve missed his control in midfield and he’s nippy at winning it back and pressuring players.
some fans tryin 2find excuses for rogers.
jst wait remember man u and the chosen one banner! it will b late b4 u realize n it will b very painfull than wot mancs felt,d worst finish n years
.pliz stop sayin scouts which u dont know, B r wanted full controll n he got it ..now we need results..pliz lovren aleader beta than agger? No way..sakho n kolo..oh my god..church goalkeeper mignolet contributing goals like charity over reina mr cleansheet. over
three seasons ..luis alberto over suso?
honestly speaking i strongly believe BR should take the advice of kop legends.i wonder why he refused to sign a back up goalkeeper.mignolet is not d man.last season we were scoring goals and his mistakes wasn’t noticed.i doubt r top 4 if we continue like this.i knw wid time we will get there but i hope we will not do a tottenham like.d club dont need borini and kolo again.i still question d sale of shelvey.look how good he is at swansea.he should have kept agger too.
Rodgers must keep quit, i said it letting Remy go is not good for our team becos Balotelli is not good enough to replay Suarez. Now we are waiting for Allen and Sturradge, if they come and still the problem is there we will blame him for that. Agger, luis Alberto, Aspas are not there. And Sakho and Toure are still in the team.
Rodgers should be fair to leave reds the sytle of player is poor . Defence midifielder is not there he left song. Ballotelli is good but style of lone striker is bad.actually Rodger gambler.
I’m not sure which games you guys are watching but Allen is useless in my opinion. He doesn’t pass the ball more than 5 metres away from him, hence the excellent pass completion percentage. He can’t dribble, he can’t head the ball, he can’t tackle, basically he can’t do anything. So Rodgers paid 15 Million pounds for someone who can’t do anything. Of all the players that Rodgers has bought, only Coutinho and Sturridge are world class. The truth is that Gerrard needs to retire, Rodgers needs to be fired and the following players need to be sold: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Enrique, Allen, Lucas, Markovic, Lallana, Lambert and Balotelli. Why not give Suso and Ibe a chance? Why not bring back Rafa and play a defensive style of football that worked so well in 2008/2009? At the rate we’re going, we should be relegated in the next 5 years.
The article is way off in my opinion, firstly to suggest Allen is more of a miss than Sturridge is crazy. Looking at our team, we have numerous midfield players who are above Allen in the pecking order, whereas Sturridge is the numero uno up top. When Sturridge is fit we will play a more pressing game because we’ll have that outlet up top, instead of packing the midfield and sitting far too deep as is the case now, when Sturridge comes back the whole team dynamic will change. I found 95% of this article laughable, Allen doesn’t really offer much in attack, he can pass superbly but lacks the creativity and guile to make any kind of impact going forward. Defensively he gives away far too many free kicks and really lacks in this area. For me he is in over his head at Liverpool, and is DEFINITELY not more important to the team than Sturridge. Sort it out mate