5 Feb 2016

Klopp Confirms: 'Magnificent' £20m Liverpool star may miss Sunderland game because he 'got a knock' vs. Leicester

If there's a merit system in place at Anfield, then one thing is clear: based on recent form, Joe Allen deserves to be starting games right now, and despite Jurgen Klopp's claims that he sees the £20m-rated midfielder as a first-teamer, Allen continues to be ignored for Premier League games.

In his pre-Leicester press conference on Monday, Klopp told reporters:

"Joe Allen was always a first-team player. He was not in the lineup a few times, but now he is...100 percent in shape and that's the best news".

Hours later, I posted the following in an article:

"Actions speak louder than words, and and Klopp's soundbytes today mean nothing until he plays Allen regularly in the league, and proves that he is a 'first-team player'. Klopp is merely paying lip-service to the idea of his importance to the team. It's disingenuous man-management".

What happened? The very next day, Klopp left Allen on the bench for the Premier League trip to Leicester City, thus making a mockery of his comments about Allen and the concept of the merit system at Anfield.

When asked today why Allen - hailed by Chris Coleman as 'magnificent' - isn't starting in the league, Klopp told reporters:

"He [Allen] is very close [to starting league games]. He got a little knock on the shoulder against Leicester, so we’ll have to see how it goes today. Hopefully it’s nothing serious".

How convenient. Allen has a 'knock', which gives Klopp the perfect excuse to ignore him for the Sunderland game. Meanwhile, Henderson - who is struggling with recurring heel pain - plays most games, and Klopp is willing to rush players like Sakho back from injury.

I'm no great fan of Allen, but I'm in favour of the merit system, and that means selecting players who are performing well right now, and not persisting with the same old failures week-in, week-out.

It's not the player, it's the principle, and it should be applied irrespective of age, price-tag, experience etc. Indeed, If Adam Lallana was in a period of great form, I'd argue for his selection, too.

Granted, the chances of that happening are slim-to-none, but still...

Author: Jaimie K


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