12 Oct 2012

Boss raves: 'Incredible' £15m star was 'born to play for Liverpool FC'...

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has only been at the club for three months but he already has a growing fanbase amongst Anfield's ex- players. Last week, Mark Lawrenson and Jan Molby hailed his growing influence on the team, with Dane describing the Welshman as 'a bit like Xabi Alonso', which is rare praise indeed. Allen is on international duty with Wales this week, and his manager, Chris Coleman is equally impressed with the midfielder.

Speaking to the Press ahead of Wales' world cup qualifier with Scotland tonight, Coleman praised described Allen as a 'super player', with 'great character' and a lot of humility', adding:

"I can remember Joe when he first came through at Swansea when he had only just turned 16 – you could see even then he was going to be a real player. You could see the talent he had and it’s brilliant for everyone that he’s showing just how much he has.

"The last 12 months have been incredible and he’s made huge strides – but he was born for it. He was born to play for a club like Liverpool and excel and he deserves all the success he’s been getting"

Given his 'pass and move' style of play, Allen fits the LFC mould perfectly, which is probably why he's settled into the club so easily.

Allen has come in for a bit of criticism recently for his alleged habit of always passing sideways or backwards, but I don't believe this is entirely fair:

* He is basically deputising for Lucas at the moment, which means his natural game is somewhat on hold.

* Allen has to do do all the donkey work, and the job of a defensive midfielder is to break up play and move the ball onto to others.

* At present, it's not Allen's job to attack and be progressive; he's doing a job for the team, and if/when Lucas returns, I believe we'll see more attack-minded displays from Allen.

One thing that Allen does need to improve - when playing in his natural role - is his goals and assists ratio, and this is where Xavi is streets ahead. Over the last three league seasons, he's grabbed only 10 goals/assists, which is not the greatest, but that will hopefully improve over time.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. The thing is with a player like Allen, is you need to watch a whole game to really notice what he does. You cant just watch hihglights on Match of the Day or something because you wont notice his influence. I really like him, and I think he will become a top player for Liverpool.
    It has obviously helped with his settling in that his boss is his former boss, so he doesnt need to be taught anything really.

  2. Allen No goals no assists - no strikers, it all makes perfect sense - keep ball with no end product . Cant Brendon see the blindingly obvious. get wise I care about my team.

  3. He is good but not sure about 15mn value

  4. he is good player but will never be anywhere near xavi

  5. so jaimie over the next 3 seasons when allen is back in his prefered position we can look forward to 10goal/assissts if he can reperduce his form 2 of the years he was not in the premiership not a bad bit of buisness at 15million i think ince mite do it in one year at blackpool for god sake downing mite be more attravtive

  6. I honestly can't believe that he's being compared to Xavi or Alonso. And I think for 15 mill we would've got a better player in Brasil or Argentina. Just look at how many players r being bought from Portuguese teams from those two countries and than sold for lots of money. I'd love nothing more than being proved wrong and in three years time Barca comes in with a bid of 50 mill for him. Can't c it happening. But like I said if love to b proved wrong.

  7. Well hes the premier league xavi

  8. Lets see about it when barca meets liverpool

  9. Yeah but hes worth it. i believe hes the best if put in the centre midfield ,no pressure of attacking or defending. then allen could spread his creation like xavi does. at least thats what i thought.

  10. Were so lucky we got him,thats the important thing:-)

  11. Portuguese teams are able to buy South Americans by the truck load because they don't have as restrictive work permit rules that we have in the UK, hence one of the reasons why British clubs don't go down this route as much. These players have got be well hyped up to stand a chance of being issued a work permit on the basis of 'special talent', a lot of these players (not all) that the Portuguese clubs bring in aren't anywhere near as known as say Oscar. On top of that, Portuguese clubs are willing to put up with 3rd party ownerships for financial reasons (see Falcao deal to Atleti), which is one of the ways that they are able to bring over players from South America. A concept that is not all that welcome by UK clubs after the Tevez-Masch debacle and I believe it is banned by PL.

    Its not as if all those South American players that these Portuguese clubs buy become successes. Benfica have around FIFTEEN! South American players in their first team squad (Porto have a similar number too), probably only a handful at most will be good enough for a big club in La Liga or PL. Probably looking at around 1/3 of these South American players that the Portuguese clubs bring in that will be successes. The Portuguese clubs rely heavily on money from 3rd party ownerships and big money sales to survive but its not easy to execute the latter, so they resort to buying loads and hope they are able to have one big money sale nearly every summer from their 'crop' (though not always has to be South American sales, it can be someone like Coentrao or Witsel who went for big money)

    Its not easy, its not simple and its not necessary ideal either, to replicate what these Portuguese clubs do over in the PL.

  12. Passing accuracy: 94% so far this season; one of Europe's top 5 passers last season, only 1% behind Xavi, hence the comparisons.

  13. Incredibible is a word I would use to describe Messi not Joe Allen.
    Liverpool passes now 70% of the time backwards or sideways. There is no striker to finish it off and by the time they have passed the ball backwards or sideways the opposition is back behind the ball. One mistake and the opposition is away like Man Utd's winning goal.
    Allens track record of assists and goals dont tally up to much considering 2 of those seasons were in the championship. Just a slightly better than average midfielder in my opinion who I hardly notice is on the pitch.

  14. Allen is a different player than Xavi. To begin with, they are playing in different positions and in a different system, thus, you cannot really compare.

    However, pushed to compare him with somebody, it would be Iniesta. Iniesta initially played as a defensive midfielder similar to where Allen is playing right now, then progressed further up the field. When Iniesta was played further up the field, somewhat predictably, he started chipping in crucial goals and assists. Most probably, Rodgers will play Allen further up the field when Lucas is back, giving some extra dynamism to our midfield.

    The player who is most similar to Xavi, unfortunately, is at Arsenal, and his name is Santi Cazorla.

  15. Compare his assists/goals with Xavi's. Hence, no comparison

  16. Cazorla is more of a Iniesta-type player in my view, as he starts more forward for me. Cesc was Xavi-like until he got pushed forward behind RVP.

  17. Xavi Hernandez, age 32 with 548 appearances for Spain, Catalonia and Barcelona.

    Joe Allen, age 22 with 155 appearances for Swansea, Liverpool, Wrexham, Wales and Great Britain.

    There's a 10 year difference in age, that makes a 393 games difference. Hence 393 games more experience in Xavi and yet Joe Allen is still able to pull together the same pass completion percentage as Xavi. That's a mean feat for a man of 22 that has a fifth of the experience.

    Yes Allen's playing passes sideways and backwards, but that's because he is playing the role of a defensive midfielder. However, he gets the ball moving faster than anyone in a red shirt. He has to break up attacks then think of the safest, yet fastest way to get the ball to a player that starts the attack and does it perfectly almost every time.

    I think that once Lucas is back and fully fit We will start seeing Allen chip in with a few assists and goals, simply based on his control and wise decision making. OK he definitely won't be as prolific as Xavi, but given time and experience, IMO I think he can get close.

    */Got those numbers from Wiki, and calculated in my head, sorry if my maths is bad./*

  18. So by your analysis, a player can only be incredible if they are strikers? Jan Molby not Incredible? Fair enough Joe Allen isn't incredible... yet. Give the boy some time he's only 22.

    Probably more than 80% of football fans will tell you that Barcelona is the best team in the world.and they pass backwards and sideways 80-90% of the time. They have successfully taken the Liverpool way and made it their own! but how long did it take for them to do it? Think pre-Frank Rijkaard. Rome wasn't built in a day. We are still adapting to Rodgers' system which is basically the original Liverpool way. There is only one piece to the puzzle that is missing and that's a clinical finisher. Get Luis Suarez on the left and Sterling or Assaidi on the right and we got a good team that can take us to the Champions League.

    But Liverpool fans need to do what they do best. Be patient.
    And that's a virtue.

  19. Ok, but Xavi's passing is much better as he tries to attack and most of his passes are in the opposition half while for Allen is completely the other way around. Easier to pass 4 yard in your own half, passing accuracy is what keeping him in the side. No other aspect of his game is evident otherwise..maybe tackles..a bit.