At the weekend we saw new £15 million acquisition Joe Allen put in a fantastic performance for our Reds, it wasn’t a run of the mill game either, Allen was up against the Champions and matched face to face against a guy who was no doubt pushing for Premier League player of the year last term, Yaya Toure. It was the kind of performance we as fans expect from a Liverpool central midfielder but that didn’t make it any less satisfying. He was outstanding from minute one, he started the game a little ahead of Lucas and ever so slightly behind Gerrard but after Lucas suffered another unfortunate injury he was asked to sit in front of the back four, retain and protect will have been Rodgers instruction and the Welshman carried it out with a confident and somewhat arrogant manner. You can often judge just how good a player is not by watching him yourself but what his peers are saying about him. With glowing reference from former red Craig Bellamy who saw him first hand with Team GB and Steven Gerrard who has recently been praising the guy after seeing him only briefly on Merseyside.
I’d like to post a video that you may have already seen of his performance against City, a highlight reel if you will, expertly put together by @MostarLFC
This video will open in a new window CLICK HERE
What impresses me most from his performance and is most notable in the video is his awareness, he’s one of those players that knows exactly what he’ll do before he’s got the ball at his feet. It’s a confidence so rare in the British game, the usual attitude has been to get the ball down and forward whereas with Allen it’s keep the ball moving and make the opposition work. His ability to read the game is something that we’ll benefit from against any opposition, Brendan Rodgers tells his teams to press high up the pitch and win the ball back before the other team have even the chance to form an attack. Whether it’s 1 interception per game or 5, a good interception will immediately put an opponent on the back foot and turn the game in a second. It excites me to see him settle so quickly too, it’s not that rare to see a new manager come into a club and bring a player from his former employers side into his own. But I shall tell you what’s rare. The new team adapts to the style of play quickly enough that the partnered player slots into a system and looks as comfortable in it as he did at for example… Swansea. That is a credit to Brendan Rodgers and his coaching staff as well as the players who have worked hard over pre season to accept his ideas and make them successful.
It’s still early days but the first impressions are good. Joe Allen will learn a lot from Steven Gerrard this season but you might see the reverse happen too…
Ben Carr @DoctorBenjy