Joe Allen’s association with former manager Brendan Rodgers has been a long running joke in and out of the club since the Welshman arrived in 2012.
Rodgers rated the midfielder very highly, signing him from former club Swansea, dubbing him ‘The Welsh Xavi’, continually selecting him centrally and praising performances even when supporters hadn’t necessarily seen anything very impressive.
But the joke actually began to cloud Allen’s strengths and exaggerate his faults. In truth, he’s a handy squad player who on his day can dictate tempo and help us dominate possession.
Now, the 25-year-old reckons he can thrive under the new boss, but has thanked Rodgers for the ‘huge influence’ the Northern Irishman’s had on his career.
“When a manager leaves a club everything is up in the air for the players,” he told the Echo.
“You have to wait to see who comes in next, what sort of style he plays and if there’s a place for you in his plans.
“I’m confident that the things he’s looking to bring into the team are things I pride myself on and I’m looking forward to getting down to some hard work to make sure I’m part of the new era.
“It’s almost like the reset button has been pressed for everyone at the club and we’ve got a clean slate to re-focus and try to impress him so we can be part of his plans.
“Everyone has been impressed with the new manager’s ideas and approach. His passion is very obvious and that is something we as players as going to feed off.
“There is a lot of new information for the lads to take in, a new way of playing to learn and new styles to take on board. But I think the lads already see the benefits of it and everyone is buying into what he’s looking to bring to us. We’re all 100% behind him.
“We’re still within touching distance of everyone in the Premier League and we’re still in three cup competitions. We’ve got plenty of time to achieve a lot this season.”
Allen has yet to make a Premier League start under Klopp, but was used in the Europa League and League Cup ties, and is expected to start on Thursday away to Rubin Kazan.
He’ll hope to impress enough to earn more minutes under the German, as current choice Emre Can’s a little less composed on the ball.
“Rodgers was a huge influence because he was my manager for over five seasons with two football clubs,” Allen continued.
“We won promotion to the Premier League with Swansea City on a fantastic day in the play-off final at Wembley and obviously we came so close to winning the title here at Liverpool a couple of seasons ago.
“It means we shared some massive highs but as everyone knows change is something that always happens in football and you have to accept it.”