Joe Allen hits back at the critics with improved performances


A lot has been said about Joe Allen's time at Liverpool. In hindsight, he was doomed from the start. Rodgers paid a reported total of £15 million for the services of the proclaimed 'Welsh Xavi'.

Never mind the substantial transfer fee, it was the nickname that Rodgers bestowed upon the young Welshman that painted a target on his back.

Now, to be fair to Liverpool fans, they always give time for a new player to settle in and make his mark on the hallowed turf of Anfield, and Allen had a decent run at first, putting in a man of the match performance against the likes of Manchester City and subsequently being voted Liverpool's player of the month in his first few weeks in a red shirt.


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All was well, with Allen making a string of decent runouts and scoring a few goals until shortly after his 23rd birthday he picked up a shoulder injury that would rule him out for the remainder of the season and he lost his rhythm.

Allen struggled to pick up the pace when he returned to the squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines and this was noticed by the media and the fans alike.

The 'Welsh Xavi' became the whipping boy and the butt of jokes for many fans unhappy with team performances under the control of Rodgers. It comes as quite a surprise that Allen never moved on during this period of ridicule and we should commend the young man for sticking to his guns and trying to seal his place within the squad.

Rodgers makes way for Klopp

Fastforward to October 2015, and after a string of poor showings from the Liverpool side it was inevitable that Rodgers was due his P45 from the powers that be.

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It was more of a case of 'when' rather than 'if' Rodgers would leave and replaced by the man the Kop wanted three years earlier. The difference in the Liverpool side since Jurgen Klopp took the helm has been noticed immediately, and while they still lack defensively - especially on set pieces - the attacking creativity, flair and general morale around the club has improved ten-fold. And no one has been affected more than Joe Allen.

Allen, now 25, has had somewhat of a resurgence under Klopp. When he plays, he plays with a sense of freedom to move, allowing him to play the ball forward and make runs into the box that we hadn't seen from him previously.

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It suggests Rodgers kept him on a leash, causing his career and reputation to suffer immensely. But there is no doubt about it, he has improved.

He was awarded the assist against Stoke City in the League Cup semi-final, scored a vital late equaliser after coming off the bench against Arsenal and has began to endear himself to the Anfield faithful once again.

If Allen's current form continues surely he deserves a starting role and a new contract to ensure the Welshman remains at Anfield for many years to come.

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