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Rodgers and Allen: A Work In Progress

Date: 24th January 2013 at 3:50 pm
Written by: | Comments (49)

Allen & Rodgers of Liverpool FCSOME players symbolise a manager’s philosophy of how they believe the game should be played. His performances on the field, abject and indifferent or controlled and sophisticated, often mirror our opinions of the man in charge.

When Brendan Rodgers came to the club and signed ‘the Welsh Xavi’ , eyebrows were raised. We remained guarded, yet open minded about him – much like our eloquent new coach.

We have talked about transition and a new era on this site many times before, and Allen’s walking a tightrope at the moment. To many he was found out after a well below-par showing at . His normally astute passing game has been showing signs of rust for some time now. Opponents play a high pressing game against him, harassing and bullying him out of possession, and this increases the value of an overworked Lucas who often needs to act as the Polyfilla – filling the cracks the young Welshman leaves behind.

Of course Rodgers has shown unwavering faith in his midfield pivot. When Match of the Day dullard criticised the former middle-man saying that he doesn’t play risk passes, the Reds gaffer came out swinging: “I saw something criticising Joe for not playing risk passes. Unbelievable. Our so-called pundits who don’t know the dynamics of a team and how it functions. Joe will prove an absolute bargain”. That was in October when he was the conductor and fulcrum of the side.

His form has dipped alarmingly since then so as honest and genuine his defence was, his role and importance in the side has decreased since the return of fan favourite Lucas. His presence on the bench during the 5-0 demolition of was due to the re-emergence of who is finally starting to prove his worth to the side and was endemic of his recent fortunes.


The two are very different players; the former Sunderland man has been a constant source of energy and dynamism lately, injecting a sense of immediacy into the side. Allen’s calmer, more measured approach to the game means he often dictates the pace of how the side plans to break down opposition defensive barriers. Predictably, this rightly or wrongly makes him the scapegoat when results don’t go to plan.

The added verve in our attack after Daniel Sturridge’s bright start to his Reds career should add to our forward pass options. There is nothing wrong with going backwards or sideways if that is the pass that is available. As a deep-lying midfielder and with the advancements in tactical play in the league, the defence-splitting pass is not always on; were we criticised for hitting too many, the young Welshman doesn’t hit enough.

Sturridge and have the strength and movement to be found from deep if they are found down the channels. The best midfielders play with a rhythm…slow, slow, quick. If Allen adds the ‘quick’ to his game, which I believe he is capable of doing, he will be just fine.

Joe Allen has split opinion with the Reds faithful; invariably you will find that if you back Rodgers you back Allen and vice-versa. Neither would receive a glowing report card for their early efforts at the heart of the club but all is not lost and it has not been all doom and gloom. As we teeter from the sublime to abject and back again, progress has been slower than some would wish.

With Inter Milan starlet possibly ironing out the formalities over his move to the club it will be interesting to see how “the Ferrari” as in describes him, will fit in. It will be exciting to see another attacking threat in the squad – where he will fit in will be a cause of debate.

When the season gallops on towards the business end and two transfer windows have passed, then will be the time to assess the Rodgers blueprint and more accurately define Joe Allen’s future at the club. But for now, their half-term report would read “good ideas but plenty of room for improvement.

As always, your comments are welcome.


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49 thoughts on “Rodgers and Allen: A Work In Progress

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  • Snake Plissken
    2 years ago

    Work in progress? No, not for me, it’s more like the same old tired excuses we’ve heard all too many times before. Why couldnt we beat Villa, Stoke, West Brom for example? Have they got a £23m striker, an £18m right back etc? If we had beaten those three teams alone we would be 9 points better off, 2 points ahead of Spurs and challenging for 3rd, realistically we weren’t gonna win the title but challenging for third would be progress, look at our squad, wage bill etc compared to West Brom who are currently level on points with us. We have a ‘rabbit caught in the headlights’ manager. Where was the preparation, organisation etc? When Mourinho took over at Chelsea he gave his players the most detailed reports and analysis of every individual player in the league, Brenda’s philosophy seems to be ‘just keep possession and see what happens’.

    Reply
    • Dave
      2 years ago

      I agree snake

      Reply
  • Dave
    2 years ago

    “work in progress ” ? NO . The phrase “work in progress ” has been used way too much this season . It should be banned

    What “work in progress ” really means is – they have fked up , they are not sure what they are doing , but give them more time and hopefully they will figure it out

    Reply
  • Ryan
    2 years ago

    It makes me laugh how Rodgers and Allen are being slagged off!! Rodgers has a huge job on his hands changing the style of the team and having limited funds. There is no doubt the ten are starting to look better, and with Sturridge now we are starting to look like a real threat. He is starting to get the best out of some players (Enrique, Henderson, downing) and he has fast tracked some quality youth players in wisdom, shelvey, suso and sterling. You are slagging off Allen already, how about we give him a chance? He is 22 and just moved to a huge club with a big transfer fee on his back. He needs to adapt and improve but he has a great starting point where he is. I bet you all said exactly the same about Lucas until he became a fan favourite. I think hendo will also start proving to be a real quality player over the next 12 months. Everyone says its going to take time but then still moan when we don’t get instant results. We were a million miles from champions league places last season, now we are 7 points going into the second half of the season and we are starting to look very confident ad the squad looks a lot stronger with players coming back from injury and others gaining form. When huge changes are made, sometimes you need to go backwards before you can go forwards. We have done that and we have grown as a team and a squad and now we are firmly moving in the right direction. Sign up coutihno this week and then we would have added a real skilful and flair played with massive potential, then press on for that 4th spot! Have faith!! YNWA

    Reply
    • fotheringham
      2 years ago

      it makes me laugh that there are still blind ignorant fools out there that think Rodgers is doing a good job

      And ANYONE who thinks Allen is even remotely good enough for LFC doesnt have a ounce of intelligence

      Reply
      • TaintlessRed
        2 years ago

        What on earth is the point or replying if your just going to insult a poster? I may not share Ryans view point when it comes to Allen, the boy has a lot of improving to do (and will struggle to overcome his lack physical stature), but that doesn’t mean I resort to name calling a poster who thinks otherwise.

        Reply
    • Biggsy
      2 years ago

      ‘there is no doubt the team is lookin better’ ? r u for real ?
      everythin u wrote was pie in sky nonsense , do less writing and more learning cos u know FA mate

      Reply
    • kirbyking
      2 years ago

      Ryan get your head out of the sand and wake up . Dreamer

      Reply
  • ozred
    2 years ago

    The Stupidest thing Rogers has said so far is that Allen was a bargain at $15m and that he’d have paid much more than that for him…. Thank god they excepted $15m.

    The second most stupid thing he’s said was the Welsh Xavi comment in front of the cameras…

    No doubt Allen has been a dissapointment. Whilst he started ok, his form of late has been horrible. Having said that, he did show in a 30 minute stint against Sunderland that there’s alot there to work with.

    Some things will work, others wont. To right off Allen after 3 months is just as stupid as Rogers comments.

    In saying that, Henderson has his spot at the moment and there is no reason other than injury that would justify Allen starting right now.

    Reply
    • TaintlessRed
      2 years ago

      Well said Ozred. Allen started well (when he took over from Lucas), but wasn’t able to kick on and his weaknesses were quickly found out. His confidence has been so shot over the last couple of months that even things he’s good at, like passing accurately (all be it far too conservatively without enough imagination) or making himself available to receive a pass have become difficult for him. I have strong reservations of whether he’ll ever be able to hold down a place as he can’t play as the furthest forward midfielder, he’s not strong enough to play defensive midfield against any decent team (and he won’t displace Lucas) and he’s not going to play ahead of Gerrard for the other midfield position.
      It’s little surprise we have consistently had better results when he hasn’t started. Rodgers was foolhardy to say what he did about Allen. It was just as worse to say that drawing 0-0 at Swansea was never 2 points dropped.

      Reply
      • Colm
        2 years ago

        Look lets not try and find excuses cos there are none for Allen – he is just not good enough . Huge costly error by Rodgers

        2nd biggest mistake in Liverpool transfer history

        Reply
  • kirbyking
    2 years ago

    Rodgers is a fool . Latest transfer target .so the papers say – Ashley fking Williams . If given enough time Rodgers will turn us into a totally average team that will take years to return to even top 6

    Reply
    • harry86
      2 years ago

      It wouldn’t surprise me

      Dont know why the moron moved to Liverpool if he justs wants to work with average joes

      Reply
  • Marvel
    2 years ago

    Enough with the ‘Welsh Xavi’ talk. Its embarrassing. Rodgers results have bn mixed. I’ll give him a mild pass given resources available. Allen has bn terrible since after d first 4 matches. Assaidi was a bad buy (though cheap). Even BR jnows this. His decision making and end product is poor. Jury is still out on Borini.
    BR has shown so far that he cant motivate/assemble his team to win big matches. Imagine him praising the team for drawing at Chelsea. You’ld think we just beat Barca 5-0. BR needs to raise his standards of player recruitment n expectations. Show some tough love and stop using words like ‘magnificent’ after beating Southampton 1-0 at Anfield.
    I rate BR dis season at 50%.
    His signings were poor. Borini might cut it but Allen and Assaidi are substandard.
    Signings = 30%

    Reply
  • Marvel
    2 years ago

    Allen is a refined polished version of Jay Spearing. His passing range doesn’t go beyond 20 yards. He’s totally clueless what to do with the ball once he takes it into the opponents’ half. He’s a poor signing. Dont tell me he’s 22. Poor is poor. Carroll, Allen, Henderson, Downing*, Assaidi all NOT LIVERPOOL STANDARD. Defend them all u want.

    Reply
    • Garret
      2 years ago

      Correct – none of them are Liverpool standard especially Allen .Im not joking when i say i think Spearing is way better than Allen , atleast Spearing gets stuck in and tries to pass forward sometimes

      Reply
      • simon
        2 years ago

        id rather spearing any day

        Reply
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