£ 15million favorite Brendan Rodgers nearly won the title at Liverpool ahead of Jurgen Klopp transfer – .

£ 15million favorite Brendan Rodgers nearly won the title at Liverpool ahead of Jurgen Klopp transfer – .

There are goals that are forgotten no matter how good looking or how important they are at the time.
Steven Gerrard scored in his last game for Liverpool, but few will fondly remember him as the Reds lost 6-1 at Stoke City that day.

Mohamed Salah scored a brilliant goal at Leicester last season, thanks in large part to a sublime back pass from Roberto Firmino, but once again a poor defensive performance meant the game in question ended in defeat.

But what about a goal that kept the Reds in the 2013/14 title race with just two games to go?

It was the player’s first strike in the league for the club, but it was inevitably overshadowed by the madness that unfolded.

Liverpool’s 3-3 draw at Selhurst Park in May 2014 became legendary with rival fans like ‘Crystanbul’, the game in which the Reds lost a 3-0 lead and the race for the title.

What we now forget (and understandably) is that it was 1-0 against Liverpool at halftime, thanks to a goal from Joe Allen, who entered from a corner Gerrard.

Not only was it his first league goal for the Reds, it was also his first and only Premier League goal with his header.

Imagine if you want a universe that is not wildly alternative.

Liverpool saw the game against Palace in a boring way (okay that’s a wild alternative to the way they’ve played this season) and Manchester City failed to break West Ham on the last day of the season, just like their rivals in crosstown did in 1995.

In that scenario, the Reds would have won the league and Allen would have been hailed for scoring an incredibly important goal to help them cross the line.

But fate can be cruel, and in Allen’s case, he remembers almost more the nicknames given to him and the dizzying expectations such comparisons raise, rather than one of his exploits on the pitch.

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“Joe is fantastic. He’s a player who at many clubs wouldn’t be judged big enough or strong enough, ”said Brendan Rodgers when describing the midfielder in 2011 when the two were at Swansea City.

“I was aware of his talent but, even if he is not at the same level, he is this type of player Xavi or Iniesta. “

Cue unspeakable pressure and mockery when Allen proved to be simply a good player and not at the level of the greatest midfielders of his generation.

If those comparisons weren’t enough, he was later tagged as the Welsh Pirlo when he let his beard and long hair grow out, as apparently that’s all it takes to measure up against the Italian hitter.

For his part, Allen was embarrassed by nicknames, as he explained in 2016.

“There have been a few circulating, there is one obvious that I am not saying. (Welsh Pirlo is) a dangerous one, ”he said.

“I’ve had the Welsh Xavi tag for a while and it hasn’t really done me a favor, so I’m trying to walk away from the new one as well. “

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Who can blame him? Whether he is aware of the fate of a predecessor of Liverpool or not, Bruno Cheyrou hailed as “the new Zinedine Zidane” by manager Gérard Houllier has not done him a favor either.

Players have to work their way through the game and establish their own strengths, and for Allen, that had to be a metronomic presence in the middle of the pitch.

Winning the ball – Allen made the fourth-highest number of digs every 90 minutes among Premier League midfielders in 2012/13 – and passing it on. Offer an angle, receive the ball and pass it.

Alan Shearer may not have seen the importance of this unglamorous work, but Rodgers certainly understood it.

As was the case with Christian Benteke, the subsequent manager change to Liverpool did not work in Allen’s favor, with his consistent possession style at odds with the chaotic squeezing machine that Jurgen Klopp sought to implement. .

And so Allen left Liverpool in 2016 after four years with the club, destined to be remembered for what he was not rather than what he was.

And he almost scored a league-winning goal too, but that’s another story.


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