Joe Allen – The Puppetmaster

It’s fair to say Joe Allen is not the best midfielder to have on fantasy football; he doesn’t score and he doesn’t get assists. With that in mind it is very important to ask…what does Joe Allen do? Particularly if you don’t watch him play for the whole 90 mins, in a typical game it’s fair to say the attention is on the attackers, or in a poor game, the defenders. Nobody pays that much attention in the engine room where Joe Allen plays, and plays well. A bit like a spaniard we used to have… Xabi Alonso.

So let’s take a look at his pre-Liverpool stats from Opta.

Take from lfc.tv:

The most striking statistic is that the 22-year-old recorded a superb 91.2 per cent accuracy rate with his 2,177 passes.

To put that in context, this is slightly better than Maxi Rodriquez, who was Liverpool’s top passer last season with an accuracy of 90.6 per cent from 394 passes.

Allen’s stats can be broken down further to show that passes completed in an opponent’s half found their man on 85.5 per cent of occasions.

Away from passing, Allen played a hefty 2,891 minutes of league football for Swansea in their first season in the Premier League – a figure topped by just two outfield players at Liverpool last season (Martin Skrtel 2,994 and Jose Enrique 2,992).

The Welshmen made 256 recoveries, which would have placed him second in the squad had he played for Liverpool, with Enrique tallying 270.

Elsewhere, Allen amassed 74 interceptions – more than any Liverpool player. He also won 54.5 per cent of his duels, beating an opponent in a challenge 198 times.

He won 82 tackles, or 74.5 per cent of those he attempted.

In the attacking third, the midfielder claimed two league assists and created 44 other goalscoring chances.

Finally, Allen scored four goals, had a shot accuracy of 48.1 per cent and a shot conversion rate of 14.8 per cent.

Impressive eh? Passing, tackling, work rate. All world class, but the most key thing is the passing. He gets the ball and doesn’t lose it, if he gets the ball then the ball is very likely to stay with Liverpool if we had 11 Joe Allens we would always have the ball and therefore we would have a much higher chance to score, statistically. He really is like the Xabi Alonso replacement we have been after! And he’s Welsh, so you really can’t go wrong here!

Taken from website, these are his stats as of September, 2012.

•6th in the Premier League for total number of passes (188);
•3rd for attacking half passing accuracy (89.52%), and final third passing accuracy (85.71%);
•3rd for minutes per interception (27);
•3rd for number of times possession won (26);
•2nd for minutes per possession won in midfield (19.29);
•2nd for minutes per loss of possession (15);
•2nd for passing accuracy (94.15%).

Astonishing stats, considering how poor Liverpool have been for the majority of the games up until September, so as you can see he is a top performer in a poor side. If anything, if it wasn’t for him we would not have been doing as “well” as we have,

As a conclusion, he is a quiet puppet master working in the engine room, powering us forward through quiet work that is laregely unrecognised unless you look at the hard stats, stats which are incredibly impress I think you’ll agree. All in all, I am more than impressed with the shifts he has been putting in, if only the whole team played like him!

Ronnie,
Ynwa

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