As Joe Allen prepares to return from injury, the Welsh midfielder has conceded that he faces a battle to get back into the first team picture at Liverpool. After enjoying a bright start to life at Anfield, the 23-year olds performances began to wane and opportunities in the starting line-up withered accordingly. A shoulder injury at the end of last season and a hamstring problem suffered against Notts County has set the midfielder back in his struggle to find regular football, but with him back up and running, he told the official site he’s ready to force himself back into Brendan Rodgers plans.
The promising Welshman followed Rodgers during his move from Swansea City to Liverpool and, depending on the day, has been either the most frustrating player on the pitch to watch, or sublimely graceful. While sorting out consistent performances may be the key to first team football, Allen understands that comes with hard work. “When you sign for a club like this, you can’t rest on any laurels” he told Liverpoolfc.com. “You’ve always got to make sure that you give your best every single day to stake a claim.”
Allen will be able to stake a claim for a recall for the first time since pulling up with a hamstring injury at the end of August when the Reds visit Newcastle this weekend, though the boss switching to a 3-5-2 formation could be a hindrance for the midfielder in the interim. “I haven’t got great experience of playing it, to be honest, but you can see how well it has worked for the team,” said the Welshman, who continued, “There are a couple of slots in midfield, where there is a lot of competition for it; my job now is to work as hard as I can to try to get one.”
Since he’s been out of the side, Jordan Henderson has staked a claim for a spot in the middle of the park with standout performances against Manchester United and Crystal Palace – coupled with some hardworking performances as a wingback — boosting his chances of a more central role. Spanish midfielder Luis Alberto has also come into the fold and has impressed off the bench in his few cameo appearances – still, Allen understands that there’s always going to be competition. “There are people who will fight for your place inside the club and also outside the club; there are so many people who want to join a massive club like this.” It’s a good thing Joe isn’t ready to rest on his laurels; last time we checked, he didn’t have any.