“He is 5ft 6ins but in terms of being a footballer he is 7ft 6ins. He’s absolutely immense. His courage in getting on the ball, how he reads the game and his football intelligence is outstanding.”
Few footballers have suffered such a backlash due to the rhetoric of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers quite like Joe Allen. From being branded “The Welsh Xavi” on the infamous 2012 documentary Being Liverpool, to chief executive Ian Ayre joking he should take the number 69 shirt, it was hardly the low profile beginning to life at his new club the former Swansea midfielder would have preferred.
Rodgers’ inclination to reach for hyperbole – “outstanding” and “magnificent” the most used words in his PR lexicon of over-emphasis and exaggeration – has damaged perceptions of his team, his players and his own abilities in the past. So to has it caused problems for Allen; a £15 million purchase from Rodgers’ former club, Swansea City, he was the marquee signing of the Northern Irishman’s first transfer window at Liverpool and the personification of the Reds’ new manager on the pitch. Rodgers loves what Allen brings to the football field, and he is not afraid to tell everyone about it either.