He has had his fair share of criticism, not least after his miss in the Merseyside Derby, but Liverpool fans could have a decent player on their hands.
Some will have groaned when they saw that Joe Allen was lining up for Liverpool as he has received much criticism since he joined the club for £15m from Swansea City in the summer of 2012.
Whilst Luis Suarez was grabbing the headlines with a dazzling performance that contained three goals which may be in Match of the Day’s goal of the month compilation, Allen was putting in an assured performance in the middle of the park.
He has been labelled by some as a ‘crab’ with some not really understanding what he does in the middle of the park, and some have criticised him for five or ten yard passes – in other words criticising him for doing his job.
For sure he hasn’t really set the world alight and his miss in the Merseyside derby was unforgivable, but Allen was one of the reasons Liverpool had a good degree of control on last night’s game.
Though he may be playing second fiddle to Lucas Leiva for a place in the side he performed pretty well. He looked tougher in the middle of the park than he had done for some time whilst being able to dictate play, and good movement around him made his job a little easier.
Allen told the Liverpool Echo after the game that he felt as if he was starting all over again after his injury problems, and that miss at Goodison.
‘There are things I've improved on since I joined Liverpool and hopefully I'll get plenty more opportunities to get out there and show that.
‘What happened in the derby was massively disappointing but these are the things you have to deal with as footballers.
‘It was a bad miss. I accept that. I accept the responsibility and the repercussions of the miss.’
Maybe with a little bit of patience, there is a useful player for Liverpool there.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald