Joe Allen: I've gained a lot from Liverpool's title challenge

There's an element of regret, but Allen hasn't lost focus of the remarkable progress Liverpool made.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen has been speaking about the progress the side made last season, as they came so close to landing their first top flight title in 24 years, but ended up finishing two points behind Manchester City.

A lot has been said of the staggering progress the Reds have made in such a short space of time. Last season was Brendan Rodgers' second season in charge of the club, and they improved by 23 points on his first campaign - with many expecting them to miss out on the Champions League places - never mind challenging for the title.

Thought there is an element of regret from Allen, in an interview with Wales Online, Allen seemed to remain philisophical: “It shows how far we came in a short space of time. To be disappointed not to lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season is incredible when you think about it.

“You’re always going to look back with a little bit of disappointment when you come so close, but I think the overriding story was we went right to the end and gave a fantastic account for ourselves and I’ve gained a lot from the experience."

Allen seemed to be on the fringes of the Liverpool team towards the end of his first season at Anfield, but as the last campaign went on his importance to the side became evident - especially with the introduction of a midfield diamond in Liverpool's system.

His pressing, energy, and technical ability on one side of the diamond, with Jordan Henderson operating on the other, offers good balance for the Liverpool team. 

Some may have criticised Allen for the lack of goals to his game but his work should not go unnoticed. He's willing to get stuck in in the middle of the park, and can be a nuisance in the final third - just look at the penalty he won against Tottenham.

There may be outlandish claims that he is the 'Welsh Xavi' but there are elements to Allen's game which show he can be a vital part of the Liverpool squad for years to come. Last season he was of Liverpool's relatively unnoticed success stories.

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