It won’t be a surprise to most to see that both players are heavily involved in the passing game. Xabi has long been regarded as a pass master but on this evidence the master could be overtaken by the apprentice before too long. Xabi attempted over 300 more passes from fewer appearances and whilst he did play over 140 more successful passes than Allen, Joe completed an impressive 90.05% of his passes compared to Alonso and his 82.89% pass completion, with Allen also being more successful with the ball in open play. As far as dribbling goes Allen comes out over 3 times better than Alonso, showing much more of a willingness to run with the ball. Both players pretty much equal when it comes to getting crosses in with a shared 31% completion despite Xabi attempting more than double the amount of crosses that Joe did. Both players chipped in with their share of creating chances but Xabi’s creativity and vision is well documented so no surprise to see him creating chances much more regularly than Allen. So far so good for young Allen in filling the former #14’s boots.
Goal Attempts Comparison
Neither player is known for being prolific in front of goal – although Xabi is deadly from the half way line. Allen chipped in with a goal more than Xabi did in his final season despite Xabi having almost twice as many shots. In terms of accuracy and chance conversion the Welshman trumps the Spaniard. Both players aren’t in the team to score goals, but it is important that they provide the ammo and chip in from time to time and on this evidence Allen will do just that.
It’s important to take these statistics in context. Xabi was playing for a Liverpool team that was dismantling teams at home and abroad for fun for large parts of the season whilst Allen was playing in a Swansea team that people didn’t really expect too much of, and more importantly it was his first season in the Premier League, by 2009 Xabi was in to his 5th season in English top flight.
Swansea won a lot of people over last year drawing comparisons with Barcelona at times for the way they played the game, a style that Rodgers is attempting to bring to Liverpool, and Allen was a key element in what made Swansea good last season, whilst he might not take the centre stage headlines his work rate and ability on and off the ball allowed his team mates to do their jobs better and in a system where everyone works for the team this is essential – his attitude is terrific.
By 2009 Xabi was regarded as one of the world’s best players, eventually sealing a £30m move to Real Madrid. Allen by comparison is just starting out and on the evidence so far it really does look like Liverpool might finally found someone to replace Alonso – it’s only taken 3 years!
Has to be said though, he’s got a long way to go to reach the status that Xabi has with Liverpool fans and the club but as first impressions go – he’s nailed it.
All of the stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.
- Good Read