In view of the Joe Allen injury news in the Liverpool Echo today, I thought I’d take a quick look at his stats before and after his shoulder injury to see if it might explain his dip in form since the start of the season.
As I don’t unfortunately know when it specifically happened (as the Echo merely states October), I’ll have to use stats obtained from EPLIndex and split the season as August to October, and then from November to now.
The appearance stats should’ve perhaps offered the first clue that all was not right with Allen; he completed all nine of the league games he was involved in prior to November, but only one of the eleven appearances that followed.
The first assumption that came to my mind regarding his injury was that Allen’s involvement in the physical side will have likely dipped as a result, but has that been the case?
The interesting thing to note here is that the frequency with which Allen attempted both tackles and especially aerial duels has decreased, whilst he is attempting ground duels more often.
In other words, he has been less involved in the more physical types of challenge but happier to take players on with the ball at his feet on the deck. As would you be if your shoulder was in constant pain.
But has the Welshman’s performance in his key attributes suffered post-injury too? The figures suggest that it has.
Since suffering an injury to his shoulder, Joe Allen has been passing less frequently and less accurately, as well as giving the ball away more, and not regaining possession as often.
Perhaps some of this will be down to tactics and where on the pitch Allen was asked to play; as a statto rather than a tactician, I’m not sure.
Though saying that, the figures show he played 52% of his passes in his own half prior to November and 51% afterwards, which suggests his position on the pitch hasn’t altered that radically.
But it certainly appears that the injury he has been carrying may explain his dip in form. Whether it’s actually the main cause or not, Allen’s contribution has definitely worsened slightly since it happened, and I’m sure the injury will have played some part as it is far harder to perform well when in pain.
Get well soon, Joe, the Reds will need you and your early season form for an assault on the top four in 2013/14.
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Joe Allen: £15m Bargain – The Welshman ranks favourably in the Premier League at numerous key statistics, take a look!