The tragedy of the chronically under appreciated is that sometimes they need to disappear for awhile before others sit up and take notice of what they brought to the table. It's a situation wee Joe Allen finds himself in at the moment, where injury has proven that absence really doesmake the heart grow fonder, at least for some fans.
"Joe is a player who never gets mentioned but he’s a player who rarely turns over the ball," manager Brendan Rodgers said of his diminutive midfielder. "He loves the football and gets other people playing. The key feature for Joe on top of that is the intensity in his pressure. He presses the game very well. He’s a very intelligent footballer.
"Tactically, he’s outstanding in the game and we’ve really missed his energy and his quality since he’s been out. He will be back after the international break. Hopefully he’ll be available for the QPR game."
Allen hasn't featured since Liverpool's last win in the league versus Tottenham Hotspur, which was perhaps not coincidentally the last time Liverpool had a midfield that could midfield properly. Ongoing problems in the middle of the pitch have produced a dire string of results for Brendan Rodgers and his team, and with increasing frequency it's wee Joe who many theorize will be the key to fixing many of the problems.
Not to pin too much pressure on the poor man, of course. For a player who never gets mentioned, his name seems to be coming up a lot in recent weeks in a markedly different way than it did earlier in the year when many had nearly opposite views on the player. Sometimes an unassuming player shines brightest when you don't notice him at all, and Allen's stint on the sidelines has made that very clear.