Very little has gone right for Liverpool since the calendar turned to September. Injuries, loss of form, more injuries, strange decisions from the manager, bad results, injuries to players that were already injured, and even more bad results have meant that Brendan Rodgers' side are already out of the Champions League and hanging onto their top four hopes by a thread before the new year.
One of the few bright spots on a consistent basis has been the presence of Adam Lallana, who, despite featuring irregularly at times, has risen above the mediocrity to give Rodgers a threat going forward and a spark in a squad so desperately needing it. Injuries and a few curious managerial decisions have limited his influence, but after an excellent first half against Manchester United and a man of the match performance in the 3-1 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday night, it's time for Rodgers to make Lallana a regular fixture going forward.
His display at Dean Court was largely to be expected given the evidence available this season, with sublime skill with the ball at his feet, smart pressing, quality distribution, good workrate when not possession, and plenty of support provided to teammates sentimentally and tactically. His comments post-match, seen below, certainly support the case for Lallana as a leader in this squad, with a measured evaluation of his teammates and restrained optimism looking ahead. There are certainly caveats to be applied given both opposition and competition, but these are the types of performances for which Adam Lallana was purchased, and by no means have they been a rarity this season.
The responsibility to feature the 26-year-old more consistently falls in the lap of Rodgers, who has to see that the former Southampton captain is the best thing going in his squad. With Arsenal set to arrive at Anfield on Sunday in yet another make-or-break fixture, Lallana should be front and center for Liverpool.
Video via LFCTikiTaka