Adam Lallana – From doubter to believer?

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Adam Lallana of Liverpool scores his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on August 14, 2016 in London, England.
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Michael Baddeley discusses how Adam Lallana has embraced Jurgen Klopp’s footballing philosophy completely.

In the famous words of our boss German leader, Jurgen Norbet Klopp, “We have to turn from doubter, to believer – now.” Obviously you all know that he said this in his first interview after signing for the club and was originally intended to inspire the fans to get behind the team.

But the advice seems to have inspired one the players instead! So much that it’s helped him turn his rocky Liverpool career right around and it’s looking like he could become a key player at the club. Of course I’m talking about our English attacking-midfielder, Adam Lallana.

A lot has been made of Lallana’s form recently and thankfully for us Liverpool fans it’s for all the right reasons. Sunday saw the lad score a 90th minute winner against Slovakia, the goal that would be his first goal in an England shirt.

It’s safe to say that under Rodgers, Adam was very disappointing. If it wasn’t the price-tag that got to him then I’m baffled as to what it could be. Maybe the jump from being a big fish in a little pond at Southampton to a small fish in a big pond at Liverpool was too much? Regardless of what it was, it was horrendous.

He has certainly been one who has gone under the radar. I’ll even go as far as saying he has been our most underrated player in the Klopp era, myself included, so I can’t say anything about those who did too!

A lot of people have been very quick to criticise him for certain aspects of his game, particularly his end product and decision making in the final third. But these people are the ones now seem reluctant to give him the praise he deserves; he can’t win whatever he does.

Another overrated English player was the verdict, a player who many wouldn’t be too fussed to see leave if the right offer was on the table. So often we would see him do the obligatory Cruyff turn, another trick maybe and then a pass backwards or way-wards to end what seemed like a promising move.

Fast-forward to October 2015 and his Anfield career took a turn for the better. His turn around in form just so happened to coincide with Klopp’s arrival at the club. Coincidence? I think not.

Klopp seems to be the breath of fresh air he needed. The versatility, the high press, the endless running for the cause of the team and the much improved end product has definitely forced him into Kloppo’s thoughts. He’s created a headache – one that the gaffer will like, no doubt!

His link-up with Coutinho and Firmino was devastating at times last season. As we saw in the Man City away game last season, he relishes playing alongside these types of players and has also linked up well with Mane since he has come to the club.

Obviously he has his flaws though – e is only human after all. For me, he will drift in and out of game and that needs to stop. His loss of concentration and sloppy play against Arsenal in the build up to their first goal at the start of the season just backs up my point.

Then there’s his finishing. Currently the biggest part of his game that needs improving the most. Just shy of his 100 game milestone and he has 14 goals to his name. That’s a stat you’d expect a central midfielder to have, not an attacking midfielder. He bagged a goal on the opening day and even got an assist in the same game. But other than that he has blanked in the other two Premier League games. It’s just not good enough.

He’s gone from a player hiding in his shell, to a player who scores last minute winners for both club and country, tie clinching goals in European semi finals and game changing performances against Man City in the final. His huge improvement over the last 12 months should give Reds all over the world plenty of confidence in his ability.

The lad has natural talent and with a manager like Klopp teaching him the ways of football and filling him with self belief, he will only get better and better and better. It’s just up to him to control himself and take his game to the next level. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get to big for his boots and let the praise get to his head. If it does then I’m sure Gini Wijnaldum won’t hesitate to sweep in and take his place in the starting XI!

As I said earlier, he has turned from doubter to believer.

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A football fanatic, more specifically - Liverpool fanatic. Twenty years old, started writing for Rousing The Kop as something to do in my spare time, but it's turned into something a little more serious.

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