Adam Lallana has explained his relationship with the Liverpool front-three of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane, insisting that the fact that they don’t speak the same language doesn’t affect them on the pitch.
To put it straight, the Reds’ trio have been exceptional this season. Of the 30 goals Liverpool have scored in the Premier League, Firmino, Coutinho and Mané have accounted for 16, helping their side move to the summit of the log.
Situated not far behind them on the field of play has been Adam Lallana. The Englishman has occupied a deeper midfield role under manager Jürgen Klopp this season but has retained his links with the frontline, contributing three goals and five assists.
Together Firmino, Coutinho, Mané and Lallana have formed a deadly attacking quartet that is characterised by their willingness to interchange between positions and yet still regain their respective abilities to let their quality shine through.
There is, of course, the language barrier, a factor that continues to affect football teams worldwide, however, Lallana has highlighted the main reason why this doesn’t affect his relationship with his fellow attackers, also taking a friendly dig at one of them.
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“It’s clichéd, but football has its own language,” the No.20 said, according the Liverpool’s official website.
“For example, Firmino doesn’t speak brilliant English – although better English than I speak, Portuguese! – but I feel like I’ve got that relationship with him on the pitch where you don’t need to be speaking to each other.
“It’s almost telepathic. At times, when you see Firmino, Coutinho and Sadio Mane linking up, they are everywhere. That’s not because they speak the same language or they speak English.
“Phil is very shy, his English is great. He just doesn’t speak it too often.
“It’s almost telepathic – just knowing each other’s games inside out.”
In truth, that telepathic understanding has not only been shared by Lallana and his fellow attackers but the entire Liverpool squad. Such is the strength of the Reds’ team work ethic that each of the eleven players on the pitch not only play their own role but go the extra mile in occupying a different role, if need be.
Fans and pundits have already agreed that boss Klopp deserves credit for instilling such a quality in his squad and Lallana has, not for the first time, hailed the German for the positive impact he has had on a personal and collective level.
“Whatever he has done different to me, I think he has done to everyone,” he added.
“It isn’t just myself. As a team we are performing to a high level.
“I am enjoying working with him, I feel I have really good relationship with him and that he trusts me. I trust him as well and when you have that connection, he can say stuff to you that you don’t want to hear and it doesn’t feel negative or personal.
“It’s always just business-related and wanting to win.”
Liverpool may be returning to that business in a little over a week from now but there will be plenty of it going on behind the scenes, as the remaining group without international commitments use the November break to either gain or maintain fitness and form.
As for Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho and Mané, their business is with their respective countries and as much as their manager will wish them well, he will also strongly hope that they return to club duty unscathed.