Why ‘Very Average’ Adam Lallana Embodies Everything That Is Wrong With Liverpool

Paul Sorene

19th, May 2015


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Secured from Southampton for £25million, Adam Lallana became Liverpool’s priciest arrival during last summer’s £117million spending spree.

He’s hardly set Anfield alight, making 22 starts and scoring 6 goals in an injury-hit debut season – a season the man himself has described as “very average”.

But how much have his performances been shaped by the glowering presence of Steven Gerrard?

He’s been talking about the future in a Guardian article entitled “Adam Lallana calls for leaders to emerge from Steven Gerrard’s shadow”:

“There shouldn’t be any responsibility on anyone to solely fill Steven’s boots. It is going to have to be a contribution from the team.

“If everyone gives two, three per cent extra then hopefully we can half-fill that spot. It is going to be tough but we will be working hard.”

Doesn’t everyone give 100% already? When he arrived Lallana opined:

“I hope I can add something to the team and hopefully we can win trophies. That’s why I’m here – for success.”

Is the assumption that Liverpool rely on Gerrard’s brilliance and energy to carry the team? Lallana claims to be one of many leaders at Liverpool. But is he right?

On the Liverpool FC website, Lallana is full of praise for Gerrard:

“He’s a player I’ve looked up to my whole life. Although I’ve only played a season with him, it has meant everything to me.

“He’s a massive leader and he’s got that aura around him. When he walks into a room, he doesn’t need to say anything – he has got that presence.

“Having the chance to play with him is something I’ll tell my kids and hopefully my grandkids later on in life…”

Bit mawkish, isn’t it. If just playing in the same team as Gerrard means everything, how can you be trying to surpass him, demanding the ball comes your way and not to the waning star, giving your teammates an option?

It would be unrealistic to expect Lallana to embody Liverpool’s pursuit of excellence, as Gerrard has.

The club has no replacement for “Huyton’s Hero”, a local boy blessed with a never-say-die attitude to augment the sublime skills, who flirted with Chelsea but decided that he was Liverpool through and through.

But if ever there was a sign of how Liverpool have shrunk as a force it is surely an England international for whom success is no longer weighed in silver, but in how many minutes he shared the turf with Steven Gerrard.

Posted in Liverpool, Newsnow, Opinion

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  1. tristansaul says:

    Another stupid internet article, would you not expect Lallana to heap praise on the iconic Gerrard who’s playing his final season. But by doing so you surmise that trophies aren’t his priority. You are castigating the player for what are nothing more than sound bites and trying to write an article based on throwaway remarks.

    • Paul says:

      “They have a choice as a club,” said Brendan Rodgers last August. “They don’t have to sell. You have a choice. Maybe Southampton’s objectives have changed. They were looking to be a [Big Cup] club, I believe. They obviously wanted to change. There might be one or two others who leave. It’s just the way it works.”

      Another throwaway remark? Liverpool are trading on past glories. Lallana must wonder what he left Southampton for.

  2. Kev says:

    Rubbish post tbh. Don’t quit the day job. If this is the day job, god help you

  3. slick says:

    Why ‘Very Average’ articles ruin the internet.

  4. Bob says:

    Lallana is so full of crap that I wouldn’t pay atention to anything he says to be honest

  5. Stu says:

    Bit silly this isn’t it? An article based on turns of phrases and sayings trying to create a point where there isn’t one. Dross.

  6. P says:

    I disagree with the previous comments, I think this article is making a solid point. As a Liverpool supporter for over a decade, I think this “average-ness” has been plaguing the club for years.

    When it comes to players in their prime, Liverpool almost always sign players from clubs of a lower status than themselves. The new signings are always harping in the media about how much they love the club, how proud they are to play for a team like this, they came to win trophies and so on and so forth, but they’re never just shutting up and showing up on the pitch.

    How many times have we heard from Lallana and Allen in the media this year compared to Coutinho? How many times has Emre Can or Sakho ran the length of the pitch to be front and center for the cameras in goal celebrations like Lovren?

    The past decade at Liverpool has been a revolving door of players who’ve already played the best football of their lives to get signed by Liverpool, and never hit those heights again in a red shirt. No one’s been able to establish any tenure in the squad and play with Gerrard like an teammate and not their childhood idol. You can count the exceptions – Owen, Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, Torres, Suarez – on one hand. Granted Torres flopped at Chelsea, and Owen was never the Owen he was at LFC again, but these true stars of the game were the only ones to ever match Gerrard since he became captain. And the club promptly sold all of them to spend the money on the Lallanas, Allens, Voronins, Cisses, Lovrens, Carrolls, etc. of the world.

    “Very Average Lallana” is the epitome of the “Very Average Liverpool” we’ve been watching since at least Benitez leaving, and arguably since far before then.

    Owen masked it for a few years, Gerrard masked it for a decade, Suarez masked it for a season, and unless Coutinho steps up to mask it now, there are ugly, basic, average times ahead for Liverpool, as Rodgers continues to sign Ings, Austin, and Delph, maybe brings Shelvey back, brings in a few more La Liga rejects, and continues to try and dress up Southampton and Swansea players in Liverpool shirts.

    There is a reason this club has won next to nothing since 2001, and its only been because of Gerrard that it hasn’t simply been nothing.

    Unfortunately, there’s no one who knows this more than the current crop of players in red shirts.

  7. P says:

    Sorry, I forgot Dan Agger and Pepe Reina. It’s too bad Rodgers did as well.

  8. gas zia says:

    These posts which are based on other newspaper columns/gossip/interviews are very shit. It’s like reading a post in the comments section that someone has taken far too much time on. Stick to the interesting, bizarre and funny stuff

  9. Bestie says:

    i can’t believe Lallana cost a whole 1 million more than Anderson!

  10. Doesn't Matter says:

    @P: I wouldn’t call winning about 7 cups since 2001 “next to nothing.” Bit of an exaggeration, really. Further, one of those cups was Liverpool’s fifth Champions League/European Cups, which I think allows them to receive one of those really nice, permanent ones. It’s not that I don’t somewhat agree with you, it’s just that I think you need to look a little later for them to become what is, barring a couple seasons, a borderline mid-table club. I think it’s more fair to say that it’s been within the last 8 or 9 years, so soon after their triumph in what was arguably one of the best (or at least entertaining) Champions League finals to date. Granted the squad then wasn’t setting the world on fire, at least in terms of quality, but they did manage to go far. Anywho, I might agree with you date in regards to their transfers (heck maybe even farther back than that). Of course, we all know all the good ones–those which you said have played alongside Gerrard as “equals,” and maybe a few more–but there have been far more crummy players brought in. Liverpool have become one of those teams that by the trendy, one-hit players, those with a hit season in them but little else. I never thought I’d say this but, it feels as there’s some parallels between Liverpool and Tottenham. Anyway, whatever.

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