The dust is settling on an international break no one wanted and very few cared about. Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge of England may have been more eagerly anticipated if it had taken place further into the season. But coming so soon after the end of a depressing Euro 2016 for England, and almost fully two years before the World Cup, you can be forgiven for deciding you simply didn’t care about England’s victory over Slovakia.
Though one player who didn’t embarrass himself playing for England at Euro 2016 is Adam Lallana, the man who got the new England regime off to a winning start with a very late goal.
A quick look through a list of Lallana’s appearances will show you that he’s subbed off the pitch more often than he plays 90 minutes. Last season, Lallana spent 2113 minutes on the pitch in the Premier League. Players like Simon Mignolet and Nathaniel Clyne were closer to – or over – the 3000 mark.
It’s perhaps a slightly odd stat. Lallana doesn’t seem like a particularly unfit player, but at the same time, he is a player who tracks back often and presses hard. He’s exactly the kind of player you’d expect Jurgen Klopp to take a shine to. It’s the sort of honesty he admires.
And it was Lallana who came up with the goods for England in the 95th minute after starting the game. The former Southampton man played 90 minutes for Liverpool against Tottenham the week before and even had a golden chance blocked by Toby Alderweireld right at the death after he sprinted from the halfway line to find himself in the box.
So are we seeing the rebirth of Adam Lallana as an all-action, right-to-the-death player?
His performances show the all-round nature of his game: he scored 18.25 FanDuel points in game week three, but it’s where he gets his points that are interesting. Tackles made, clearances made and chances created are all areas in which he scores points, as well as interceptions made and completed passes. That’s the mark of a true all-rounder, helping out his team going forward, but also defensively. The points show he’s not just making the odd tackle out on the wing, but actually making clearances for his team in defensive areas, as well as creating chances and not wasting possession.
Liverpool’s renaissance man could be the man to put in your team to win you points this season in FanDuel, who will match your first deposit all the way up to £400.
Lallana is clearly buying into Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy, and it’s bearing fruit for both club and country. Two games worth of 90 minutes in a row – and two chances in stoppage time – don’t mean that everything has changed. But Lallana is winning points and playing well. So he might be more than just the man to inspire Liverpool this season. He might also be the man to inspire your fantasy team!
Think you know football? Prove it and win big money: http://po.st/FanDuelEd400