Something rather strange is happening in the Potteries. A person that looks like Joe Allen is performing great acts of attacking brilliance for Stoke. Maybe there is some sort of rational explanation, but I can’t seem to find it.
This mysterious figure was at it again on Monday night. He created two goals as the Potters defeated Swansea 3-1 at the Bet365 Stadium.
Unsubstantiated rumours that an alien craft landed in the Staffordshire area in September have been doing the rounds, though.
Not like we have ever seen
This alien imposter is doing a far better impression of an attacking midfielder did than the real Joe Allen ever did. The figure formerly known as Joe Allen sat in midfield. And while tidy was not the most creative or productive player.
He used to be effective and quietly useful for the likes of Swansea and Liverpool. Much-maligned for not being the creative hub of the team, Liverpool sold him to Stoke. His £13million arrival was met with a mixed reaction by the Potters fans.
Some sceptics believed that a player of his limited ability was probably overpriced. It turns out the old Joe Allen probably was not worth his transfer fee. The Joe Allen who has appeared in the last few months is more than justifying his transfer fee.
A superb number ten
In the last few months, Joe Allen has thrived as a number ten for Stoke. His statistics of four goals and two assists do not seem that impressive for a Premier League player.
However, those stats are just from Allen’s last five top-flight appearances for the Potters. The Welshman is now, in fact, Stoke’s top scorer this season. It has been an incredible turnaround for a player who has shown very little of his current abilities and form previously in his career.
It seems the number ten role has brought out the best in the midfielder who had previously divided opinion. Some rather harshly called him useless and a waste of a shirt at Liverpool. The criticism was no doubt hurtful for the midfielder.
However, it was worth remembering at Swansea he did have very good statistics for passing the ball during Brendan Rodgers stint at the Liberty Stadium. He was even nicknamed ‘the Welsh Pirlo’, that is how high Allen was rated during his early career.
Joe Allen has never been a poor player, but I doubt anybody, not even the player himself believed he could produce the type of displays he has in recent Premier League games.
The 26-year-old’s stats show that he has been more effective in the English top-flight than Manchester United’s world record signing Paul Pogba this season. However, he hasn’t had as many different hair styles as his French counterpart. Joe’s hair is classic rock star style!
Allen can help Stoke progress this season
It now seems to be a common theme for Stoke to start a Premier League campaign poorly, only to finish ninth-place in the English top-flight. The Potters endured another poor start to the campaign, but with the help of their new attacking midfielder, they have now moved into midtable.
Much was expected of Mark Hughes’ side this season and the Potters are odds of 5/2 to finish in the top-ten of the English top-flight once again.
The way the Potters’ Welsh maestro is performing it would not be a real surprise if they finish in the top half of the table and progressed this season.
Joe Allen has taken a lot of stick in the last few years. He deserves any praise that comes his way as he is the ultimate professional, even if he is an impostor.
Wherever the real Joe Allen is I just hope he has not had to endure too much probing. He has already suffered enough having to play for Liverpool.
Has Joe Allen found a new permanent position at number ten?