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Joe Allen

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Joe Allen
AUT vs. WAL 2016-10-06 (135).jpg
Allen lining up for Wales in 2016
Personal information
Full name Joseph Michael Allen[1]
Date of birth (1990-03-14) 14 March 1990 (age 27)[1]
Place of birth Carmarthen, Wales
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Stoke City
Number 4
Youth career
1997–2000 Tenby
2000–2007 Swansea City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2012 Swansea City 127 (7)
2008 Wrexham (loan) 2 (1)
2012–2016 Liverpool 91 (4)
2016– Stoke City 43 (6)
National team
2005–2006 Wales U17 10 (1)
2006–2007 Wales U19 4 (0)
2007–2011 Wales U21 14 (2)
2009– Wales 39 (2)
2012 Great Britain 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:16, 30 September 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:43, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Joseph Michael Allen (born 14 March 1990) is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Stoke City and the Wales national team.

He began his career at Swansea City, making his first-team debut in January 2007 at the age of 16. Allen played in 150 matches across all competitions in six years at the Liberty Stadium, also having a loan at Wrexham. During his time at Swansea, they won two promotions, going from League One to the Premier League. In 2012, he joined Liverpool for £15 million, signed by his former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers. Allen spent four seasons at Anfield making 132 appearances. In July 2016, he signed for Stoke City for a fee of £13 million.

A full international for Wales since 2009, Allen has earned over 30 caps for his nation, and represented Wales at UEFA Euro 2016, helping the team to reach the semi-finals. He represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

Early life[edit]

Born in Carmarthen,[1] Allen was raised in the Pembrokeshire town of Narberth, and is a former student of Narberth Primary School and Ysgol y Preseli.[2][3] He is a fluent Welsh speaker.[4] Allen started his career playing in local team Tenby up to the age of 10.[5][6]

Club career[edit]

Swansea City[edit]

Allen was part of the Swansea City youth set-up from the age of nine. As a first-year scholar in the youth team in the 2006–07 season, he featured as an unused first-team substitute in a 3–0 away win over then Premier League side Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup.[7] Two weeks later, when Allen was just 16, Swansea manager Kenny Jackett gave him his debut in the FAW Premier Cup away tie to local Welsh Premier League side Port Talbot Town. He played the first half of the match, as Swansea lost 2–1 after extra time.[8] Allen made his league debut for Swansea as a 75th-minute substitute for Andy Robinson in a 6–3 home defeat to Blackpool on 7 May, the final day of the League One season, as Swansea missed out on a play-off position under new manager and former team captain Roberto Martínez.[9]

Allen playing for Swansea City in 2011

Allen made a first start on 14 August 2007, in a 2–0 home win over Walsall in the first round of the League Cup. He was named man of the match for his performance, which included assisting in the first goal by providing a left-footed chipped cross to Paul Anderson. Two days later, Martínez awarded Allen his first professional contract, to keep him at Swansea until 2010.[10] Allen started in the next round of the tournament at home to Reading, and again received the man of the match award despite a 1–0 loss.[11] He made 14 appearances over the campaign, six in the Swans' victorious capture of the League One title.

The following season, Swansea's first in the Championship, Allen struggled to get into the first team due to competition from midfielders Darren Pratley, Ferrie Bodde, Owain Tudur Jones, Jordi Gómez and Leon Britton. On 7 October 2008, Allen joined Conference Premier club Wrexham on a one-month loan deal,[12] and scored a goal from 25 yards on his debut for the North Wales team the same day, in a 3–1 win over York City at the Racecourse Ground.[13] His loan was curtailed after only one more match, when he damaged ankle ligaments and was sidelined for a month.[14] Allen returned from the injury in December, going back into the Swansea squad at home to Barnsley; regular midfielder Bodde had been ruled out for the remainder of the season as a result of injury.[15] With Swansea 2–0 down and playing terribly, manager Martínez was prompted to bring Allen on from the bench; the team went on to earn a late 2–2 draw and, despite only playing 25 minutes, Allen once more received the man of the match award.[16] On 5 April 2009, Allen came on as a 68th-minute substitute for Mark Gower, and 20 minutes later scored his first goal for Swansea in a South Wales derby 2–2 draw away at Cardiff City.[17] At the end of the season, he signed a new three-year contract until 2012.[18]

After frequently being injured in the 2009–10 season, Allen returned to regular first-team football at the start of the 2010–11 season. A string of impressive performances prompted manager Brendan Rodgers to play Allen in the South Wales derby in November 2010, with Allen receiving the man of the match award in the 1–0 win. He played 40 league matches and scored twice over the Championship campaign, and featured for the full 90 minutes as Swansea won promotion with a 4–2 victory over Reading in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium. However, he scored an own goal in that match.[19]

A few days prior to the beginning of the 2011–12 Premier League, Allen signed a new four-year contract with Swansea until 2015.[20] He played 36 out of 38 top-flight fixtures that season, scoring four goals. On 3 December 2011, he was sent off for two bookings in a 4–2 loss to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.[21]

Liverpool[edit]

Allen warming up for Liverpool in 2012

On 10 August 2012, after passing a medical at Melwood,[22] Allen signed a long-term contract with Liverpool in a deal worth £15 million, following manager Rodgers to Anfield.[23] He made his Premier League debut on 18 August 2012, starting in a 3–0 loss against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.[24] He started Liverpool's next match of the league campaign against Manchester City, where he was voted man of the match on the club's official website by fans and journalists.[25] He went on to win the Liverpool Player of the Month award for August 2012.[26] Allen scored his first goal for Liverpool on 27 January 2013 in a 3–2 defeat to Oldham Athletic in the fourth round of the FA Cup.[27] He scored his first European goal on 21 February in a 3–1 win over Zenit Saint Petersburg in the UEFA Europa League.[28] On 20 March, it was announced that Allen would be ruled out for the remainder of the 2012–13 season, with him requiring surgery on his left shoulder.[29]

On 5 May 2014, Allen scored his first goal for Liverpool in the 2013–14 Premier League season with a header from a corner to give Liverpool the lead in a 3–3 draw against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.[30] Allen played 26 times for Liverpool in 2013–14 as the side narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.[31] In the 2014–15 season, Allen made 32 appearances as the side finished in 6th position.[32] Allen was praised when he played the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 win against Manchester City, where he outplayed City star Yaya Touré.[33] On 13 April 2015, Allen scored the second goal in a 2–0 win over Newcastle United, his first at Anfield.[34]

Before the start of the 2015–16 season, Allen suffered an injury during one of the pre-season matches and was ruled out for a month.[35] On 13 January 2016, he scored a last-minute equalizer in a 3–3 home draw against league leaders Arsenal.[36] Thirteen days later, he scored the winning penalty in a shootout against Stoke City to send Liverpool to the 2016 League Cup Final.[37] Allen was an unused substitute for Liverpool as they lost the final on penalties to Manchester City.[38] Allen did play in the 2016 UEFA Europa League Final against Sevilla on 18 May 2016 in Basel where despite taking the lead Liverpool were beaten 3–1.[39] At the end of the season Allen expressed his desire to play regular football.[40]

Stoke City[edit]

On 25 July 2016, Allen joined Stoke City on a five-year contract for a reported fee of £13 million.[41] Allen made his Premier League debut for Stoke on 13 August 2016 in a 1–1 draw away at Middlesbrough.[42] Speaking after his move to Stoke, Allen stated that he 'had to move on' from Liverpool in order to get regular playing time.[43] Allen scored his first goal for Stoke on 24 September 2016 in a 1–1 draw against West Bromwich Albion.[44] Allen then scored against Manchester United on 2 October 2016 as Stoke earned their first point at Old Trafford since 1980.[45][46] Allen continued his goal scoring run with both goals in a 2–0 win against Sunderland earning Stoke their first victory of the 2016–17 season.[47][48] In November 2016, Allen was included in the 40-man shortlist for the UEFA Team of the Year.[49] He scored a vital winning goal against Crystal Palace on 11 February 2017.[50] Allen made 39 appearances in 2016–17, scoring six goals, as Stoke finished in 13th position.[51][52]

International career[edit]

Wales[edit]

Allen playing for Wales in 2016

Soon after receiving his first professional contract for Swansea City in August 2007, Allen was called up for the Wales under-21 team in a friendly match away to Sweden. He scored the winning goal in a 4–3 victory.[53]

In May 2009, Allen made his debut for the senior Wales team as an 80th-minute substitute for Jack Collison during a friendly against Estonia. Wales, who won 1–0 in Llanelli, were fielding their youngest team ever, with an average age of 21.[54] He made his first start for Wales in a 2–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group G match against Switzerland at his club's Liberty Stadium in October 2011.[55] He was awarded the prize for the Wales' Player of the Year for 2012 in October of that year.[56]

Allen captained Wales for the first time in the absence of Ashley Williams through injury on 4 June 2014 against the Netherlands.[57] He played throughout the nation's successful qualification for UEFA Euro 2016. On 13 November 2015, in a 3–2 home loss to the Dutch, he had a penalty saved by Jasper Cillessen, but Joe Ledley scored from the rebound.[58]

At UEFA Euro 2016, Allen set-up Aaron Ramsey's goal in a 3–0 win over Russia on 20 June, which allowed Wales to top their group and advance to the knock-out round of the tournament.[59] Wales were eliminated following a 2–0 defeat to eventual champions Portugal in the semi-final of the tournament on 6 July;[60] Allen was named to the team of the tournament for his performances.[61]

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Allen chose to be included in Team GB's 2012 Summer Olympics football squad.[62] Allen was one of five Welsh players including captain Ryan Giggs, but a mistake in the official Team GB programme for their first match described Allen as English.[63]

Style of play[edit]

Allen is a hard-working, tactically disciplined and tenacious, albeit not overly physical, midfielder, who is capable of aiding his team both creatively and offensively courtesy of his ability to transition the ball from defence to attack effectively after winning back possession. A versatile and gifted player with a low centre of gravity and quick feet, he is capable of playing in several midfield roles. Due to his vision, composure in possession, efficient passing, and ability to dictate the tempo of his team's play in midfield as a playmaker, Allen has been described as the "Welsh Xavi" and as the "Welsh Pirlo" by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.[64][65][66][67][68][69]

Personal life[edit]

Allen is married to Lacey, and they have a son. Inspired by her involvement in animal welfare, he adopts hens to save them when they can no longer lay eggs.[70] Allen's brother, Harry, lost his hearing when he was three-years-old due to meningitis and Joe became ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss Cymru in March 2015.[71] Harry also played football and became captain of the Welsh deaf futsal team.[72]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Allen playing for Stoke City in 2016
As of match played 30 September 2017
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Swansea City 2006–07[73] League One 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2007–08[74] League One 6 0 3 0 2 0 3[a] 0 14 0
2008–09[75] Championship 23 1 2 0 1 0 26 1
2009–10[76] Championship 21 0 1 0 0 0 22 0
2010–11[77] Championship 40 2 2 0 3 0 3[b] 0 48 2
2011–12[78] Premier League 36 4 2 0 1 0 39 4
Total 127 7 10 0 7 0 6 0 150 7
Wrexham (loan) 2008–09[79] Conference Premier 2 1 2 1
Liverpool 2012–13[80] Premier League 27 0 2 1 1 0 7[c] 1 37 2
2013–14[81] Premier League 24 1 1 0 1 0 26 1
2014–15[32] Premier League 21 1 5 0 0 0 6[d] 0 32 1
2015–16[82] Premier League 19 2 2 1 5 0 11[c] 0 37 3
Total 91 4 10 2 7 0 24 1 132 7
Stoke City 2016–17[51] Premier League 36 6 1 0 2 0 39 6
2017–18[83] Premier League 7 0 0 0 1 2 8 2
Total 43 6 1 0 3 2 47 8
Career total 263 18 21 2 17 2 30 1 331 23
  1. ^ Appearances in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs
  3. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ Appearances in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

Allen with Wales in 2011
As of match played 5 September 2017[84][85]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Wales 2009 2 0
2011 4 0
2012 6 0
2013 3 0
2014 4 0
2015 4 0
2016 11 2
2017 3 0
Total 37 2

International goals[edit]

Wales score listed first, score column indicates score after each Allen goal.[84]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 5 September 2016 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 32  Moldova 2–0 4–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 6 October 2016 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria 33  Austria 1–0 2–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Swansea City

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Positive Premiership start for former Preseli lad Joe". Fishguard Today. 6 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Last two games like cup finals". BBC Wales. 22 April 2010. 
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  6. ^ Shaw, Chris (24 January 2013). "'I always tried to watch Zidane'". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
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  81. ^ "Games played by Joe Allen in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
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  83. ^ "Games played by Joe Allen in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
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External links[edit]