thumbnail Hello,

The Liverpool manager was irked by the former England international's disparaging remarks on the £15-million man, who he believes should be mentioned alongside Paul Scholes

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has hit out at Alan Shearer’s criticisms of Joe Allen, branding the former England international a “so-called pundit”.

Speaking on the BBC's ‘Match of the Day’, Shearer called for Allen, whom Rodgers signed for £15 million from former club Swansea over the summer, to become more of an attacking threat.

However, the 39-year-old has dismissed the former Newcastle striker’s suggestions, instead comparing Allen to Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes.
10/1 Liverpool are 10/1 to draw 1-1 with Reading with William Hill

“I saw something the other day criticising Joe Allen for not playing risk passes. Unbelievable - so-called pundits who don’t know the dynamics of a team and how it functions,” Rodgers is quoted as saying by The Guardian.

“Joe’s role is to keep the ball. And that, in Britain, is a special talent. It is why Paul Scholes is still playing at his age. It is such a rare talent for a midfielder to rarely give the ball away.

“People have talked about him and his fee, but in time he will be an absolute bargain.

“He will have a long career here. He’s a wonderful talent and over time people will see what facets he’s got in his game.”

Allen has been deployed in a defensive midfield role at Anfield due to the extended absence of Lucas Leiva, and Rodgers has commended the 22-year-old’s “tactical disclipline”.

He added: “Where we have been really pleased with Joe is with his tactical discipline. Maybe he’s never going to score as many as Steven Gerrard, but he’s certainly got quality going forward.

“Offensively, he has far more than what a lot of people have seen, just because he’s having to play a more sitting role at the moment.

“I have played him in there because he knows how to control the game. He is courageous and will go and get the ball in any area.

“It is his tactical discipline to stay and keep the shape of the team, and offer the passing line, which has been really good though, and because of that we haven’t seen everything he can do going forward, but we will.”