Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFinding the perfect fit - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Finding the perfect fit - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Finding the perfect fit

Liverpool’s pursuit of Joe Allen might seem perplexing for some; another huge £15m+ transfer on a British player to compete with the other expensive British midfielders (Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Downing) already underperforming in the Liverpool centre.

Is it a case of making the same mistake twice, thrice, neigh four times? Perhaps not. Although the new manager Brendan Rodgers, poached from Swansea, might be keen to be reunited with players he has worked with before and has confidence in, there is possibly a more important reason for returning to Wales for the transfer.

As many avid 5 a side football players will know, a team can sometimes become much more than the sum of its parts simply with the addition of one key player: the cog that makes the machine tick. The idea of a unified group performing better than a team of disjointed and selfish stars is not new, however what is sometimes overlooked is that it is often just one player that can turn a team into something wonderful.

I have played in a number of small-sided football teams and the level of talent has been mixed, and actually the most successful of these was not the most gifted. The team in question had been scraping together average-to-poor results until a new player was found to boost the ranks, a relatively-skilful but largely ‘tidy’ midfield player. Sound familiar to Allen? The effect was immediate. Somehow he linked the play between the other teammates immaculately. Moves glided, goals flowed, and the team ran through to a cup semi final before injury and illness robbed us of our lynchpins and victory.

Sometimes the all-important addition can be a striker to finish the moves, sometimes it’s that key cog in midfield. Arguably, given Liverpool’s awful finishing and goals-for record last season, someone to put the ball in the back of the net might be a better addition, but clearly Rodgers feels differently. And who knows, the effect of Allen might be immediate.

Joel writes for Powerleague, the UK’s leading five a side provider.