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Adam Lallana named England Player of the Year – what he did to deserve it

Tuesday 31st January 2017
Adam Lallana capped off a brilliant 2016 by being named England Player of the Year – Lallana becomes the only Liverpool player to win the award besides Steven Gerrard. Aside from a string of impressive performances with Liverpool, what else did Lallana do right in 2016 to deserve that award?

Adam Lallana started the year 2016 just like every other English footballer, however, the Southampton academy graduate was determined to make an impact in English football.  Being voted England Player of the Year must have come as a surprise to a few critics, but surely not to the man himself – the year had only gone according to plan.

Speaking to TheFA.com, Lallana said:

“This award is a huge honor. The last three winners were Rooney (2015), Rooney (2014) and Steven Gerrard (2012) so that just goes to show what a great achievement this is.”

In August 2016, one could see how well Lallana was working for his club, covering 13.1km in the game against Spurs (the best in the league at the time) and in the December fixture against Middlesbrough, Lallana produced one of his best performance in a Liverpool shirt – he was named Man of the Match after scoring two sublime goals.
Adam Lallana joined Liverpool from Southampton in 2014 for a hefty fee of £25 million, however, life in Merseyside was nothing compared to what he had enjoyed in the South Coast as he endured torrid spells of poor form and a dip in confidence. Critics were quick to assert that the Englishman was unworthy of the huge fee he commanded.

When Sadio Mané joined Liverpool last summer, it looked like Lallana's time with the Anfield giants was up – with Mané being seen as a direct replacement. However, Lallana did pick himself from the mud of dismal displays, being voted the Vauxhall England Player of the Year for 2016, a pointer to the fact that Lallana has truly come of age.

Why he deserves the award



Basically, Adam Lallana was the most outstanding player for England in 2016. Although the European Championships in France was a horrible one for the Three Lions, Lallana still managed to produce stellar performances for his country with every given opportunity.

Lallana reiterated this when he said to TheFA.com:

"Things have been going well this season for my club so that always helps. When you're playing well for your club then hopefully you can transmit your form into the national team and help out.”

He certainly did transmit his club form to the national team; Adam Lallana cemented his place in England's starting line-up, despite playing under three different managers in 2016 – Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, and Gareth Southgate. Jamie Vardy performed miracles for Leicester, but fell short of replicating that form for England; in 2016, Wayne Rooney also became England's most capped outfield player but that wasn't enough to help him retain the award he won last year.

So, Jamie Vardy and Wayne Rooney both came behind Lallana in second and third place respectively.

Perhaps Lallana's best moment for England in 2016 was when he scored that sublime goal that earned England a win in the World Cup qualifying game against Slovakia right at the death; his goal at Wembley against Spain also worthy of mention.

With three goals in 10 games for his country in 2016, it was clear why Lallana was chosen by the voters as the best English senior footballer in the year 2016.

Kingsley Ukpai

Kingsley is a football aficionado who craves to read, watch, play and write about the greatest team sport ever known to man. If you're talking football he'll be keen to listen to what you have to say. Loves to play Fantasy Football too.


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