Currently enjoying his best ever season for Coventry City in terms of goals and assists, it nonetheless feels as if Jamie Allen is the profile of player that the club should be looking to improve upon if the ambition is to kick-on over the long-term. A diligent, hard-working midfield player who has shown this year that he can chip in with goals on a reasonable basis, Jamie Allen may argue that he could hardly be doing anything more to justify both his short and long-term place in the team.
Jamie Allen’s improved output this season appears to have been the result of Mark Robins figuring out the best role for the midfielder. In the past, Allen has struggled in an orthodox central midfield role due to his lack of a passing range, while his inability to control the ball in tight areas and make quick decisions with the ball has hampered him further forward. This season, Allen has been utilised in a hybrid role between the two positions, sitting deep to make it a midfield three out of possession to then allow him to make late runs further forward. It is a role that focuses on his running power, which is clearly his greatest asset, rather than asking him to produce technical skill that he doesn’t possess.
Someone who requires talented players around him to get him into the game, Jamie Allen has shown this year that he can be effective when things are on-song. However, it is when that structure isn’t quite working where the frustration lays with Allen, as he can then become rather anonymous, making off-days for other players worse for the team. Unless he can suddenly develop greater technical ability in order to influence games directly, the sentiment around Jamie Allen at Championship-level is likely to remain that his team would be better off with a more naturally talented player in his place.