Adam Lallana: Inside the body and mind of a Liverpool player - the 'X factors'
What about the parts of a game footballers cannot wholly prepare for – the variables over which they don't have full control? Here, Adam discusses the impact supporters have on matches and on the players themselves...
“It’s not just cliché, fans really can make a difference…”
The supporters can impact a game probably more than they can imagine, honestly. When the crowd are singing, they’re up and in that good mood, you really do feel it out there on the pitch. It lifts you personally, us as a team and does make a difference.
“The manager is right, we wouldn’t have beaten Dortmund without the fans…”
I remember coming out for the second half and I think the first ball we played into the channel, Divock was running after it and the fans… the noise that came out of the Kop was incredible. It made us all think ‘if we get a goal here, just one goal, then it’s on’. That just sums up what the fans can do when you need them.
“It’s always nice when the fans sing my name...”
Probably during a game, you don’t really take it in too much or sometimes even be aware that it’s happened because you’re so focused and engrossed on the game. But my sister has reminded me it’s happened a few times – and it’s nice for your family as well if they’re hearing the fans chant your name. They’ve got the same name after all!
“Getting used to Anfield being my new home was something I needed to do…”
I remember my first game at Anfield against Aston Villa. I was a substitute and I was on the sideline warming up and feeling a little bit like a stranger. I remember it like it was yesterday, to be honest. At that time, I obviously didn’t have any relationship with the fans because I’d never played in front of them before, the same with my teammates, and then just the fact of being on a different home pitch. It was something I had to adapt to and get used to. Now? I’ve never felt more at home than I do right now.
“I appreciate fans’ support online, but I try not to read too much of it…”
People will sometimes send me bits and pieces and of course it’s always nice to see. But it’s important you don’t become reliant on it. I know the reality is at some point in my career, there’s going to be another point where you have a bad spell or a bad game – and off the back of that, people will talk and have opinions. Maybe then you might get people criticising you and then people might send you things about what ex-players or pundits have said about you, so it’s important you don’t get too high when things are going well and you don’t get too low when things are going badly. You need to keep a good balance and a good perspective. At the end of the day, I am lucky to be doing something I love and with it comes good times and bad times.