3 Feb 2015

Rodgers raves: 'Fantastic' Liverpool star is just like 'world-class' £68m duo. Agree?

After a month of rampant speculation, the transfer window is now closed, and although Liverpool failed to sign any new players, the club did manage to complete one significant deal, which should make the majority of Reds fans happy.

According to The Guardian last night:

"Philippe Coutinho has agreed terms on a new contract to 2020 at Liverpool. An agreement has been reached, and a signature on the contract is expected imminently".

This is great news. For me, Coutinho is the Peter Beardsley of the current Liverpool team, and like Beardo, he is one of those players who generates immediate excitement whenever he touches the ball.

Brendan Rodgers is convinced that Coutinho will become a 'world class' player for Liverpool, and when asked who the Brazilian resembled, Rodgers compared him to two of Europe's 'world-class' midfielders. He enthused:

“The type of player you look at is Modric [and] Toni Kroos. [They] don’t get as many goals as their technique suggests, but that goes back to their role in the team: to sit behind the ball and create for others, not score 15 or 20 goals a season".

Rodgers' comments are (IMO) slightly confusing here:

* Modric (reportedly the subject of a £48m bid from Man Utd) and Kroos (who cost Real Madrid £20m) operate much deeper than Coutinho. They're ostensibly deep-lying midfield playmakers, so the comparison is a little disingenuous.

* Coutinho plays much higher up the pitch, usually as a number-10, and the primary role of any player in that role is to score/create goals. A more accurate Real Madrid-themed comparison (in terms of playing style and/or position on the field) is James Rodriguez.

* As much as I rate Coutinho, his goals/assist record is in serious need of improvement. This season, for example, he has 2 goals in 31 appearances, which simply isn't good enough for an attack-minded number 10.

* Additionally, Coutinho has only 4 assists in all competitions, which once again, needs to improve.

Stats don't tell the full story, but if Liverpool have genuine ambitions of consistently challenging for the title/Champions League, then Rodgers needs to demand more of an end product from players like Coutinho. Instead, he's basically absolved the Brazilian of responsibility for scoring goals on a regular basis, which is arguably a questionable way to proceed.

Coutinho, Lallana et al need to feel the fire, and they should be under pressure to regularly score goals. Just look what happened in the first part of the season as a result of the collective failure (of LFC's attacking midfielders) to regularly contribute: Liverpool struggled to score, and ended up languishing in mid-table mediocrity.

Coutinho is playing well overall, but if he maintains his current goal rate (i.e. roughly one every fifteen games), then he needs to be replaced in the team with a number 10 who scores on a more regular basis. It's not about the individual, it's about the team, and Liverpool are never going to consistently scale the heights unless more is demanded of the club's attacking midfielders.

Author:



110 comments:

  1. Very fair and well put arguments Jamie. The past few weeks he has stepped up again and I believe the goals will eventually come as well - he has greatness in him

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  2. Rickie Lambert.


    That is all.

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  3. Rodgers has a role for Coutinho which I think you misunderstand.
    He's a playmaker and the Modric and Kroos references are accurate imo.Just that Madrid deploy this type of player deeper than most.He often comes deep in to pick up the ball in any event.
    Assists have been low coz we had nobody to pot them up front.A better stat to look at would be key passes.
    Fabregas has got many assists this season but dats coz Costa's been banging them in to complete the assist.
    With Sterling's new role and Sturridge back, our lil Maestro is gonna be devastating.
    Against Madrid , he was de only one who took de game to them.
    Forget Hendo and Sterling, this guy is our future. And he's a LFC die hard.Which is what we need. Sterling's gonna go the highest bidder soon, Hendo is hopelessly average so Coutinho may well be our best bet moving forward.

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  4. In last 5-10 games Coutinho has really raised his game to a new level and now with Sturridge back from injury, Coutinho will have someone capable of making those runs and scoring from his through balls which will improve his stats.

    I am still surprised Brendan hasn't replaced one of Lambert, Balotelli and Borini though. Out of these only Balotelli is good enough but he doesn't fit the system. Don't mind Lambert as fourth choice though but should have sold Borini.

    I don't see why people rave about Lallana though, his presence hasn't improved us at all and IMO spending 25m on him is at par with wasting 20m on Downing.

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  5. Rodgers clearly stated that Coutinho has areas to improve, one of them being his scoring:
    "If he can continue to improve, and there are areas where he can improve like his goal-scoring, then he can get into that bracket of being world class."

    So it sounds to me like you and Rodgers are in complete agreement on that aspect of his game.



    As for his role in the team, I think Rodgers is quite correct to comment on the role he believes Coutinho fills. If Rodgers thinks the player's job is to sit behind the attackers and set up the play, not necessarily score goals, then he's obviously right. He is, after all, the manager who assigns that role in the first place. If he says Coutinho is not primarily required to score goals then that's all there is to it. What is disingenuous in my view is to ignore the substance of what he's saying (that they are all players who support the attackers and goal scorers in front of them) and instead pick on what are really quite inconsequential details such as how deep they sit, just to try and make a criticism.

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  6. I'd disagree on Lallana tho...he's miles better than Downing...Just that his role in the team isn't defined yet...Remember, we still shuffling our new signings to get the best out of them.Lallana and Coutinho's creative influence together is yet to take off but it will I reckon.

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  7. MR BR u can say whatever u want. We just wait n see end season result !

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  8. Lallana's role should be on the flank of a diamond

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  9. Also take into account earlier in the season when all Countinho had to look for when he had possession was a stationary Italian plank of wood in front of him. Coutinho is at his best now he has movement ahead of him.

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  10. Not required. Was he that good anyway?

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  11. Didn't he get two assists at the weekend? Now we finally understand though why we never try to sign players like Kroos or Modric. We already have one!

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  12. He would've been good business

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  13. Nope, BR said he needs to improve on that.

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  14. Because we have a number of attacking midfielders who haven't even turned 25 yet in our squad. Not to mention the quality we have in the reserves.

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  15. BR is wrong and stop siding with BR on everything. You bore me to hell. Coutinho is an ATTACKING PLAYER or ADVANCE PLAYMAKER, his primary role should be to score goals and make assists. Jordan Henderson's role should be compared to that of Modric and Lucas' role should be compared to that of Kroos. BR is just blatantly defending Coutinho's underwhelming attacking stats here.

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  16. Cant help but admire the way Chelsea do their transfer business. Realise they made a mistake with Salah and quickly get shut. Had he come to Liverpool we would have had another 2 seasons ' he has a great attitude in training'.
    During which time his value would decrease see Joe Allen. This happens so many times, very disappointing.

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  17. Why didn't we sign Dele Alli?

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  18. I though Ali was CM or DM

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  19. Hehe ten points for the sarcastic "does well in training" remark :-)

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  20. I thought he was an attacking CM..

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  21. They've only loaned him out.

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  22. You really don't see it with Lallana? Have a watch of his performance highlights against Swansea. One of our best individual performances this season. He dictates play, runs like a maniac, and produces some class moments... He's a quality player.

    I agree the fee was mental but given that his wages are probably half what a player of his type and ability would usually command, the whole deal probably works out as reasonable value. In theory we could have got a more famous international class creative midfielder on a free, but been lumbered with paying him £10m a year for 5 years... There was a decent article about this on Anfield Index, see what you think.

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  23. I believe Lallana is a class act, what he needs to do is tune in to the progressive play of Sterling, Coutinho and now Dan. He has the equal in technique just needs more games played with 3 amigos.

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  24. True! Not sure about shrewd, it's easy to be clever with £∞ to spend, but it is ruthless for sure.

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  25. I think rodgers will work very hard to add more goals to coutinho and sterling. My one worry about coutinho is that he can't seem to hit the ball hard enough and that suggests that his shot power is alarmingly weak

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  26. Yes but we had money to spend but that's another story...................
    Ruthless , yes , sums up the club.

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  27. Coutinho, Sterling, Marko, Lallana, Ibe. All these guys will push each other to perform better. Just need another class striker to finish the chances. Reckon Balo might improve alongside Studge in certain games, Borini and Lambert will defo be gone in summer. If Balo shows no improvement he will be gone too and we will have two new strikers along with Origi.

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  28. The loan to Fiorentina enabled them to acquire the prime target of Cuandrado. Either way it is shrewd business coupled with sub Schurrlie going for 20+ mill

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  29. In an interview last year Coutinho talked about his and BR's conversations about him playing as a No. 8, a creative central midfielder.

    "Coutinho: After Wigan away, where I didn't stop fighting, Brendan called me to his office and told me he's sure I can be a 'volanté' or a no. 8.

    Bellos (interrupts): But, that isn't your natural game?

    Coutinho: A number 8 role? Why not? I'm only a boy. Brendan showed me I can learn."

    In training, he had been working on aspects of his game which would enable a deeper role:

    "Coutinho: I'm working closely with mi amigo Pedro Philippou (trainer) and (Ryland) Morgans [...] I look at my teammates too. I work with Joe Allen sometimes
    to see how he uses his body to protect the ball. He's amazing at it."

    And later in in the interview:

    "Bellos: What about theory?

    Coutinho: DVDs. Brendaõ has given me DVDs of Valderrama, Valeron, Rui Costa, Francescoli to study over the holidays."


    The players BR had asked Coutinho to study weren't goalscorers, they were creators and competitors who provided attacking shape, were tactically flexible and produced all kinds of situations for the team, from breakaways to pressure possession, not from No. 10 but from a loose, mobile deep midfield position which would include some defensive responsibilities.



    So just to be clear: you may not think Coutinho is suitable for a deeper role, but the player and his coach disagree. Which is interesting isn't it. Go ahead and say he's not, if you like -- but remember not just some boring people on the internet, but elite professional footballers you are disagreeing with too.



    It makes me very excited when I read things like this about Rodgers' coaching: that he doesn't let even his best players get comfortable, doesn't limit their development to just a single role. This seems like the best kind of management. As Adam pointed out, it's a version of just what JK is calling for in the article -- maintaining high expectations of players, asking them to keep working and developing, never to rest, never to stop fighting.



    Stop siding with BR? You need to give a better reason than just your ability to shout your opinions, particularly given that you seem in this case somewhat lacking in a full command of the facts ; )

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  30. Reply was good until dreaded ' Balo might improve'. This will not happen. Looking ahead if Ings is coming with Origi there is grounds for optimism. Also look at physical development of Ibe during his loan. Also watch Jerome Sinclair in the Academy

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  31. If Ings comes in along with Origi we need an experienced striker to replace Balo, Adriano of Shaktar or if we could somehow get Benzema. Purely on the basis that he cannot get any worse is why I think Balo will improve, with Studge there he'll get some space/chances. I like most don't expect him to do enough between now and end of season, but hope to be proved wrong.

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  32. Everything seems to be such an effort to Balo. Have to go along with judges like Mourinho and Mancini and put it down to a deluded ego trip by BR when he was looking at his Manager of the Year award

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  33. Apparently it was a 'take it or leave it' from the committee to BR who wanted Bony but the extra 10 mill + with little sell on value made it a no go to FSG.

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  34. Voted you up and after the last paragraph took it back. Your dead wrong about Hendo and Sterling is going nowhere.

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  35. I reckon Mino Raiola and Dave Fallows dreamt up this transfer. I can't imagine BR having had much to do with it. I also think it looks way dodgy and the sooner Mario is out of the club and we can burn the paperwork, the better.

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  36. I can see this comment disappearing.

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  37. For me Coutinho has always looked better in the 8 rather than 10 role. The more of the game ahead of him the better. That is why this formation has been so good for us. Coutiho will find space between different lines of the oppostion, be able to take them out of the game with his dribbling and set someone up. You don't see him breaking in to the box as much as other 10s do.

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  38. 4eva LFC, LFC 4eva11:27 am, February 03, 2015

    Surely Cortinho signing is great news for all us fans, the club made an offer and he has excepted apparently, if so then at least he hasn't dragged it out by having his manager try and hold the club to ransom.
    He has class on and of the pitch and just wants to play football that's what makes him so good at what he does, as for his goal scoring well let's just say that he can work on that, but its hard to teach young players how to be humble and thankful for the opportunity to just play for a club of Liverpool stature.
    I for one am very happy he will sign (if true).

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  39. Great he is signing but would love him & Sterling just to get their head up a little more often, there is a pass on, they don't need to beat three players every time they get possession.


    Am I going mad, are we paying a fee for Ings so we get him on a free in the summer? Wait, if he wants to come, get him free, if he doesn't, so what he's not that great.

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  40. Is he the second most expensive transfer in Liverpool's history, after AC? More then Suarez or Torres and something like Cuadrado?

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  41. Can you imagine what it's like behind the scenes at LFC this season? It must feel like a shark pool at times. I get the impression of a really cut-throat environment developing, which could backfire. This isn't Chelsea, problems can't just be solved by a generous application of cash. I've got some medium-term worries, put it that way.

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  42. I don't know, maybe. It's pointless comparing, really. Every deal is different and we don't have enough of the facts to make those kinds of judgements.

    What we know is that he cost a lot of money partly because a lot of people needed to get paid, including Bournemouth; partly because the selling club knew exactly how much money the buyer could afford to spend, and worked to get every penny; and partly because his *relatively* affordable wages made the overall deal good value after the *relatively* high fee.

    The amount of money the top English clubs have been able to spend in the last couple of seasons is unreal and totally out of line with the rest of football, so their market conditions are like another system entirely. It only really makes sense, if we want to criticise, to think of Liverpool's transfer budget in terms of the % spent on different areas of the squad. The actual amounts of money are so big and arbitrary as to be virtually meaningless.

    We appear to have spent about 20% of our transfer revenue on Lallana. That seems reasonable to me, given his importance to the squad, the many roles he's fulfilled, and the number of match-winning performances he's made so far. I'm sceptical about whether we could have got anyone better to perform his role for a similar level of investment.

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  43. Mt favourite game of last season was against Arsenal. Coutinho played left side of the diamond in that game. Personally I would say it was his best performance of the season. I would say THAT was HIS ROLE. So it seems that these things are just opinions and the manager who assigns the roles has a different one to you and Jaimie.

    Also like Orme says Rodgers did say he needs to improve those parts of his game. So why ignore that? Is it because it is boring?

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  44. Yes, of course, BR is an idiot and you know better. You really need to get your coaching resume over there to LFC as soon as possible. You could really teach him a thing or two. Maybe you'd keep him on as an assistant?

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  45. I know I was disappointed too.

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  46. One thing is for sure is that FSG can and will be ruthless. So many failures in the transfer market by Rodgers and Kenny , to American businessmen it's unacceptable to sell so many players at a loss. I think that's why they were so quick to agree to the proposed Lambert sale and actually make a small profit

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  47. Someone else has said that ... was it Coutinho himself? A good number 8 needs to have that kind of vision. The thing that would worry me are the defensive duties. I don't expect him to be an old fashioned tackler and the physical side of thing is fine, but it's more that he can fall asleep sometimes and not track players through the middle.

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  48. I get what you mean but when he is on his game his pressing and winning back possession are really good. I think this side has improved dramatically since he arrived and can (like his shooting) improve further. If they do he will be a worldie.

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  49. Match winning perfrmance? How much was from Suarez or Torres? Or even from Raul Meirelles in just 1 season, who was a lot cheaper. Oh man, how i love Coutinho's playing style. Now is the most important thing to secure Ings for the summer? Konoplyanka wil be free in the Summer, why not tide him with pre-contract. Some of the few quality foreifner who wants to join us. No, we have to much money and that kind of deal is for Italian clubs! Yes and i summer Brendan have a bigger market, like Markovic for 20 mil. I'm from Serbia but i know Kono is much better.

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  50. I think a fee would have had to have been paid anyway in the summer but I am not sure how much. I do know that a British club would have had to play more than a club from abroad. We might be paying one or two million more to guarantee his signing. It all seems a bit strange.

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  51. Jaimie most certainly does have an unusual angle of thinking sometimes!

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  52. I did a post quoting that interview as well which got modded!



    Heh. Brendaõ.

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  53. The radio presenter says “Speaking of improvement, I see you’re not that
    mild-mannered boy on the pitch anymore?”, to which Coutinho replies: “I
    owe thanks to Brendaõ (Brendan Rodgers) for that. After Wigan away,
    where I didn’t stop fighting – Brendan called me to office and told me
    he’s sure I can be a ‘volanté’ or a no. 8.”

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  54. I agree, he is happy to play every game and be important part of the team. Some other players, like Salah went to Chelsea to sit on the bench. Maybe in the future the players will be smarter and recognise they have a better chance to play in Liverpool.

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  55. I think Joe Allen needs to leave next season, he has had his chance and he does excel particularly at anything rather than passing and maybe pressing.

    He is a player we do not need.

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  56. How about just, 'Brendo'

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  57. To me, after last season I saw Coutinho as an AMC behind the strikers. He has a good eye for a pass and frees up tones of space. I think in the nest 1-2 seasons he is going to be as good as David Silva. Silva was nowhere as good as Coutinho was at this age.

    He just needs to add goals and assists. He is more than capable of getting 10 goals and 10 assists each season. He needs to be a bit stronger on the ball as well, he got bullied by Song quite easily.

    I think James Rodriguez and Coutinho are two very different players, James is a much complete and deadly player.

    Also, I am gutted we did not sign Dele Alli, mark my words this boy is going to turn out to be a great player. Once again, in my eyes, we have missed a gem.

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  58. Sort of... Big Little Brendan?

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  59. I think the Schurrle thing had much more to do with it. Salah not getting on the bench or Salah loaned means the same thing.

    Anyone else a touch skeptical about Chelseas transfer dealings. They seem to sell players for far more than one would expect. I have a feeling the fees getting muted and the fees actually getting paid are different. Just a way to circumvent FFP. Considering how corrupt world football is and how corrupt their owner is I wouldn't be surprised.

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  60. The first assist has not been talked about enough. Truly excellent.

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  61. Well I was half right.

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  62. These days, you're so desperate to defend Rodgers, and so in-thrall to the idea that football management is an intellectual vocation that only geniuses can undersyan that you are incapable of remaining objective. The proof of this is how you totally ignore that Coutinho *never* plays in the same position as Kroos or Modric.

    If he had played in similar roles for the bulk of his career then the comparison would be valid; he hasn't. Coutinho has played in midfield once (or possibly twice) in two years, and has predominantly been deployed as a number 10, or on the right/left of an attacking three.

    Rodgers may see Coutinho moving into a deeper role in the future, but until he does, the comparison to Kroos/Modric is pointless. It's like comparing Sterling to Kroos, or Sturridge to Zidane: complete and utter nonsense.

    I haven't ignored the 'substance' of what Rodgers has said; I've given my opinion on the part of his comments that I feel warrants discussion, and if you can't handle that, tough luck.

    You are a rampant Rodgers apologist, and that is clear to anyone with any objectivity. As such, it is pointless debating anything relating to him with you.

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  63. No, you do not understand. The label is irrelevant; Coutinho plays high up the field, just behind the strikers, thus he is an attacking midfielder, and the player in that role needs to score/create goals. A number 10 - which right now is the position Coutinho plays - cannot go a whole season just contributing 3-4 goals, and if a manager allows that, he is not doing the best thing for the team.

    An attacking player who operates just behind the striker needs to contribute more for the team, and if Rodgers is not demanding that, then it is a dereliction of duty.

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  64. Yes, Rodgers may be 'sure' that Coutinho can become a number 8, but that hasn't happened yet. That's the point. He mostly plays high up the field as a no. 10 or attacking mid, and until he plays regularly in a deeper role, he is not a no. 8.

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  65. Jesus, stop moaning. I deleted your other comment because you kept repeating it. You made your point twice, that was enough; don't then go and post pointless one-line comments repeating the same thing over and over.

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  66. Once, and you said it was your first article defending him. Second time you defended him I made that comment that got deleted. So, not repeating same thing over and over, you make it sound like I am some kind of dudaman...

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  67. I also mentioned where Coutnho has played also especially last year where he played in the left side of a diamond many times (and yes it was) and to my mind to best effect. In another post that didn't get past moderation I mentioned how he comes deeper and doesn't get in the box as much as a conventional 10.

    If we are going to use Rodgers comments to criticise him them we should also use them to justify. He never actually mentions a position. He says Type of player rather than a number or even role. He talks about that type of player "Toni Kroos, another of that type of wonderful footballer - great passer". So it's more about his function rather than position. he also says " Hopefully in the years to come, the goals will come more readily for him." Which doesn't sound like he is completely assuaging him of the duty.





    But more importantly what matters more is what the manager and player believe their role and position is rather than us armchair critics.

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  68. Really Jaimie, how come you can call any of of us an apologist and it doesn't work the other way arround?

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  69. You can see it, weather it happens or not doesn't matter...

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  70. What Coutinho and Rodgers *say* is totally irrelevant. What happens on the pitch *in practice* is the key, and Coutinho does not play in a Kroos/Modric role; he plays higher up the pitch as a number 10 and/or a left/right sided attacking midfielder. This is an irrefutable fact.

    And Coutinho has not played in a deeper role 'many times', and against Arsenal, he still didn't play in a Kroos/Modric role; he played further up the field.

    If Glen Johnson says he sees himself as a right-winger, does that make it so? No. He plays right back, or sometimes, right wing-back, so that is his position, irrespective of what Rodgers, or Johnson, say. The same applies to Coutinho.

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  71. Beardsley scored and created more than Coutinho- about 1 goal in every 3 games. Coutinho does more link up play than PB though as Beardo's midfield group were far superior and he could concentrate on playing further forward. Coutinho has the added responsibility for dropping off deeper to link the play although I agree nowhere near as deep as Kroos or Modric.

    I make him more of a no 8 than 10 in practice, but it is undeniable that he has had more than enough chances( some self created) to have a very respectable goals tally this season, and needs to up his game since goals and assists are the only true currency, not just looking good..

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  72. Big Little Big Brendan

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  73. So Coutinho himself said he Rodgers saw him as an 8. Coutinho has played in that position many times (especially last year) and in some of our best and his best performances (Arsenal anyone?) yet as you disagree Rodgers (who is the actual manager) and all of us who see him in that role are wrong? Lets agree to disagree there. An important point that Orme talks of is that Rodgers did say he needs to improve in his goal scoring so lets at least take in all information before throwing out accusations.

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  74. You're just a self apologist ;-)

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  75. The truth is what Jamie is saying is correct. B Rodgers needs to get more goals out of all the midfield players we have at the club.


    Coutinho(22), Lallana(26), Markovic(20), Sterling(20) are all top class attacking midfielders.


    Markovic(20) has been playing as Right wing back but when he eventually gets to play further forward he will need to contribute with goals.


    Coutinho(22), Lallana(26) and Sterling(20) should be given goal targets of 8-12 goals a season each


    The likes of Allen(24), Can(20) and Henderson(24) should also be given goal targets of 5-8 goals a season playing in centre midfield as their games to goals ratio is abyzmal, comical and shocking to say the least. And that is why we have average centre midfield, as in Allen(24), Can(20) and Henderson(24) there are three players who do the same thing very well. They all lack class and creativity in the final third and all do not score enough goals to the amount of games they play.


    B Rodgers needs to demand more goals from his midfielders, so the pressure can be taken off the strikers. And so club will have goals throughout the whole side.

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  76. Wow Harry Redknapp resigned

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  77. carry on with your blind faith

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  78. Yeah, as I say, the fees are crazy presently and comparisons are pretty pointless...

    Anyway what do people think of Markovic in Serbia? Have people started getting more intereted in Liverpool to follow his progress? Or are there other prospects like Kostic that people are more excited about?

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  79. You're an apologist for apologists, or an apologistist, if you will.

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  80. I really don't follow the league in Serbia. The best talents leave it before they show their potential. The last one who played superb for moere then 1 season was Jovetic. 30 years ago the ex-Yu League was exiting (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, etc). Then i fell in love with Liverpool and my son after me. Lot of people follow Liverpool before Markovic's arrival. My son watched last season game ag.MCity in LFC fan club with 300 people. I prefer to watch alone because i'm to nervous. My wife says that i watch the game like i prepare behind the touchline to be the next substitute. Once i was in regular pub, the band played and on TV was Suarez 4 goals against Norwich. At that moment 4 young guys started to sing You"ll Never Walk Alone. That's it, the report from Novi Sad, Serbia,

    \

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  81. Great post man, thank you for the report : )

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  82. What a load of drivel. I disagree with you, it's as simple as that. I happen to have a set of views that fit well with the Rodgers philosophy and I enjoy insights into his coaching methods. The difference between you and me is that I see the logic in what he says and you don't. There is absolutely nothing controversial about that and yet it repeatedly seems to set you off. The person who can't seem to handle disagreement here is you, you keep coming up with qualifications for me, suggesting I'm being purposely antagonistic, labelling me with some cute term that you think is meaningful, or in most cases just dismissing me out of hand. You can't seem to just stick to the argument, you always have to make some comment about the me. That says far more about you than it does me.


    Here's my point, because you're so wrapped up in your confused rant you've completely missed it: it doesn't matter if Coutinho plays in a slightly more advanced position. If his role in the team is to make passes to more advanced players then he's not going to score goals. If he's passing, he's not scoring. It's not complicated, is it? Rodgers wasn't commenting about where the player sits on the pitch, he was commenting on the type of football they play i.e. are they there to set up the play or are they there to get on the end of goal scoring positions. How on earth you come up with the notion that this is disingenuous is quite beyond me. I suppose if I were to take your approach to argument I'd label you a relentless critic, blinded by your own desperate need to find something wrong in everything the manager says. Would that be a fair assessment?

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  83. Yes, you've got the term right, but in fact what he does is he sets up the play for the apologist, who finishes it off. It's Italian, I think.

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  84. Saw an interesting stat earlier today.. Since coutinho has bee at liverpool, he has the 4th most assists in the premier league!

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  85. consistency is the key word.............

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  86. This has been dramatically censored. So it's OK for Jamie to label me as "desperate", an "apologist" and someone "not worth debating" but my comments about his point of view are either removed or re-written.


    I must give him credit though, he's captured the essence of what I was saying. Which means he understands it and, I suspect, probably thinks it makes sense in the end.

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  87. Exactly. The notion of position on the pitch is a distraction. Of course they occupy different parts of the ground but what Rodgers is trying to express is how they play is similar. A passer, a creator for others is not expected or necessarily needed to score goals. At least not in the Rodgers system. If he claims that Coutinho is not expected to score 15-20 goals a year then of course he's right. It's his system, his tactics, he's the one who sets the expectations. What the fans think is interesting but ultimately irrelevant. The notion that the manager is wrong to say what he expects of players in the system that he devises is really quite ludicrous.

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  88. ABSOFUCKINGLUTLEY!

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  89. Ah, you're thinking of the Apologistas, the early 20th century Manx separatists who believed that maintaining an incorrect opinion in defiance of all fact and reason was a precondition of enlightenment, and who sought to overthrow the despotic regime of the evil General Canwa through a heady blend of guerilla warfare, labour subversion, and tongue-in-cheek debating stratagems.

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  90. You're fooling yourself if you think there is a set role for a specific player based on his positioning on the field.
    Remember, we playing a 343 / 3421 formation with Coutinho given a roaming role hence why you'll often see him come in deep to pick up the ball and then use his vision moving forward.
    If he's creating enough and our strikers are clubbing in 20 + a season then there's no pressure for him to score more.
    Thing is, we haven't had a proven striker doing the business for us up front for a while so we now looking at him to pot a few more which is fair but we shouldn't forget his strengths before we lambast his weaknesses.

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  91. Diamond gives us a bit more width which is not bad imo but Hendo isn't gonna cut it on the flank.He offers little going forward. Isolated on the flank and asked to create something?Nah, don't think Hendo has that in his game.
    I'd rather work a 4132. Lucas as a sweeper,Hendo in the centre with Coutinho and Lallana on either end and then of course sterling n Sturridge up front.
    If we end up trailing from here, we can bring on Ballo, sub Hendo and have sterling come into a central attacking midfield position.

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  92. Look, we all admire Hendo's passion but it's not enough when you're of mediocre ability.Sure, he had a good run last season but so far he hasn't done much for us. He's now starting to get a few key passes in which is great but we taking a dig at Coutinho goals scoring ability when Hendo has missed sitters for us.
    Sorry but his ability is questionable in my opinion although we LFC fans appreciate a high workrate which he has so he gets the benefit of the doubt.
    As for Sterling, I honestly don't think he'll be around for too long really.I'd like him to but it's doubtful at best.
    Best we can hope for is a good swap deal with some decent cash from Madrid when they come knocking. :)

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  93. His ability is massively underrated. Some of his passing is fantastic and the rest is just darn good. He could do with scoring more but his all round game and understanding of the game is what makes him a really good player.

    As for Sterling I assume there will be a buyout clause in his new (quite substantial) contract. That buyout clause better be in the Suarez realms and I can't see any club paying that for a good few years. If reports are correct the only thing holding the new contract up is the way his agents are changing their organisation structure and who would get what from the deal. We may lose him in his prime if he is looking world class but that won't be for a few years but up until then he will be a very high standard prem player and that will do us a lot of good.

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  94. Read if you have spare time, or bored..
    I like your 4132, good formation that can be easily changed due to result, even without subs.. But diamond is one of formations I like best and you are wrong re Hendo and here is why..
    Hendo has a lot of creativity and end product. Showing that here has been tough as he squandered his first year and was told to fight for his life. Since than he made him self a regular starter by pace, very good positioning and pressing, and passes that were never a mistake leading to goal. Creativity was hidden with having Gerrard as the guy next to him who has a better vision, pass, shoot and is our legend-captain who he had to protect because of his lack of pace. With no Gerrard in the team he always performed much better in the final third and even with him Hendo has -regular- run ins which at least take one or two defenders off our players in counters and again regular fair number of first touch chances created per game.


    Milan 2002- 2007
    Pirlo
    Gatusso Seedorf
    Kaka.
    There is nobody like Pirlo in football today but Can has a fair share of football vision, passing accuracy(short and long), bursts in often and good enough- or at least I can see that being better with time, and is very good at defending which is why you don't need a Gatusso in the team. Hendo and Lallana invented pressing and pace and even with Hendo not being as creative as I said Lallana and the wizzard in front are more than enough crativity if helped just a bit by Can and Hendo, speccially with those two up front. Just remember how all of them 4 are good in pressing and defending- Couts wasn't in first 10 games or so and that was part of our problems, now he is a lttle menace without the ball, so with Sterling and Daniel being used to tactical part of wof work when the opposition having the ball, settled back 4(Moreno, Sakho, Skrtel, Flanno for me), a good keeper(Migs can still be that guy IMO, but buying better one is an option), we would conceede less than a goal per match, and score at least two. Lukas is there to ease the transition for Can and to provide cover for him so I would keep him, and our bench looks more than capable to maintain good form when 4 or even more players are out due to injuries and rest needed..

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  95. Good read...That back four you mention certainly looks de business...My only issue with the diamond is our lb and rb...Flanno and Moreno like to push up and operate as wingbacks if you like, and this is where we get our width from.
    With the diamond in place, we almost have too much width with a gaping midfield. Teams dat like to pass it through the centre will cause us issues.A yaya Toure like player, for example, would run into loads of space and basically have enough time to create something.
    With the 4132, we can push our wingbacks for width when needed but also have creativity down the centre and enough defensive numbers to hold when not in possession.
    It all depends whether we willing to push the opposing teams attackers to the wing and face the cross or allow them to look for something more centrally.We'll be really doing our job defensively once we can dictate this onto opposing teams and essentially control their attack.
    It really is a game by game scenario , based on our opposition's strengths and doing our homework. One style won't work on all teams and scenarios. Something which Rodgers is starting to realise and be more flexible in his approach.The one thing I was sceptical about him on our good run in 2013/14.
    All things said tho,, good result yesterday...2 very classy goals and a goal from Coutinho as well, which is what this article's about so kudos to him.
    LFC for life man...!

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  96. Yes, flexible.. Because Markovic is wasted wing back when possesion is 60-40 to the oppenents. And Flanno is more Arbeloa for me and Moreno Riise(or todays' Marcelo). Funily enough Arbeloa is still my player to mention when speaking about solid defensive full back that you don't expect to assist or score(though it coul happen).. And if assembled properly 442 diamond can be rock solid defensively- that is why Lalana and Hendo are on the flanks with their 13 km per game. I mean Milan played almost catenacccio some games winning one or two nil and opponents having 2 shoots per match...


    Games like yesterday are what make people fall in love with the club, and football in general.. I can't stop talking about that second goal, that is the masterclass we need, and with Sturridge taking the burden off their sholders, both Sterling and Couts can repeat that..
    Yes, for life...

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  97. Say what you want about Rodgers but the truth is, his man management is fantastic.If you can't see that, then you haven't been following our football since he took over.
    As far as Coutinho goes, don't confuse his role with his positioning on the field mate.Hopefully that cracker he scored yesterday will keep you naysayers quiet for a while.

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  98. The diamond is very similar to my suggested 4132, defensively that is but does leave space ahead of the sweeper...Imagine if we had Lucas playing at the bottom of the diamond we used last season. Doubt we would've conceded as many.

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  99. BR's man management is far from fantastic. I have been following football. You are contradicting yourself in second paragraph. First you tell me not to be confused with regards to Coutinho's primary role and then give me example of him scoring yesterday.

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  100. Dude, who cares who scores? As long as the ball goes in.Skrtel is our main cb but do u think we gonna moan if he pots in a few.C'mon. you arguing semantics mate.You overthinking it.


    And rodgers does have fantastic man management. If you don't see that, then you probably just don't like him.We all have those people that just rub us the wrong way. Don't let it cloud your judgement tho.

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