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26 Feb 2015

He's Out: Rodgers explains why 'outstanding' £20m star will miss Besiktas. Mistake?

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After a middling start to the season, Philippe Coutinho is now in a rich vein of form for Liverpool, but the Reds will miss out on Coutinho's attacking precision tonight as Brendan Rodgers has decided to leave him in England. In his pre-Besiktas press conference on Wednesday, Rodgers explained the reason why he left the 'outstanding' Brazilian at home.

Speaking to reporters, Rodgers told reporters:

“I had to leave out Coutinho [as] he’s played a lot of games consecutively for us.

"This was a game that I’d earmarked to give him some recovery in knowing he can stay at home and get ready for the weekend".

Some may argue that it's a massive gamble to leave one a key player out of such an important game, and I can see that point of view, but for me, Rodgers is right with this particular decision.

One of the most positive things about this season is that Liverpool's forward progress is no longer dependant on one player. Indeed, in recent months, the Reds have consistently won games without Gerrard, Sturridge, and Sterling, which proves that everyone is pitching-in and making an impact.

The same applies with £20m-rated Coutinho. Like Gerrard et al, he is an important player, but it's equally important for the Reds to be maintain the ability to win games without the club's best players.

Granted, with seven other players already missing, there's an element of risk to the decision, but it's a calculated risk, and one that's arguably worth taking, especially with Man City to come on Sunday.

The team Rodgers puts out tonight will almost certainly be good enough (on paper) to get a positive result against Besiktas, and if Liverpool lose the game, it won't be because Rodgers failed to play Coutinho.



  1. I agree. It's nice for us to still go into games with confidence despite missing key players and this is a bold, correct decision from Rodgers as he has to carefully manage the Thursday and Sunday playing shedule. I would have gone further and left Sturridge out too.

  2. Besiktas snuffed Coutinho out at Anfield a tactic that worked, now they will have have to do something else - good management.

  3. Aren't we joint with Arsenal in the league for teams with different scorers. I think it was 14 in total.
    It's good to see that we potentially have goal scorers coming from so many different positions. If only we'd had a striker in form or uninjured for the most part of the season.

  4. That is what has been great about this season. Last season - it was only Suarez and Sturridge on the goal list in almost every game. We have different scorers who are scoring important goals and not fodder goals when the match has been settled like some did last season. The benefit of Suarez leaving is that players like Sterling and Coutinho have matured so much more by making valuable contributions.

  5. Leaving one player out should never be a mistake. For a decade we were all about "what if Gerrard leaves" and "what if Gerrard gets injured". I'm happy to know that it is now about the system driving the players and not the players or a player driving the system.

  6. Not a "bitch" in JK's article and five posts without a Rogers gripe. The times they are a changing!

  7. I also was impressed with Besiktas' tactics last week, especially the constant pressing style they used which seemed to flummox our players at times.

    Southampton tried it last weekend and couldn't keep it up for that long.

    It's going to be a tough game today.

  8. I agree with it being a good decision and the team should be good enough to win without him. It's good to see that with 7 player out who could all argue start/be effective coming on we can still see a team that can get the job done.
    The only thing I find odd here is how Rodgers suggests he 'earmarked' the game for a rest for Couts. That suggests he did it a month ago or so. Why would anybody 'earmark' and away European game as a 'rest' game for a player before knowing the result. If we had lost/drawn would Couts be rested? I think BR is phrasing it like his Sterling decision against Villa. I think maybe he made a decision based on results after last Thursday rather than 'earmarked' it. I'm sure I'm being pedantic but it struck me as odd.

  9. Liverpool XI: Mignolet, Toure, Lovren, Skrtel, Moreno, Ibe, Can, Allen, Sterling, Sturridge, Balotelli.
    Substitutes: Ward, Manquillo, Lallana, Borini, Brannagan, Williams, Lambert

  10. Skrtle is captain

  11. Cameron Brannagan from the accadamy

  12. position, some background maybe?

  13. Attacking midfielder or 10, quite rapid, nice passing and movement. A clever player, quite hard to read. Likes to be direct and is good at feeding wingers. I like him a lot actually, but not sure he's got the athletic capabilities to succeed at the very top.

  14. Allen and Can have some real chemistry. You can see they both read the game in similar ways. Very encouraging but already concerned about a gap opening up between our midfield and defence. No guaranteed result here.