19 Sep 2015

Anfield Travesty: The shocking stat that proves Rodgers is ruining £25m Liverpool 'genius'

Last season, 'genius' attacker Philippe Coutinho was named Liverpool's 'Player of the Year, and according to many fans, pundits, and ex-Reds, Coutinho is LFC's 'best player'. When it comes to attackers, that's possibly true (best of a middling bunch?), but the Brazilian's inconsistency remains a problem, especially when it comes to one of the main aspects of his role in the team.

£25m-rated Coutinho's primary role in the team is to score and create goals, but this season, his chance creation is shockingly poor, and way below the standard expected of a player with his talent:

Coutinho: 2 chances in 4 games (1 every 155 minutes).

As a comparison:

* Cazorla: 23 chances in 5 games (1 every 19 mins)

Ozil: 20 chances in 4 games (1 every 17 mins)

* Hazard: 17 chances in 5 games (1 every 26 mins)

* Davis: 16 chances in 5 games (1 every 21 mins)

* Shelvey: 16 chances in 5 games (1 every 28 mins)

* Payet: 16 chances in 5 games (1 every 28 mins)

* Tadic: 15 chances in 4 games (1 every 21 mins)

* Silva: 13 chances in 4 games (1 every 26 mins)

* Pedro: 8 chances in 4 games (1 every 30 mins)

To add insult to injury:

* Comparatively inferior players like Hoolahan (Norwich), Brady (Norwich), Albrighton (Leicester), and Westwood (West Ham), have all created significantly more chances than Coutinho.

* Skrtel and Gomez have created more chances than Coutinho for Liverpool this season.

* Clyne, Lovren, and Lucas (!) have created the same number of chances as Coutinho.

* Kevin De Bruyne has played just 65 minutes of football for Man City, but he's already created FIVE chances (1 every 13 mins)

* Players who've never played in the Prem before this season are outperforming Coutinho.

Whatever way you slice it (or whatever excuse/rationalisation LFC fans inevitably conjure up), Coutinho's chance creation is lamentably sub-par, and it needs to improve ASAP. Fans/pundits etc can rave all they like, but with zero assists, and negligible chance creation, Coutinho is not doing his job.

The question is, why? Coutinho is superbly talented, and he has to take personal responsibility for his attacking paucity, but it's no surprise that attacking players regularly underperform under Brendan Rodgers. The manager is poison for attackers, and Suarez/Sturridge aside, every attacking player under Rodgers' guidance has significantly underperformed.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Rodgers' obsession with forcing attackers to defend/press is the problem. Rodgers prioritises defensive duty over creativity/individual expression, and it's affecting Liverpool's ability to consistently score/create goals.

It happened again at Man United, with the ridiculous decision to play Danny Ings as (ostensibly) as a left wing-back, and you only have to look at the decline of Ibe (no goals in 23 games), and Lallana (2 goals 23 hours of football) to see that there's a major problem.

Just look at the stats again! Rodgers' approach is having a manifest negative impact on Liverpool's most talented attacking player. My guess is that Coutinho is not happy on the pitch because his natural game (i.e. attacking/flair/guile/creation) is being subjugated by Rodgers's pigheaded insistence on forcing attackers to prioritise defending/pressing.

Irrespective of the reason, I don't see how Coutinho can be considered Liverpool's 'best player' this season.

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Author: Jaimie K


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