3 Dec 2013

'It turned out' Bad: €10m star explains why he had to sign for LFC. Under pressure...?

Many Liverpool fans - myself included - still can't quite understand why Inter Milan decided to part with Philippe Coutinho for such a comparatively small transfer fee. The Serie A giants are probably kicking themselves right now for the exciting Brazilian to leave so easily, and the 21-year old has this week shed some more light on the reasons behind his transfer to Anfield.

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson conceded recently that he is 'still a little wary' about Coutinho, and he's twice questioned Inter Milan's reasons for selling the Brazilian for a 'relatively small amount'.

In April, Coutinho - who cost the Reds €10m - revealed that LFC's offer 'came at the right time', but didn't really reveal much more about the actual reasons behind his departure, but in an interview last week, the youngster explained his move in detail. He told The Telegraph

"There were good players there [at Inter] who won a lot at the club and things were not settled and it turned out not so good. Sometimes you can be a good player at a good club and for some reason it just does not work out. There is no explanation for it.

"I had some chances at Inter, but after a few years – certainly by the time Liverpool were interested – I was not getting many chances. As a footballer all you ever want is the chance to play, and show people how well you can play. I knew at Liverpool I would get that opportunity so I didn’t think twice"

For six months under Benitez (at the age of 18), Coutinho made 15 appearances for Inter, 8 of which were starts against team such as Juventus, and Spurs (in the Champions League). Things changed, though, when the Spaniard left in December 2010. Coutinho made only FOUR appearances for the rest of the season, and was an unused substitute on TWELVE separate occasions. That pattern continued in his last season for the club, so it's no surprise he grabbed the opportunity to leave.

Coutinho gets a lot of praise, but this season, his actual impact on the team is not as great as the constant praise suggests. Yes, he's been injured, but 1 goal/1 assist in 9 appearances so far is below what's expected, and the Brazilian really needs to ramp it up over the Christmas period. With Daniel Sturridge out, and other attacking players seemingly incapable of scoring/assisting (Hendo/Moses/Sterling etc), there's extra pressure on Coutinho to step up to the plate.

The truth is, Liverpool need 2-3 more players with Coutinho's level of ability. The current crop of attacking players at Anfield isn't the greatest, and the lack of consistent goals/assists is an obvious indicator of this.

* Henderson, Moses, Alberto, Aspas, Sterling = 3 goals/2 assists between them all season.
* Only two of those goals in the Premier League.
* Steven Gerrard: 24 league games without a goal from open play.

Overall, Brendan Rodgers' transfer business since arriving at Anfield is (arguably) pretty poor, and he's going to have to pull off another Sturridge/Coutinho masterstroke in the January transfer window to ensure the Reds are best placed to maintain the challenge for a coveted top four spot.



  1. Most fans will agree that Alberto is a very good player and still has many years ahead of him at Anfield.

    Aspas will now get the chance he needs wit Sturridge out injured. Once Aspas has a had a decent run in the team then we will be able to figure out whether he is good enough or not. He has only played 283 minutes of football for us, been injured and was never going to be first choice with Sturridge and Suarez ahead of him so Aspas's transfer cannot be deemed as a poor one just yet. Let's give him a chance first...

  2. There were rumours at the time that Inter needed to raise cash as they really wanted to get Paulinho as they heard other teams were sniffing arouund him and Coutinho was the one they were willing to sacrifice to raise some cash. He of course ended up at Spurs so it was probably just papertalk at the time. Just glad that we got him at such a good price. Hopefully his form will pick up over the next few weeks as we will really need him.

  3. Our team just lacks just seems stale.

    Moses, Hendo and Sterling offer us not scoring threat at all! I would actually give Ibe a chance to play. He seems much more composed than Sterling IMO.

    Coutinho, like I've said countless of times, is a good player but once again we are guilty of overpraising him, specially BR. He is good but he is not that that good, let's keep it real.

    He has amazing potential and hopefully he will show that this season with some assists and goals.

  4. BR needs to start playing Aspas up front, not on the wings. Aspas is clearly a tidy player but I know how it feels when I am required to play in a position I am not familiar with, it sucks!

    Alberto should have been given a chance when Coutinho was injured. I would play Alberto instead of Henderson.

    How Hendo made it to the "England" squad based on his average appearances for us is beyond me.

  5. I really want to see more of Aspas and Alberto. Alberto's appearance against Hull was quite positive. Aspas just needs time to adjust I think. With Sturridge out for 2 months, he'll have to opportunity to get more game time and adjust better. There's no use in us complaining about the lack of attacking depth in our squad right now, because there's absolutely nothing we can do about it for 4 weeks. We have to get behind the current crop and give them our utmost support for the next 6 games! YNWA and let's get that win against Norwich, little Luis to be their tormentor once again...!

  6. But like I said, Aspas was never going to be first choice with Sturridge and Suarez. If you were BR would you play Aspas instead of Sturridge or Suarez?

  7. Hendo - Gerrard
    Ibe - Alberto - coutinho
    Would really love to see that the next game :)

  8. Sad part is that Lucas and Gerrard will most probably keep their places in the team. So frustrating!!!

  9. If Anything, Gerrard should be playing behind Suarez. It has been well documented that he does not have the legs to play the deeper role.

  10. Considering we're only competing in PL and soon the FA Cup, I think it is very disappointing and alarming that we have question marks over depth in our squad. But this is a forgiving season so far as apart from Arsenal, most teams seem likely to drop a lot of points.

  11. That's a breath of fresh air to be honest. Still unsure about Hendo, although I do think he plays better as a CM. I would actually drop Gerrard and play Allen.

  12. Does the AMC role requires less movement than a CM?

    Why did we drop Gerrard from AMC in the 1st place?

  13. Yup! And Hendo too.

    They both lack the legs to make an impact. Gerrard is on the team based on his idol status and set pieces.

  14. Teams will drop points but what concerns me if our midfield.

  15. No, you wouldn't play Aspas ahead of SAS, but a manager with any sense wouldn't have bought Aspas in the first place. Just buy a left/right-sided attacking midfielder, as these players are always needed, especially at LFC. It's much easier to accommodate those players, than a central striker when you have two of Europe's best strikers already in your squad.

    LFC's options out wide right now are Moses and Sterling. Nowhere near enough quality or depth. The £16m for Alberto/Aspas should've been spent on one or two quality wide players, and if that had happened, squad depth would look a lot better right now, and those players would actually have a lot of chances to play.

  16. It's probably fair enough to demand more of a tangible creative return from Coutinho but from what I see he is pivotal as he provides forward momentum and penetration. Not just an eye for a pass, he has the ability to create space and has much more time on the ball. It's a skill players like Moses and Sterling lack. When the ball found those two the other day, nothing happened and we often went backwards or play broke down.

    Sturridge is out and we lost one game and suddenly the entire team is under scrutiny. Similar to Henderson (although he's been average recently, really needs a goal) I don't feel Coutinho needs goals/assists to justify a place in the team as their impact is clearly seen in other areas of the game. Might be wrong but I think it was Modric a few years ago who had an interesting statistic of being involved in the play or directly making the pass before an assist occurred. I think Coutinho may be in a similar mould.

  17. So if we get hit by injuries like now with Sturridge? Isn't Aspas a backup striker?

  18. Coutinho's attacking presence whether he scores goals or not is something we cannot do without. His ability to evade tackles is just amazing for a player of his size. He also has a 'it ain't over till it's over' attitude. If only we had more player with his ability!

  19. In theory, yes, but I bet you Rodgers doesn't use him in the same way he does Sturridge. He'll probably stick to 433, and play aspas deeper like earlier in the season. That's if he even getsback in the team, that is.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    -------- Original message --------

  20. I am pretty sure Aspas will get a run of games and his time out injured surely has built up a lot of hunger to do well. Aspas does have versatility, otherwise Rodgers would not have signed him.

  21. An CM pairing of Hendo and Allen would lack the experience needed in the middle of the pitch, our midfield seriously needs an overhaul.. another winger would be nice too, Moses is just a loanee sterling should get loaned out to a championship side and I'm afraid ibe could suffer under the same dilemma as sterling does..

  22. I agree assists and goals aren't the be all and end all for some players/positions but Modric most of the time at Spurs played in a central midfield duo, whilst someone like Van Der Vaart played in the hole, with the likes of Lennon and Bale on the flanks. The Dutchman was very productive in terms of his presence in Spurs' attacking play but also in terms of assists and goals. As a attacking midfielder, you got to have both the final pass/goals as well as generally attacking play. So there should always be a onus on Coutinho to provide both to varying degrees. Modric played, most of the time, a different phase in the attacking phase, thus less onus on him to be having good level of assists and goals. Rare to have a low assists/goal rate from a attacking mid who

  23. Ranieri destroyed Inter. Forlan left for 2M or something, Schneider for 7M, after Benitez left, all kinds of problems - they hardly gave Benitez or any of their players a chance. The fact that they let Coutinho go for "only 10M" has more to do with mismanagment than it does value - hell, they probably could have got Coutinho for less, not because he's worth less, but Inter wasn't getting things right.
    What Coutinho has, and what in general Liverpool lack is quick decision making, he can do a lay off, through ball, dribble, or just make a pass with only 2 touches. This is where Henderson (great workrate aside) doesn't get things going, why Johnston looks good, but has no end product - they hesitate, or are unable to think on their feet, and give the opposition time to get into postion.
    If Rodgers wantst to play the posetion game, then he needs to play the right players, get Alberto in, maybe Allen - otherwise, they might as well be hoofing it up to Suarez when they get the chance, it would probably be more effective.

  24. Inter couldn't afford to keep Sneijder as his wages were too high at the time for them and he was sold long after Ranieri left. Ranieri alone didn't destroy Inter. He was one of many factors but Moratti is the key for their downfall. It was a mixture of things starting from the lack of long term financial & young players outlook by Moratti way back when he brought in Mancini and then Jose. Moratti's focus was getting the title and CL trophy, at all costs, and didn't at the time pay much attention to the potential aftermath of having such a focus. By the time Jose left, the squad was getting old and needed refreshing. Combine that with the mistakes of the various managers such as Rafa and Ranieri, you get a mediocre Inter. Before Ranieri took over, Inter were well on the way to mediocrity so to say Ranieri destroyed Inter is harsh, when the rotting was already there. In the last one or two years, they have started to buy more young players. But it should have been done ages ago to allow the squad to evolve more steadily, instead of waiting for the old players to develop arthritis.

    Nice to see Jose is currently having to deal with a youthful squad for once.