11 Mar 2016

'Brilliant': Paul Scholes hails £30m Liverpool star for 'sensational' Man Utd performance

Man United legend Paul Scholes is not a happy man. Throughout Liverpool's 2-0 demolition of Louis Van Gaal's desperately pedestrian team, Scholes was practically foaming at the mouth with anger at his old team's capitulation, but after the game, he calmed down enough to praise the performance of Liverpool talisman Philippe Coutinho.

Speaking to BT Sport^, the legendarily stone-faced Scholes enthused:

"I thought Coutinho was brilliant tonight. Sensational. Firmino and Sturridge, they’ve got goals in them. Where is Man United’s top-class striker?"

Coutinho's stats:

* Passing accuracy: 90.6% (Second best on the night)

* Duels won: 61%

* Shots on target: 2

The rest of £30m-rated Coutinho's stats are not that impressive:

* No tackles, blocks, interceptions, or clearances.

* Didn't win a single aerial duel.

* No successful crosses, and only one chance created during the whole game.

In my view, Scholes is overstating Coutinho's impact on the game. The Brazilian had a steady game, but Lallana had more direct impact on the result (created 4 chances, grabbed an assist, and weighed in with 5 tackles/interceptions).

As anyone who visits this site regularly knows, I'm a strident critic of Lallana, but fair-minded regulars will also concede that I always give credit where it's due, and in recent weeks, Lallana has clearly upped his game.

This is the level he should've been achieving consistently over the last 18-months. That said, one good month doesn't define a player, and Lallana needs to continue this form for the rest of the season, and into next season.

For me, it's simple: if a player fulfills their primary role on a consistent basis, I will champion their inclusion in the team; if said player fails to do that (as Lallana has for the majority of his time at Anfield), I will highlight it.

As for Coutinho - he has two goals in thirteen games now, so in the coming weeks, he needs to follow Lallana's lead and up his game a little.

^ Quote transcribed whilst watching live

Author: Jaimie K


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