23 Sept 2016

Klopp blasts: 'Something bad' could happen with 'brilliant' £45m Liverpool star unless things change with refs

With 5 goals/assists already, Philippe Coutinho has (for the most part) hit the ground running this season, but after watching Derby's rough tactics, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has urged officials to offer Coutinho greater onfield protection.

Speaking to reporters after Liverpool's 3-0 victory, Klopp slammed the referee for failing to deal with Rams' potentially dangerous tackles on Coutinho:

"Something bad can happen when someone flies in 3 or 4 times like they did. I said to the fourth official 'please tell him' [the Ref]. He didn't hit [Coutinho], but it was so close".

Klopp is spot on with this, and I know from first-hand experience what can happen when a referee fails to act on dangerous play. A couple of years ago, I suffered a broken leg (double-fracture) as a result of a reckless, Moreno-esque lunge, and believe me, it 'aint fun (!)

Hamstring-plagued Coutinho is not the most physically robust of players, and sometimes, one bad injury is all it takes to send a promising career into an irreversible downward spiral (just ask Michael Owen and Fernando Torres).

If Liverpool are to sustain a top four challenge, Coutinho - hailed this week by Pele as 'brilliant' - needs to remain consistently fit (and contributing) throughout the season, so hopefully referees will take note of Klopp's plea.

* Coutinho: £45m-rated (CIES Football Observatory)


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