Stop Doubting LFC and Believe!

Phew! That was a huge win, much needed as well after all the negativity surrounding the club following the draw at the weekend. “We need to turn doubters into believers”, claimed Jurgen Klopp enthusiastically during his first press conference as Liverpool FC manager.

Liverpool Unveil New Manager Jurgen Klopp

Since his transfer in January 2013, Phillipe Coutinho has continually improved as a player. His flair combined with the ability to dribble past players with ease, regularly find the back of the net from long distances and create something out of nothing has made him the popular figure he is in the premier league today. Moving from Italy (and a season in Spain) where defences are very efficiently organised and hard to break down in comparison to the Premier League, Coutinho has been very fortunate to have worked under two managers who implement high intensity, high pressing, all action type football where he has been allowed to flourish. LFC revived his career and fans are disappointed with what seems to be a lack of appreciation towards the club that has done so much for him.

When I think of Coutinho, I recall exceptional performances against the top teams; the home game vs Arsenal under Brendan Rodgers, the away games at Man City and Chelsea under Klopp, and that goal vs Man Utd in last season’s Europa League.  The magnitude of these games, the opponents and the results/performances are why these games spring to mind but from a footballing perspective, there is a pattern as to why Coutinho does so well in these matches. Teams who like to play football against Liverpool in recent years tend to struggle against the high press (both under Rodgers and Klopp), the energy and the full throttle heavy metal style of play we have adopted as a club. This allows Coutinho and others to operate further up the pitch in more space with defences exposed.  The pockets of space created by this style of football cannot be underestimated in the development of Coutinho as a player and his contribution to the team which has ultimately led to a transfer request away from the club…

coutinho 2013

I hope most LFC fans would agree a player with his level of ability doesn’t perform to the standards we now have come to expect of him against the lesser teams, in game situations where he needs to step up and dominate opponents. Something perhaps he needs to improve on, maybe something that will come with age, he also might be helped by better and more like minded creative players around him. Would love to see him alongside Keïta behind the front three we currently have…

I saw Barcelona struggle against Real Madrid midweek. The power has shifted in Spain, Real Madrid won back to back CL trophies, a feat no other European club has ever managed before and they seem to be getting stronger. I understand Barcelona is a powerhouse, an elite club but are they falling behind Madrid and Bayern Munich? I believe so…

Under Klopp, LFC has closed the gap with their domestic rivals which has deservedly led to the opportunity of being in the Champions League. We are moving in the right direction, and no doubt with more quality signings (fingers crossed) and a bit of luck with injuries, that gap between LFC and elite clubs will reduce further despite the increased competition in the Premier League. However, on the opposite end of the scale, Barcelona are falling behind their rivals, quite dramatically as well. I’m not suggesting for a second we are comparable to Barca, Madrid or Bayern, but surely that’s where we are aiming to be?

liverpool watford

With or without Coutinho, we must believe we can continue our development as a club, as a team and win trophies under the current management set up. If our “best player” is not with us, then the opportunity is there for someone else to step up and claim that mantle (Mane and Firmino are more important to LFC in my opinion). All is not doom and gloom. No doubt this is the biggest test so far, but instead of doubting LFC, the lack of signings and life after Coutinho (perhaps), let’s all swarm together and believe…


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