What Have You Done, Phil?

6

Philippe Coutinho has handed FSG a major conundrum, and in doing so he has managed to turn the Liverpool fan base against him.

It is no secret that Coutinho sees himself, at some stage in his career, playing for Barcelona, and all the fans accept this.

We know of the love South American footballers, especially Brazilians, have when it comes to playing in La Liga. We’ve been here before with Luis Suarez.

As Liverpool fans, we accepted that at some stage we would lose our little magician to the bright lights of Spain.

PSG though had a different plan. By purchasing Neymar from the Catalan team, they started a series of events that will define what type of owners FSG actually are.

Will the owners hold firm that Coutinho is not for sale, or will they do what most fans expect them to do and take the money and run?

Hopefully, they show that they have a back bone, hold Coutinho to his contract and remind him of his obligation to the club.

The events of the past week regarding Coutinho and Liverpool have been painful to watch.

Many fans regard him as Liverpool’s best player and feel he is the key to unlocking the door to a Premier League title win.

The skullduggery he has shown by handing in a transfer request on the eve of Liverpool’s first Premier League game is a depth that no Liverpool player has sunk to before, and this has caused a plethora of emotions amongst Liverpool fans.

A lot is at stake for the player and the club. Liverpool need a player of Coutinho’s calibre to progress in this seasons Champions League.

In an attempt to unsettle the player, it has been rumoured in some sections of the press that Barcelona have informed Coutinho to either move this summer or stay at Liverpool.

This ultimatum has caused concern for the young Brazilian. His actions have taken the focus off the start of the Premier League season and put it solely on him.

He wants out but Liverpool are under no obligation to sell him. This has led to rumours surfacing that he has been advised by his agent to try and disrupt the harmony in the dressing room, thus trying to ensure that instead of playing in the Champions League this season Liverpool will be playing in the Europa League.

Coutinho, however, cannot afford to sulk if he remains at Anfield for the 2017/2018 season. With a World Cup looming, he needs to be putting in match winning performances on a regular basis this season to be sure he participates for Brazil in Russia next summer.

If he stays at Liverpool, does he have the ability to turn those fans who have been criticising him for his actions in his favour? I believe he can. Why? Because football fans are fickle. Liverpool fans have condemned Coutinho for his action, yet lauded Virgil Van Dijk for going on strike to try and force a move from Southampton to Liverpool.

The hypocrisy of it all is clear as mud.

Personally, I cannot see Barcelona getting their man this summer. FSG will not be bullied in to selling Coutinho. They hold all the cards here. He signed a five year contract last Christmas and as part of the contract they removed his minimum buy out clause. As stated already, FSG have said Coutinho is not for sale and as businessmen, when they say no they mean no.

They are also aware of the effect selling Coutinho to Barcelona will have on the fan base. Those of us who are neither pro or anti-FSG will turn against them and they risk losing Jürgen Klopp. He came to the club with a seven year plan. No doubt he saw Coutinho as an integral part of that plan and to lose him now would set his plan back two years.

He will not want a repeat of the asset stripping of talent at Liverpool that occurred during his time at Borussia Dortmund.

The timing of the this latest saga could not come at a worse time for Liverpool. They are still quietly and tentatively sniffing around defensive target Van Dijk although no bid has been submitted, and it appears they have not given up hope of signing Klopp’s first choice midfield player Naby Keita either.

What was promised as a summer to remember by the owners, a summer of intent, is close to becoming another disastrous summer. If Coutinho leaves the club, I think the owners should pack their bags and follow the Brazilian player out of Anfield.

6 COMMENTS

  1. should get a Suarez ie wait 12 months, after world cup then go well after we have signed a replacement /treacherous little twat /stuck in Inters reserves when we signed him!

  2. Whilst it’s really annoying to have a more glamorous club steal our best player away – its no different to what we are doing to southampton with VVD.

  3. I respectfully disagree…

    Why would we keep a player who wants to go, so we can say, you didn’t get your own way, we won?
    I think so many people forget “all” football is a business, Phil is an asset and must be treated as one, as we speak, his value could be around £130m. If we force him to stay, there is little chance that action will bring him closer to the club, instead it will push him further away. Already we are seeing Klopp disrespected by Phil and his team, making suggestions Klopp is the bad guy in all this. We take a bigger risk in forcing him to stay then we do letting him go, by next summer his value may be halved and the negative around the club could see us struggle.

    Only a few days ago, I thought Phil could be the one to break the mould and stay, wanting to be part of great success here, how stupid I feel now, of course Phil was going to go!
    If we can do a similar deal as we did with Suarez, one more season and let him go next, maybe… but holding on to something we can’t have is never going to work, handing in a transfer request is the ultimate beginning of the end situation and we as fans need to get over him quickly. Talk of this being FSG faults is weak on all fronts and those thinking otherwise should take a history lesson and remember they saved this club from the cowboys and the financial ruin we had found ourselves… I believe they are doing a good job overall, on the pitch is where we have our concerns.

    As a business, especially a sports business, harmony is paramount! Ask yourself the question, if we force him to stay, do we risk the harmony in the dressing room? Unless Phil is prepared to give us one more season, I’d demand £130m and a deadline to complete. Today against Watford, we didn’t look like a team missing Phil, but we did look like a team still missing a solid back four, so let the little turncoat move on (I say through gritted teeth) and get our defensive line sorted asap! Klopp needs to strengthen for next season, not spend his time man-managing a lost cause, and sadly, that is what Phil is to us, a man who has lost faith in LFC, wants to leave but we are too scared to let go. I’d take a big fee and kick his sorry arse out the Anfield door… onwards and upwards.

    • Much of this is true. However FSG already get enough undeserved abuse from our own supporters for allegedly preferring profit to success. Coutinho has risked burning his bridges, causing trouble between owners and fans, owners and manager, manager and dressing room, st a calculatedly damaging and dishonest time. Why reward him with granting his wish ? If Sakho had to suffer for his misdemeanours so can the little shit. Let him rot until he apologises to the manager, the club and the fans, there should be no communication with him, his agents, or FCB

  4. I think the owners need to sell. If a replacement can be lined up before September, sell him now. If not, sell him next summer. I don’t think we should keep a player who doesn’t want to be there, and I can’t see how his relationship with Klopp will go now that he’s gone public saying he has fallen out with Klopp. My biggest concern is that we might not get as much money for him next year. Especially if Barca buy someone else this year. I certainly don’t believe Coutinho is worth over 100m. When he’s at his best he really is a magician, but he really is very hit and miss. He goes missing for half the games he plays, and then he’s injured a bit too. I think we could get at least a couple of great players with that money. Of course, FSG hasn’t always been great at getting in the players we want though…

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