Liverpool’s sworn enemy Alex Ferguson very rarely has anything genuinely good to say about our club, and in fairness – we’ve very little positive to say in return.
But for once, we agree with the former Manchester United boss, who’s supported us in our stance over Coutinho.
This summer, we’ve refused to give in to the player’s demands and enable him to join Barcelona, mainly because he signed a five-year contract extension, which didn’t include a release clause, in January – and swore his allegiance to LFC.
Old Red Nose reckons Coutinho’s behaviour has been disappointing, primarily because of the role Liverpool has so obviously played in his development from Inter Milan outcast to word-class operator.
He told UEFA Elite Coaches Forum, cited in the Echo: “I think strong management is crucial in this situation. Part of your job as a coach also is to educate your players’ character so they have a responsibility to what they’re doing.
“Obviously, in some cases, that is changing a bit. It’s disappointing because I’m sure that, in the case of Liverpool, they did a very good job in making Coutinho the player he is today.
“So, it’s a bit disappointing but you have to deal with it and the transfer window doesn’t help in that situation.
“If it closed in July, Coutinho would have continued playing and it would have been gone. The matter would have been over.
“The recommendation we look at is to close the window before the season starts, so everyone knows which players they’ve got and aren’t waiting to see what the first results are going to be.”
Coutinho is going nowhere, with just hours left until the window shuts. When he returns from international duty, he’ll have the awkward job of reintegrating himself into a happy squad who’ve thrived in his absence.
He’ll never be loved by the fans like he was before this summer, but he can at least do what Luis Suarez did in 2013/14 and put in a serious shift before an eventual move to Spain.
It’s the very least he owes us.