Jurgen Klopp: ‘Who doesn’t love Coutinho…?’

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Like the rest of us, Jurgen Klopp loves Coutinho.

And after the Brazilian’s brace against Chelsea on Saturday lunchtime, who can blame him?

Our new German boss picked up his first Premier League win since taking over at the weekend, mainly thanks to his 23-year-old playmaker – who in truth – has below par this season.

Coutinho scored an outrageous winner on opening day versus Stoke, but hadn’t scored again until the 3-1 victory against Jose Mourinho’s hapless outfit.

“Did you see the last three games?” Klopp told the Echo. “Phil is a brilliant player and we don’t have to talk about his qualities.

“I’m not interested in what happened before. I have spoken to him, yes of course. But my job is to help him, not to say what he is not doing good.

“He knows the last three games were not perfect but he needs the games. He needs the experience in games to feel what is good and what is wrong. This is the perfect example. The start was not good. But then we came back.

“Sometimes you have to work really, really hard to make football look easy. That is what Phil did. It was not a perfect start for him, but he came back and he was cool enough in the right moment, to shoot at the right moment. That is his quality of course.

“But not always is the sun shining. We have to work hard on days when it is raining for the team. Everyone asks me, every day, if I have seen the next step. But when you come in and bring new ideas, new information, everything…my experience is that the quality goes down a little bit.

“You try to play from here (points to chest) but you lose your coolness, your flexibility and your fun for the game. You have to take the new information and develop.

“I love this player. Who doesn’t love Phil Coutinho? I don’t expect all day perfection. I expect you to work and try to get better every day. That is what Phil is doing and what the team is doing. That is how we make the next steps.”

The brace will silence any critics that were actually suggesting dropping Coutinho. Talent wise, he’s our best player (assuming Daniel Sturridge will never be a consistent selection) and it’s clear that Klopp recognises this.

With Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino returning to fitness, our forward line is looking much better, but a win against Crystal Palace at home next weekend will be crucial.

It’ll be interesting to see how many of the first-team players Klopp decides to rest on Thursday at Rubin Kazan with the Palace fixture in mind.

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