Glen Johnson has suggested that Philippe Coutinho’s form in Spain took a nosedive from his best days at Liverpool due, in no small part, to a lack of managerial support.
The former Liverpool defender suggested that ex-Reds boss Brendan Rodgers had been an instrumental presence in terms of getting the best out of the then Anfield favourite.
“But I think sometimes he lacks belief,” the 37-year-old told the Mirror.
“I think the reason he performed so well at Liverpool was because he had Brendan’s arm around him, reminding him how good he was on a regular basis and he bought into it.
“Whereas sometimes he could be a bit, sort of mentally attacking himself, but if he just enjoyed himself and tried to play his own game, he would be unstoppable.”
At the peak of his powers, the ‘Little Magician’ made the switch to Catalonia in a big-money move that enabled Jurgen Klopp’s men to secure Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker.
It seems undeniably clear that the move in question was highly ill-advised for the 29-year-old, who has struggled to replicate the kind of form that initially encouraged the La Liga giants to take a serious look at him.
Playing under a manager in Ronald Koeman who, by some accounts, appears far removed from a reassuring-style of coaching, will certainly not help to fuel Coutinho’s resurgence.
We’d hope to see the Brazilian recapture his best form once more, though we’d highly suspect that this will require a change of scenery.