When anyone – even in a nice way – tells me that I shouldn’t write about something, it often just makes me more determined to write about it. I write about what I feel is pertinent, and the same key issues or narratives can bubble away week after week, although our perceptions of them may change.
The issue of Philippe Coutinho is, in a way, old news now; he’s gone, let’s move on. And I agree with that.
However, even just one bad result now – even after several good one in his absence – will see the question of his sale arise, and the wisdom of losing such a great player without an immediate replacement. This season will forever be BC and AC, but it’s worth looking at how – for the first month and a half – losing Coutinho from the team (then the club) has actually had zero adverse affect. Indeed, it’s worth looking at the form of all of the big clubs who have bought and sold during January. We see January as only a chance to improve the team with new additions, but did all the new additions initially improve teams?
But first, I’m still laughing at an article in a Liverpool newspaper that is perhaps the worst piece I’ve ever read anywhere on football before (it’s too bad to even link to, and makes Paul Merson look like Plato), that stated Mo Salah is one dimensional, and will offer next-to-nothing once the goals inevitably dry up.
Ignoring that the Egyptian has more assists than any of the Premier League’s other top scorers (you have to go all the way down to players with just eight league goals – creators rather than scorers – to find someone as successfully creative, and Salah doesn’t take many of the set-pieces and corners), there’s also the pace from deep to lead the counterattacks, the hard work, the clever runs; and the skills to not only score the goals, but to beat men in tight areas (as against Everton, Porto and Spurs) to work the chance. And only one of his 30 goals was a penalty, so he’s not padding his numbers like, say, Sergio Aguero. With Salah’s scoring record in Italy getting more impressive in every subsequent one of his three seasons there, and his record with Egypt being phenomenal (32 international goals by the age of 25), he’s the real deal, on the rise; the opposite of a flash in the pan. See my guest post on Redmen TV to read more about how such players improve, and about some stupid observers.
Anyway, back to my look at the Big Six and how they’ve performed since the start of January, and a more detailed breakdown of Liverpool’s form since Coutinho last played at the end of December.
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