Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday was a hard blow to take as we had been playing so well leading up to the game. But as Brendan Rodgers said after the game, “We lost to a better team”. I am sure this defeat will show the team that we still have a lot of work to do if we are to finish in the Top 4 and finishing there means that we have to beat the other teams we competing against, when we go head to head against them.
The one positive that Liverpool can take out of the defeat to Arsenal is that Philippe Coutinho is fit again and ready to take up his place in the side.
Coutinho started off from the bench against Arsenal but Rodgers decided to bring him on at halftime in place of Cissokho. This changed the formation of the Liverpool side as Sakho moved to left back and Coutinho took up an attacking role on the left. One thing is clear, Coutinho is not a winger and is a number 10. He is at his best when he is in the middle of the park creating opportunities for the strikers.
We did not see the best of Coutinho on Saturday but what we saw gives us hope that if he can remain fit we will be a much better side with him in it. Rodgers now has to decide what he wants to do in terms of formation now that Coutinho is back. Does he stick with the 3-5-2 formation and bring in Coutinho to take over from Henderson or does he revert back to 4-3-3 and have Coutinho, Sturridge and Suarez as the attacking three with Henderson, Lucas and Gerrard behind them? All that Rodgers has to do is not let Coutinho stay out wide. We need him in the middle where he is more effective.
If you watch the video below courtesy of MostarLFC, you will see glimpses of what Coutinho is capable of doing. We all know how good a player he is, but he now just needs to get match fit again and for Rodgers to play him in a role he can get the most out of him.