Red’s Messi mania, Sahin saccharin and docking at Southampton

What is it about Lionel Messi and why does everyone seem to think that there is a bit of him in everything or, more to point, everyone?

On a few months ago Brendon Rogers was suggesting that Luis Suarez was our own Messi and now we’ve another manager at it, Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino, when talking about today’s game, believes that Philippe Coutinho has traits of the Argentinean Oh and he’s also a bit like Ronaldinho it’s not known if Pochettino also thinks Coutinho has elements of the new Pope or is the Pope like Messi?!

“Aside from the magic that he has, he also has an amazing work rate and that makes us doubt whether he fits the mould of a typical Brazilian player or a European one because his work ethic is outstanding….. I do think Coutinho has that same quality that Ronaldinho and Messi have, but he has much to prove yet”

Off course Pochettino should know, he has coached the Brazilian at Espanyol. It is fair to say that Coutinho has impressed since he joined us . It’s early days yet but we are slowly seeing signs of him beginning to establish a partnership with Luis Suarez. His addition also helps give the side more variety. With respect to the other players earlier this season it was just a case of “stop Suarez” now with Coutinho, Sturridge, Suarez and a rejuvenated Steven Gerrard there is more to think about? Despite this it is premature to suggest that Coutinho is a significant piece in BR’s jigsaw. There have been quotes from Milan, his previous club, about his inconsistency (why did they sell?) and the player himself has already mentioned about how different the Premiership is.

“It is very different here. In Brazil the game is very open, the defenders are not as tight with the attacker. I think this is the hardest thing here. Also the game is very quick – but I feel I can improve these things during training and improve my intensity. I have been doing some body building, too, so I can get more used to the physicality.”

To this extent and at this early stage Coutinho must still be seen as a gamble however, at £8.5m hardly one that is going to badly burn the fingers?

Meanwhile compare and contrast to these quotes from Nuri Sahin who joined us on loan from Real Madrid and then, six months later, left us to go to Borussia Dortmund, on loan again.

Upon joining Liverpool

“The only reason I am here is that I know that I can play football, I know that I have a manager who trusts in me and the way I play”

And the other day…

“I talked to him and asked him why he was playing me there. It is not my real position. The coach could not answer me …..Thank God I have left Brendan Rodgers.”

It’s debatable that after only six months, when the team was going through many changes, that Sahin is able to credibly sum his time with us let alone suggest he was hard done by. These quotes, plus his form with us and the two loan moves say more about Sahin’s impatience, inflexibility and talent than anything we’ve done. Best rid?

So to today’s game at St Mary’s. It seems to have been a long time since we were afforded the ”luxury” of a 3 o’clock kick off which is what we have today against Southampton. This is a good opportunity to make more ground, we are unbeaten in three and Southampton., despite their impressive win against Man City, still lurk perilously above the bottom three. Despite this there are still doubts about the consistency of both teams? Which versions will turn up?

Team wise Jose Reina could return, he missed out against Spurs but has recovered enough to resume training. There has been quite bit of coverage about Joe Allen needing surgery on his shoulder however it doesn’t appear to be now so presumably he will also be in contention?

Prediction? I’m still doubtful about our consistency. Despite the good form of late I’m still expecting a slip up. However, let’s try to be as confident as the team has been lately, 2-1 to us.

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