Watch: Philippe Coutinho v. Arsenal

Laurence Griffiths

On a day when much didn't come off for Liverpool, the return of Philippe Coutinho from injury provided a glimmer of hope despite not quite being up to speed.

There weren't a ton of positives to Liverpool's performance on Saturday at Arsenal, with more questions than answers produced in the 2-0 loss. Brendan Rodgers will have some clear issues to address over the next few weeks, and he'll have to do so during a stretch of a little over a month that will go a long way in determining how the stage will be set for the rest of the 2013-2014 season.

One clear positive, however, was the appearance of Philippe Coutinho after a long layoff, a return that addresses the lack of a link from midfield to attack that's plagued Liverpool's squad since his injury against Swansea. That he wasn't at his best was understandable, but he still showed enough to remind us why we missed him so much over the past few months.

He did little to overwhelm and failed to make the type of impact we might have envisioned--unrealistic as that hope might have been--but he was lively enough to spark one of the lone spells of Liverpool dominance in the match, and there's no question that once he's back up to speed, he should be in the starting eleven. Changes can be made elsewhere, but he's someone that Liverpool need in the starting eleven week in, week out.

A start next weekend against a struggling Fulham side should get him on his way, and there's no doubt that when they head to Everton after the international break, Philippe Coutinho should be in a spot to play an integral role for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool.


Video by MostarLFC

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