At the risk of sounding overly effusive, there are not enough superlatives in the world to describe Philippe Coutinho right now.
After a blistering half season since joining up with Liverpool in January, expectations around the diminutive Brazilian have been exceedingly high. Coutinho consistently rose to the challenge in a way that injected an incredible amount of life into the back end of Liverpool's season, and as a result he quickly became a fan favourite. Expectations are high again this year, although many are trying to manage those expectations given that he has yet to play in some of the classic, if more challenging Premier League fixtures. Which is everyone's way of asking: but can he do it away to Stoke on a rainy Tuesday night? Etc.
Coutinho has had an excellent pre-season thus far, netting the opening goal in all three matches in which he played. His display yesterday against Thailand was characteristic of the very best of what we've seen in his short time in red thus far. Phil positively danced through several defenders, some of them multiple times, to give Liverpool an early lead that Thailand never came back from. It's the kind of goal that has even the most ardent LFC haters grudgingly acknowledging its brilliance, while it has the more hyperbolic amongst the converted making early predictions that Coutinho will be Liverpool's player of the season.
It might be just slightly too early determine such a thing, but Phil's current form is not a bad way to start the season. Liverpool have too often in recent seasons taken far too long to hit their stride, and if the club can hit the ground running on August 17th then it could make all the difference to the final points tally in May. Coutinho certainly can't do it on his own, but against Thailand he gave a master class on how to impressively get things done that his teammates and .gif enthusiasts should be studying for some time to come.
Video by i7Comps.