Liverpool's red hot start to the 2016/17 season - the team is currently on a 12-game unbeaten streak during which they have scored 36 goals - has mainly been put down to the talents of Jürgen Klopp. The charismatic German has got the Reds playing his trademark sort of heavy metal football - founded on high intensity defensive work and aggressively direct offense - and all signs point to a group of players who are buying into their manager's methods hard.
Sometimes, though, we tend to get so lost in our admiration of the big goofy father figure and his sideline antics, in how goshdarn hearteyes.emoji lucky we are to have him as our manager, that we forget to properly praise the players carrying out his instructions. Philippe Coutinho's ongoing transformation from occasionally breathtaking, occasionally frustrating mercurial starlet to legitimate week-in-week-out superstar has - despite the annual Barcelona transfer rumours - not gotten the column inches it deserves, and Roberto Firmino's remarkable consistency tends to go similarly unheralded. In fact, since the latter's arrival in the summer of 2015, the two have produced a goal or assist every 114 and 123 minutes, respectively, placing them comfortably in the Premier League top five in that time frame.
The importance of the two Brazilians and their connection on the pitch has not gone unnoticed by another crucial cog in the Liverpool machine, Adam Lallana. When called upon to explain why the interplay between his teammates, the England man was quick to claim clairvoyance:
“It’s clichéd, but football has its own language.
“For example, Firmino doesn’t speak brilliant English - although better English than I speak Portuguese! - but I feel like I’ve got that relationship with him on the pitch where you don’t need to be speaking to each other.
“It’s almost telepathic. At times, when you see Firmino, Coutinho and Sadio Mané linking up, they are everywhere. That’s not because they speak the same language or they speak English.
“Phil is very shy, his English is great. He just doesn’t speak it too often.
“It’s almost telepathic - just knowing each other’s games inside out.”
These comments fall nicely in line with Firmino's claims of psychic powers a little over a year ago, and the new, eerily Jose Enrique-like sheen of the duo's teeth perhaps hints at some sort of white magic - or a deal with an altogether different entity. In all likelihood, the Reds' success this season has less to do with sorcery and more to do with a group of supremely talented footballers confidently and freely expressing themselves withing a framework suited to their abilities, but let's not allow that to distract us from a silly headline as we slog our way through internationals week.
Look out! Surprise Coutinho screamer!