This time, it’s back to the whole “deteriorating relationship between Coutinho and Jürgen Klopp” thing, because apparently some of you still care. According to reports from Spain out of the irreproachable Don Balon (no relation to the arguably more famous Dons Cheadle, Trump, and Duck), Coutinho is furious - nay, positively incandescent - at some recent totally unveiled suggestions by Klopp that Liverpool might be playing better football now in the absence of The Little Magician (tm).
The source of Philippe’s Phury?
If you recall, Klopp - not for the first time in recent weeks - was responding to questions of how Liverpool are coping in Coutinho’s absence. The German manager, in his trademark plain-speaking style, noted that Liverpool were perhaps guilty of being over-reliant on the Brazilian’s prodigious talent at times, and that while there was no question of Coutinho’s contributions to the squad, being forced to play without him might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
“You saw our games when Phil came deep in centre mid,” recalled Klopp. “We didn’t want him to come deep all the time to be honest, it was more of a natural thing.”
”You want him to be a 10, but with Phil we were giving him a four-yard pass and you don’t need that,” added the manager. “Now we don’t have this dominant player – ‘Give it to me, give it to me, give it to me’ – that’s how it is. I don’t want to this to be misunderstood. It was really good, that’s why Phil is the player he is, but now we we cannot do that any more, it makes us a little bit more unpredictable.”
The comments seem fairly innocuous, perhaps even laudatory of Coutinho’s qualities, but something must have gotten lost in the translation, because Don Balon have reported that the Brazilian has been texting some of his former teammates in England to protest that he was merely playing the way the manager requested (good luck trying to reach Roberto Firmino in his above-ground hot-tub-slash-home-theater).
Since Coutinho is cup-tied in the Champions League, he will not be able to exact vengeance upon his former employers on the football pitch for this season at least. Perhaps he can email another transfer request to Melwood. That will show them, surely.