In Liverpool's decisive win 2-1 over Manchester City on Sunday, Man of the Match honours could easily have been split down the middle by the club's pair of diminutive midfielders Philippe Coutinho and Joe Allen. Strong performances by both were integral to Liverpool capturing all three points, and Allen had nothing but positive things to say about Coutinho and his game-winning goal after the match.
"He’s so good," the rooster enthusiast said. "With his performances recently, Philippe has taken things to the next level. The Brazilian team is obviously full of talent but he has to be really pushing for that. Working with him day in day out, he shows his quality every time he trains and plays and he scored a superb winner to get us the three points.
"He’s so unpredictable and that’s such a good skill to have. He has the ability to turn both ways. He’s skilful and very versatile. He can play in different positions and teams are struggling to deal with him."
Coutinho's wonder goals haven't always come so easily, with the little Brazilian coming in for much criticism over his inability to shoot on target. Coutinho is on a hot streak at the moment, goals included, and his pal wee Joe thinks there's one simple reason for that.
"I think it’s confidence," Allen explained. "That’s a huge thing in football. The ability has always been there. Technically, he’s right up there. I think some people forget how young he is at times. He’s a young player getting better all the time. He’s showing that goals are part of his game. He was always on this path. Those of us who work with him on a daily basis, we always knew he was going to kick on and reach this kind of level."
Now that Game Phil has on Melwood Phil's shooting boots, hopefully he can go on a sustained run of high performance. Liverpool's next two matches are against lower level competition, but if anything these should provide fertile ground for Coutinho to continue exercising his magic and reinforcing the confidence that has taken his game to the next level.