1. Only one place to start Rob – Philippe Coutinho. Amid everything else what’s your thoughts on losing him as a footballer?
First emotion was simply a sense of loss. He’s had five fantastic years at Liverpool, and he’s been a star for each and every one of them.
Also, until the last 6 months, he’s been a model professional and totally dedicated to the cause.
The decision to sell now – in January – is what is confusing many people. How do you view it?
Without detailed inside information it’s tempting to see the decision to sell now as a significant mistake.
However, there has to be trust in a good Liverpool manager. It seems clear that Jurgen Klopp has had the final call on the player leaving, and if he deemed it right for Coutinho to go, then his judgement simply must be backed.
Klopp’s ‘brand’ is as a fantastic communicator and man manager who treats his players with consummate respect. As fans, if we buy into his style and those attributes, we can’t complain when he behaves in a very humane way towards a young man who desperately wants to fulfil a career dream.
The price – fair?
It seems churlish to wonder if £142m is enough money for a player bought for £8.5m, but I think he’ll prove a bargain for Barcelona.
He’s just an outrageous talent.
Do you see a replacement in January as vital or prefer to wait if it means getting the right player, say in the summer?
Again this is a tough one to call without knowing all the facts. It’s obvious that if the team has been weakened by the sale of a top player then there should be massive effort put into compensating for that. I have no doubt that Klopp, Michael Edwards and co are doing everything within their power to make this happen.
The dilemma they may face is that which they faced over Virgil van Dijk in the summer. Klopp was criticised then for not signing an alternative central defender when it became clear that van Dijk would not be sold. However the manager’s patient approach has been vindicated.
Would it have been possible to sign van Dijk for £75m in January had the club invested around £30m on a Johnny Evans, back in August ?
Similarly, now, Liverpool are linked with £100m rated Thomas Lemar. Should LFC wait to secure him (assuming he is Klopp’s first choice ) in the summer, or should they buy a cheaper alternative (like Riyad Mahrez perhaps) now?
Would you spend the money in Coutinho’s position or prefer to target say a goalkeeper or defensive midfielder etc?
I think we must first prioritise signing a potentially stellar attacking player. Liverpool cannot expect to replace Coutinho on an exact like for like basis , but they can look to adding a 4th top forward to supplement Mane, Firmino and Salah.
That’s not to say a really good goalkeeper coming in wouldn’t also be welcome.
We’re in danger of forgetting a FA Cup derby victory and a big debut from Virgil van Dijk. What did you think of it?
It was beyond a dream start. The team didn’t play well but there’s nothing sweeter than beating Everton with a late winner.
For the goal to come from the man who we are all waiting to prove himself a new messiah of sorts, just made the night feel perfect.
And finally, Man City on Sunday. Thoughts leading into that one?
It’s tempting to say I’d take a draw now, but at full strength Liverpool are good enough to beat City, with a half decent tail wind.
It’s important Liverpool consolidate 4th place, and must take at least a point from this obviously very tough game against the champions elect.