Kolo Toure admits that Arsenal was able to outclass his side at the Emirates but says Coutinho will make the difference over the course of the season.
However, the Ivory Coast international says the main positive from the disappointing 2-0 defeat was the Brazilian Coutinho nearing full fitness, and getting 45 minutes under his belt after seven weeks out with a shoulder injury.
On Coutinho, Toure said:
‘’In the first half we couldn’t keep the ball well enough and spent too much energy running after it, but in the second half when Coutinho came on the game changed
‘’We were much better and created some chances but we couldn’t take them’’
He went on to praise the young Brazilian further, claiming he can make the difference:
‘’I call Coutinho ‘my player’. I think he’s amazing and can make the difference in matches.
‘’this season he’s been out injured but now he’s back he’s going to be amazing for us.
‘’I really like him. He’s my best player. In training he’s one of the hardest to mark. He’s still young but he’s got that magic.’’
Kolo Toure hasn’t been alone in his praise of the Brazilian international, with manager Brendan Rodgers also commenting on his impact in the game:
‘’He’s a player that can control a game; he has got that wonderful gift and ability to control’’
The Brazilian is undoubtedly one of the most promising players in the world, but can he really make the difference to Liverpool’s season.
At 21-years-old, the claim of him being responsible for how Liverpool’s season could turn out is quite a weight on a young man’s shoulders. It is without question that Liverpool are a much better side with him and he is a key member of their squad, but with experienced players like Gerrard and Lucas in midfield, should he be weighted with such pressure?
The midfielder has made a huge impact since his £8.5 million move from Internazionale last January and was quickly viewed as a shrewd signing by manager Brendan Rodgers, and since then his ‘stock’ has continued to rise and rightly so, but sometimes it should be the job of his team-mates and management staff to remove and undue pressure from a player that should just been looking to enjoy his football.
21-year-olds should be allowed to make certain mistakes in games, and it is to be expected. It’s no cliché that players learn through their mistakes, and the more testing things he tries, whether they pay off or not should be praised for the ambition of his play, yet, with pressure comes responsibility not to lose the ball and make mistakes.
I believe the young player can make the difference for Liverpool this season, not to the expectation some people may have, but certainly improve their chances in games of which he plays. He should, however, be pressure free this season. At 21-years-old he is still learning the game and even though he is playing well, should be recognised for still being a young player learning the game.
Do you think Coutinho has added pressure on his shoulders due to his ability and should he be protected by his manager and team-mates?
image: © Dean Jones