Liverpool's recent struggles continued today, as they slugged away to drab 0-0 draw at home to Sunderland. The free flowing and ruthless team from last season, that nearly won the league title, is clearly gone.
One player who really struggled today was Philippe Coutinho. When he first arrived from Inter Milan the Brazilian looked the real deal. He had an excellent second half of the season playing wonderful intricate football between the lines and pulling off some delightfully deft touches and passes in and around the box.
Last season he struggled with niggling injury problems but this term he is simply in poor form.
Today was no different. While pairing him in midfield with Adam Lallana was obviously a bad idea from Brendan Rodgers, he did not do enough himself to eradicate personal blame.
His passing was off, his touch poor and when he had chances to score, he was far from clinical.
The most annoying fact about his game was how long he stayed on the pitch for without being effective. He was eventually subbed for Lazar Markovic in the 77th minute - much to the Anfield crowd's delight.
For Coutinho it is not a question of talent. Everyone knows what he can do on his day, his day is just simply not coming around enough at this moment in time.
But he, along with several other players, must improve soon if Liverpool are to take anything of note from this season...
Coutinho is that kind of player who has a few good games in a row accompanied by a good 8-10 bad or poor games— - (@SidelinedDanny) December 6, 2014
Especially with Arsenal losing. We are just so poor up front. Lallana was ineffective, Coutinho poor.— Danielle (@daniellewarren) December 6, 2014
Coutinho shocking all game lasted 77 minutes, rodgers hasn't got the know how to change things mid game.— James Usher (@Usher_LFC) December 6, 2014
Oh and today was yet another shocking performance by Coutinho! #LFC— Jamie (@JamieJabbs) December 6, 2014
Coutinho has been shocking again— Emre Can (@NabsLFC) December 6, 2014
Coutinho is really not that good average passer terrible shooting poor tackler physically weak— Adam JFT96 YNWA (@Ad4kaynlilpLFC) December 6, 2014
Can’t see us scoring here. Terrible first half. Coutinho been awful.— Morenotelli (@LFC_Pranav) December 6, 2014
Coutinho was awful today. Nothing balls, wasteful shooting— OregonRed (@Oregon_Red) December 6, 2014
Coutinho has amazing ability but his rancid habit of running slowly at defence then loosing it easily is just awful.— Reggie Penn (@ReggiePenn) December 6, 2014