Curious Case of Coutinho...

Eoin McMahon

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I'd love him at United. We'd have to sell Pogba first, but I think a shift to 4231 could be of benefit overall.

In the last three seasons:

Pogba has 6, 6, 5 non-penalty goals

Coutiho has 5, 15, 13 non-penalty goals

Pogba has 9, 10, 4 assists

Coutinho has 2, 11, 7 assists

Obviously, Coutinho is coming off a relatively poor season for Barca, but that's because he's competing with Messi for space in the hole. He won't have that problem at United (assuming Pogba goes to fund the deal).

Ole is trying to solve an almost impossible puzzle to create a system that can accomodate a luxury player in a team that isn't good enough to carry him when the going gets tough. The easiest solution is to throw the old blueprint away and opt for an XI full of specialists in every position. Those who like to defend can defend, those who like to attack can attack.

A proper #10 in front of a double pivot would be a quick fix to a years old problem. And the defensive midfielders we need might possibly already be at the club.
I can see where your coming from but i don't think playing with a number 10 has suited us in a long time especially trying to play quick counter attacking football. I feel playing with a pacey front three is the way forward we just need the right midfield trio to really improve our attacking play. I will defend Pogba for the fact he is the only midfielder we have that is able to break in midfield and play the ball behind the opposition defense. If we add a couple of more suitable midfielders that can win the ball back quickly and break at pace beside him along with maybe a top RW( which we've been crying out for for years) would be a start as I feel if Rashford and maybe Martial improve their consistency we can be more of a threat going forward next season
 
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Loublaze

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United should stay away from this guy. He'd only come here for money and would probably push for a move after a season of struggling in United's rebuild. Di Maria all over again. Hard pass
 

Luke1995

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Another one who struggled in the shadow of Messi. He thrives when a team is built around him like Liverpool was. That wouldn't be the case at United, so can't see the point in pursuing him.
 

redsunited

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If Pogba leaves, we should go for 4231 as our primary attacking formation and buy players for it. Playing at home, we are toothless as we don't have attacking players in final third to unlock defenses.
433 should be our defensive formation to strengthen midfield and finish the game.

Regarding Coutinho, stay away. Not a United player in mentality. Red flags are too many. Liverpool connection, doesn't want to leave Barca, previous statements about us, Ole being the manager etc
 

Johan07

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If Pogba leaves, we should go for 4231 as our primary attacking formation and buy players for it. Playing at home, we are toothless as we don't have attacking players in final third to unlock defenses.
433 should be our defensive formation to strengthen midfield and finish the game.

Regarding Coutinho, stay away. Not a United player in mentality. Red flags are too many. Liverpool connection, doesn't want to leave Barca, previous statements about us, Ole being the manager etc
I sincerely hope that we do not start any reformation of the way we play with the formation. Its maybe the last thing you should consider when setting up a team. You can play a defensive 4-3-3 and an extremely offensive 4-3-3. Same with any other formation, three at the back or four at the back; one, two or three up front.
We need to focus on the important issues our pressing game, how high we will play with our back four/three, how many players we dare to commit in front of the ball in possession and how those players should position themselves depending where the ball is on the pitch (how we act in possession), hpw many players we dare leave on the wrong side of the ball when the opponent is in possession.
Formation is just graphics on a SKY or BT screen, modern football does not start with that. All major clubs today are quite comfortable with using different "formations" depending on game, opponents and own players available.
Its another thing that we should focus on the things I mentioned and then go for players that are suitable for example a high pressing game.
Formations are so overrated on the Caf and in general, but this kinda took the price.
 

DonnieDarko

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I think he won't go to you. It would look like a pointless sidestep with bad PR as a bonus.
And I guess he's not the type of player Ole wants, his workrate is not so great and he'll definitely not give everything for the badge.
 

Fer

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I can see Coutinho as Hazard replacement. But that would depend on the ban.

Would you take Coutinho if we sell Pogba?
 

redsunited

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I sincerely hope that we do not start any reformation of the way we play with the formation. Its maybe the last thing you should consider when setting up a team. You can play a defensive 4-3-3 and an extremely offensive 4-3-3. Same with any other formation, three at the back or four at the back; one, two or three up front.
We need to focus on the important issues our pressing game, how high we will play with our back four/three, how many players we dare to commit in front of the ball in possession and how those players should position themselves depending where the ball is on the pitch (how we act in possession), hpw many players we dare leave on the wrong side of the ball when the opponent is in possession.
Formation is just graphics on a SKY or BT screen, modern football does not start with that. All major clubs today are quite comfortable with using different "formations" depending on game, opponents and own players available.
Its another thing that we should focus on the things I mentioned and then go for players that are suitable for example a high pressing game.
Formations are so overrated on the Caf and in general, but this kinda took the price.
The opinion in the post is based on our current players and the minimal change of the type of player purchase needed when Pogba goes to make it work. Your long lecture on formations being overrated implies that the post is about which ideal formation is best or not etc which it is not about.
 

UnitedObsession99

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This truly is fantastic news.

If Coutinho can't cut it at Barca what chance does he have at United with the squad we have and the league we play in.

This said it is very strange how good he was for Liverpool and how its not worked out in an easier league. Is it just a case or expectations too high based on the price?

Either way, getting him to us would be a massive cost and huge wages and would represent a massive gamble. I also don't like the idea of ex dippers heading in our direction.

If we are going to Gamble I'd rather do it for younger prospects. Our hit rate on experienced players has been pretty awful. Zlatan the exception.
 

Bwuk

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Did he actually say that?

Not that I want him, but it's not like he's got loads of options nor did he respect Liverpool with the way he left.
 

UnitedObsession99

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Did he actually say that?

Not that I want him, but it's not like he's got loads of options nor did he respect Liverpool with the way he left.
Who cares about respect when £130m big ones are dropped off at your door! Thank you....please come again!

Just the same as Pogba, if we get £150m I'd be laughing all day long. Wouldn't even care if he eventually cycled round to Liverpool in a couple of years. He'd probably do more harm than good!
 

Rob

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What a waste of talent it would be if he, too, were to join PSG.

Still dream of him coming home to be the playmaker we need.
 

mitchmouse

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I sort of have to laugh that he won't come to us "out of respect for Liverpool". Didn't show them much respect when he left and I would understand if if this was a true Scouser (Rush or Fowler) but he's not. It didn't even stop Liverpool legend Michael Owen...
 

miked99

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For me, he's the ultimate highlights reel player. Goes on a purple patch for a few weeks and scores some stunners, then vanishes for a similar length of time. Either on fire or invisible. Never had a consistently great season when he was in English football. If he played to his maximum all the time he'd be sensational.
 

T00lsh3d

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I’m still not sure exactly what he’s best at. Is he a dribbler, a playmaker, a goal-scoring attacker....a bit of all 3?
I’ve not watched his Barca failure so don’t know if he’s been expected play a role he can’t do
 

The Boogeyman

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For me, he's the ultimate highlights reel player. Goes on a purple patch for a few weeks and scores some stunners, then vanishes for a similar length of time. Either on fire or invisible. Never had a consistently great season when he was in English football. If he played to his maximum all the time he'd be sensational.
I thought the same way for most of his time at Liverpool, until his last half-season there. When Klopp played him in midfield, he was absolutely outstanding. He had 7 goals and 6 assists in 14 Pl games, and 5 goals and 2 assists in 5 champions league games. He was dominant that fall.

I’m still not sure exactly what he’s best at. Is he a dribbler, a playmaker, a goal-scoring attacker....a bit of all 3?
I’ve not watched his Barca failure so don’t know if he’s been expected play a role he can’t do
I think hes best as a 10/second striker in a very direct system. He was excellent at liverpool when they would win back the ball and get it to him quickly. He either sprayed balls over the top to Salah or Mane, or linked up with Firmino through the middle to create chances, with many coming from the edge of the box. He was also almost unstoppable on free kicks, too. Apart from that, I felt like he was a bit of a one trick pony when played as a wide attacker in the 433. He would just cut inside and rip shots on goal. He scored some worldies, but didn't do a lot else.

I haven't seen him a lot at Barcelona, but from what I have seen, it seems he's crowded out a lot by Messi. He also isn't really made in the Xavi/Iniesta mold of methodically breaking teams down with lots of quick, short passing and dribbling. He's creative, but not at that level.
 

Mb194dc

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Is Arsenal the English club that agreed to a 25-30m loan fee?
Does that really seem likely...? For Arsenal given they already loaned Ceballos and have Ozil.

I don't think there are any serious offers for Coutinho, Barcelona could let him go on loan for free or he'll be stuck.

Similar situation to Bale.
 

Art Vandelay

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I hope no one takes him off their hands and they are stuck with his wages. Their own bloody fault, everyone could see he was worth nowhere near what they paid for him.
 

Megadrive Man

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He hardly ever played in midfield under Klopp, it was nearly always on the left of a front three.

he's a good player, but Barcelona over paid for him by about 50-60 million!

I wouldn't have him back at Liverpool personally.
 

beingshe7don

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Rumor has it that Arsenal are looking to get him on a loan... Arsenal would have done some really good business given how cash strapped they've been with the addition of Pepe, Ceballos (loan), Tierney and Coutinho (loan). Central Defense would be their gaping weakness but their attacking line would be very good with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Coutinho, Ozil, Mhikitariyan
 

sglowrider

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He hardly ever played in midfield under Klopp, it was nearly always on the left of a front three.

he's a good player, but Barcelona over paid for him by about 50-60 million!

I wouldn't have him back at Liverpool personally.
Yeap. Always thought Firmino was the key and not Coutinho. Wonder how the Barca scouting team missed that.
 

beingshe7don

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Does that really seem likely...? For Arsenal given they already loaned Ceballos and have Ozil.

I don't think there are any serious offers for Coutinho, Barcelona could let him go on loan for free or he'll be stuck.

Similar situation to Bale.
I could see Chelsea going for him after their ban gets lifted. He would be the replacement for Hazard on and off the field.
 

Sandikan

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Rumor has it that Arsenal are looking to get him on a loan... Arsenal would have done some really good business given how cash strapped they've been with the addition of Pepe, Ceballos (loan), Tierney and Coutinho (loan). Central Defense would be their gaping weakness but their attacking line would be very good with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Coutinho, Ozil, Mhikitariyan
Hang on, Tierney? He's not moved has he? And just read today he's out injured again.
 

Mb194dc

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I could see Chelsea going for him after their ban gets lifted. He would be the replacement for Hazard on and off the field.
I'd take him ultra cheap, < €40m maybe (€100m discount on what Barcelona paid).

I watch a lot of Spanish football and I haven't been impressed with him at all, even at Liverpool he always seemed really hot and cold, would just disappear for 10 games, then score a worldie and everyone would cream themselves over how great he was.

He gives the ball away, leading to counters endlessly and is pretty much a one trick pony, cutting in from the left and shooting.

Can't imagine why Barcelona signed him in the first place, their transfer strategy has been bizarre in the last few years. All their recent success was built on La Masia graduates, yet then they just go out and start spanking money all over the place and seemingly hardly play youth at all anymore.
 

Lash

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I'd take him ultra cheap, < €40m maybe (€100m discount on what Barcelona paid).

I watch a lot of Spanish football and I haven't been impressed with him at all, even at Liverpool he always seemed really hot and cold, would just disappear for 10 games, then score a worldie and everyone would cream themselves over how great he was.

He gives the ball away, leading to counters endlessly and is pretty much a one trick pony, cutting in from the left and shooting.

Can't imagine why Barcelona signed him in the first place, their transfer strategy has been bizarre in the last few years. All their recent success was built on La Masia graduates, yet then they just go out and start spanking money all over the place and seemingly hardly play youth at all anymore.
Totally agree with your assessment of him. I said to a lot of Liverpool fans when they sell him, they’ll be so much better for it. Not a fan at all.
 

JPRouve

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Totally agree with your assessment of him. I said to a lot of Liverpool fans when they sell him, they’ll be so much better for it. Not a fan at all.
He is a good player but not great, the issue is that he is an actual "luxury" player, in the sense that you don't want him to be an important cog in your machinery but just an added piece to give you some edge. He is probably at his best with teams below the very top but unfortunately the move to Barcelona put him in a financial bracket that will see him stuck on a rich club bench unless Barcelona and himself accept to lower their prices drastically.
 
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Lash

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He is good player but not great, the issue is that he is an actual "luxury" player, in the sense that you don't want him to be an important cog in your machinery but just an added piece to give you some edge. He is probably at his best with teams below the very top but unfortunately the move to Barcelona put him in a financial bracket that will see him stuck on a rich club bench unless Barcelona and himself accept to lower their prices drastically.
Yeah, there’s no doubt he has flair and skill, with a wicked shot in him. That only gets you so far and won’t cut it at an elite club. Now at the price he was bought, he’s going to struggle to ever live up to it. That’s not his fault though, so I do feel for him.
 

Halds

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Yeap. Always thought Firmino was the key and not Coutinho. Wonder how the Barca scouting team missed that.
I agree. Mané and Salah get the headlines, but Firmino is the main man and I would argue, that he is our most important attacker.

Coutinho has some great individual skills, but he was never an important part of the team balance.
 

Robertd0803

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Will be pretty amusing to see the Arsenal fans meltdown if he ends up at Spurs.
 

el3mel

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Will be pretty amusing to see the Arsenal fans meltdown if he ends up at Spurs.
Arsenal don't need him though ? They have a pretty good selection of attackers it'll be actually kinda idiotic to keep focusing on adding more attackers while their defense is dogshite and needs at least one top signing.
 

Robertd0803

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Arsenal don't need him though ? They have a pretty good selection of attackers it'll be actually kinda idiotic to keep focusing on adding more attackers while their defense is dogshite and needs at least one top signing.
Let them keep not focusing on their lack of a defence.
 

TBR

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Too inconsistent for me.And i dont mean he plays well for 2 games then he's poor..i mean in every game he plays..He would disappear for long periods.Then score an amazing goal and every one say "He's some player aint he?".Liverpool actually improved when he left ,albeit there was the addition of the defender and goalkeeper.
 
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Mogget

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Will be pretty amusing to see the Arsenal fans meltdown if he ends up at Spurs.
Why would there be a meltdown when 1. We don't want him and 2. We're more focussed on buying a CB?