Having caught parts of the Liverpool game on Wednesday I couldn’t help but think how have Liverpool not won this game? The answer to this is because of the usually brilliant Brazilian Coutinho who offered nothing special with minimal impact throughout the whole game. The form earlier in the season has vanished as quickly as the Reds’ hope for a trophy this season. Liverpool have gone from title challengers to chumps within a month after one win in six, and that win was against Plymouth!

The news this week will obviously point towards the fact that Coutinho was made the highest paid Liverpool player this week with a new five year deal, with circa wage rate at £150k per week. I question why this deal has been offered to him in the first place, given his track record in recent high profile matches. Players on that type of salary should be beating teams like Southampton at home with their little finger.

Don’t get me wrong, he is a great player on his day, but on the biggest stage when it counts he has a habit of going missing. The League Cup Final and the Europa Cup Final last year anyone? Plus the title challenge under Brendan Rodgers rings a bell for me and creates a picture of someone who can do it when its going good but when the chips are down he vanishes. It was ok for him to be brilliant when Liverpool were smashing Hull and Watford with ease at home, those teams Liverpool are expected to win, but cup semi-finals at home against Southampton are games that Coutinho can’t do because the pressure is simply too much for him.

For £150k a week you expect better quite frankly. Liverpool were poor on the night and looked out of ideas from a creative point of view as the Saints held on with a solid display and a smash and grab goal on the break. It said it all when with five minutes to go and with all the attacking players needed, Gini Wijnaldum was brought on for Coutinho and no one in Anfield was surprised. His Brazilian counterpart Firmino battled all night and no one seems to have mentioned that, despite him being the shining light in an out of form Reds side recently.

Liverpool won’t need to worry about a Champions League club coming after Coutinho anytime soon as in the big games he can’t justify that new contract whatsoever. Furthermore, based on his performance in this game the red half of Merseyside will need to look hard at themselves to rebuild and push on for the next tough month ahead.