Liverpool Duo In Team Of The Week (4/12/17)
Liverpool are represented in the latest Premier League team of the week that has been selected by BBC pundit Garth Crooks.
Actually Garth is now down as a 'Football Analyst' these days, a posh term for a pundit then!
The performances by Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in the five one victory over Brighton at the weekend at the Amex Stadium was enough to earn them a place in the side alongside the other, in the opinion of the former Spurs striker anyway, most impressive performers in the topflight over the latest weekend.
I think we'll already know ourselves, and not just based on the latest performance, why Crooks, we'll also not argue with it, selected the duo as part of his team but explaining his choice he told the BBC.
'I always knew Philippe Coutinho was a genius, and his free-kick against Brighton proved it. While everyone - including me - was waiting for one of his trademark efforts to fly into the top corner of the net, the Brazilian magician shaped up in his usual manner, but this time, and to everyone's amazement, he deliberately struck his free-kick under the feet of a jumping wall. The look on the faces of the Brighton players appeared to be a combination of disbelief and admiration. On reflection, I don't know why we were all so surprised. Coutinho is as creative as he is instinctive, and clearly spent some time thinking through ways in which he could make life just as difficult for those walls who had worked out how to defend his free-kicks. Brighton not only failed to defend Coutinho's free-kick, but demonstrated exactly what happens when a wall moves. The moral of the story is that walls are not intended to move - period. If they do, and it goes through or under the wall, then it is the fault of those in the wall. You certainly can't blame your keeper.'
'I expected Brighton to lose against Liverpool, but not so comprehensively. I'm not sure this will be any consolation for the Seagulls, but they will not be facing Coutinho, Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino every week. It was a terrific performance by the Merseysiders, and Firmino took complete advantage of the exhilarating performances of Coutinho and Salah - both of whom looked unplayable at times. However, losing 5-1 is no fun, especially when Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is fist-pumping every goal and celebrating with his staff like it's the final of the Champions League. I understand the importance of winning, but this was Brighton. What I do take exception to is any manager being kept waiting to shake hands once a game has finished, while his opposite number finishes hugging and kissing his players and staff in celebration of their victory. I sense this was exactly what happened after the final whistle, and why Chris Hughton tore a strip off Klopp immediately after the game and quite rightly. What is happening to the traditions of this great game? Has winning and money destroyed everything we hold dear? The convention is we shake hands immediately after a game because it brings closure to the occasion, and it starts with the managers. The game's conventions are bigger than any manager or player, and if either can't be bothered to perform the duty, I suggest they find another profession that can afford their bad manners.'
It's always good to see the club represented in this way, and well played to both for their recognition, but the most important thing about the weekend was of course the win.
David de Gea (Manchester United), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Ashley Williams (Everton), Victor Moses (Chelsea), David Silva (Manchester City), Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Jese Lingard (Manchester United).