Exclusive: Barca team-mates back Philippe Coutinho to emerge from slump

The Brazilian is liked in the squad and his team-mates believe he will return to his best

Coutinho volvió a sonreír: golazo de cabeza tras un gran centro de Suárez | LALIGA

German Bona

It can’t be hidden. Philippe Coutinho is far from his best level and in Barcelona’s dressing room, they know this. The Brazilian is sad and lacks confidence on the pitch but in his team-mates and the coach he has great support. The squad believe in Coutinho and the players are convinced that sooner or later he will justify the hype around him and the club’s investment from last January.

Nobody is throwing in the towel on Coutinho, the opposite. The players believe that he can succeed and the magic will return.

He is going through difficult moments and the player doesn’t seem to have found his place on the pitch, but he behaves exquisitely off the field in his manners and professionalism.

That is valued by his team-mates and they have nothing to complain about, which has earned him support.

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

That's why he deserves all the confidence of those around him. Hence the enormous joy, even relief, that was experienced in the great cup comeback against Sevilla, with a double from the Brazilian. He asked Messi for the penalty to open the scoring and the Argentine did not hesitate for a moment. A neighbor of Cou in Castelldefels along with Luis Suárez, Leo regards Coutinho as a very reserved, quiet team-mate, who has a hard time transmitting his emotions, but is always respectful and friendly.

The scene of the whole team hugging Coutinho was repeated when he scored his header later in the game. More than one breathed easier. But then came the Valencia game, the Clasico ... and the Brazilian looks diluted again. Looking at the ground, things do not go for him… Nothing happens. The confidence of both Ernesto Valverde and his colleagues remains intact, they are with him. They only ask for patience, for the magician to find his place again and to produce his indisputable magic from the hat. Let the ‘Coutinhazos' come back, those powerful shots full of confidence that gave Barça so many points last season.

Valverde is giving him plenty of confidence, more minutes than ever and the dressing room agrees with this choice. The coach defends him in the press conference too.

It is true that Dembélé's injury allows Coutinho to have more minutes and that now that the Frenchman returns, Valverde must rethink his team plans. But Valverde will continue to give him confidence as much as he can, perhaps as an interior, the position in which he can have a second chance. The problem does not seem to be tactical. Everyone is with Coutinho.




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