Liverpool fans may think that the sun shines out of Philippe Coutinho's arse, but I'm not so sure they can actually tell considering how far up it they are. For some reason the Liverpool faithful hold their little Brazilian in very high regard indeed, often comparing him to the likes of Mesut Özil and other vastly superior players. Yes, he's got some nifty footwork and can bang them in top-bins, but there are others who are far more deserving of being shortlisted for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.
As we know, statistics aren't the be all and end all when it comes to football. A player can still be great without an incredible shot to goal ratio, but in their most basic form they are indicative of one's contribution over the past season and funnily enough, that's what the PFA Players' POTY is about. I know, it almost makes perfect sense. Coutinho's stats are pretty underwhelming, if truth be known. He's only managed 4 goals and 4 assists in the Premier League this season, whilst Santi Cazorla, a very similar type of player, has 7 goals and 9 assists. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who can do most of what Coutinho can, scored 6 and assisted 9. But he plays for Swansea, so nobody gives a sh*t, right?
There seems to be no appreciation for defensive players on the PFA shortlist either (bar David De Gea, but he's a goalkeeper). This oversight of the players who maybe aren't recognised quite as much throughout a season is really lazy and unfair. Eh? What does this have to do with Coutinho? Well, since he's the worst of the lot, his place should be the first to be offered up to a defensive midfielder or centre-back. A player like Nemanja Matic, who has been outstanding all season and set the tone in a well drilled, physically dominant Chelsea side, is someone who definitely deserves recognition. Even Francis Coquelin, who only played half a season for Arsenal, was both more individually impressive and (hugely) influential in his teams' good run of form. I'm not saying he's worthy of the award, but he's probably more of a viable candidate than Liverpool's curly haired Coutinho.
Coutinho, at best, has just represented Liverpool's run this season. There's plenty of good stuff, he scores nice goals and when on form he can be wonderful to watch, there's no doubt about that. But when all's said and done, there's not enough end product to be shortlisted along with the likes of Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez. Coutinho's still 22 and will no doubt improve, but until he steps up a level, he shouldn't be anywhere near the PFA Players' POTY.