6 Things Steven Gerrard Will Teach Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool

Mark Jones@@Mark_Jones86Featured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2013

6 Things Steven Gerrard Will Teach Philippe Coutinho at Liverpool

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    One has been the heartbeat of the Liverpool side for over a decade while the other possesses the ability to follow suit.

    Steven Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho are two players that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is truly blessed to have on his books.

    When the manager arrived at the club last summer, Gerrard was of course already there, whilst his judgement in signing Coutinho from Inter Milan last January now looks to be incredibly astute.

    Almost exactly 12 years separate the pair, but that won't stop Gerrard from seeking to impart knowledge and wisdom to the Brazilian's game, which has impressively been on display ever since his arrival.

    But what about when Gerrard is gone?

    Here are six lessons that the Liverpool captain can pass on to the youngster to ensure that his legacy lives on.

Creating a Bond with the Fans

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    This was always easier for Gerrard because he was one of thema supporter.

    The midfielder had generated a bond with Reds fans long before he became a regular and eventually the captain in the side, but that shouldn't stop Coutinho from following suit.

    Of course, if you create and score goals, produce as many silky skills and impress people at the rate that the Brazilian has been doing, then the fans are bound to take to you.

    Therefore, this objective looks to already be achieved.

    Fans regularly chant the playmaker's name at matches, and whilst he's not quite at Gerrard levels of adulation yet, there is nothing to suggest that he won't get there one day.

Producing the Goods in Big Games

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    Perhaps the one criticism of Coutinho's time in England so far is that he hasn't shone in Liverpool's big matches.

    He was substituted early on in games against Chelsea and Tottenham last season, and whilst he started well against Manchester United last weekend, he faded in the second half and was replaced by Luis Alberto with six minutes remaining.

    If he needs advice on how to perform on the big stage, then he need look no further than Gerrard.

    The Reds' captain is the only man to have scored goals in League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals. Moreover, he is frequently turned to in order to dig Liverpool out of whatever trench they've gotten themselves into.

    If Coutinho can pick up this habit, then it is one that none of his supporters will want to see him shake off.



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    In addition to scoring goals in big games, Gerrard does so much more for his team.

    He was quick on the scene to protect teammates Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in the face of a mischievous Robin van Persie against Manchester United last Sunday, with Gerrard's mere presence underlining just how up for the fixture Liverpool were.

    Coutinho's small stature might see him shy away from such clashes, although it didn't stop him from getting involved in a spat with the much taller Steven N'Zonzi on the opening day of the season against Stoke. 

    As the team continues to evolve, he might find himself thrust into the centre of things on occasion.

    Gerrard won't be around to lead Liverpool forever, and if players like the Brazilian step up to lead the club in his absence, then the Reds will be all the better for it.


Long-Range Shooting

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    As witnessed with his goal against Queens Park Rangers on the final day of last season, Coutinho does possess a good shot from distance.

    In Gerrard, he's playing with one of Europe's best in that department for the last 15 years. If he can pick up a few tips in testing goalkeepers from range, then they are sure to add to his growing repertoire of skills.

    Coutinho is always more likely to look to dribble his way through any perceived obstacles as opposed to smashing the ball past them.

    However, an added threat from distance would ensure that Liverpool's opponents wouldn't just be keeping an eye on Gerrard when a ball drops to a red shirt some 25 or 30 yards from goal.

Defensive Responsibility

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    The loan signing of Victor Moses is seen by many as an opportunity for Brendan Rodgers to move Coutinho into the centre of the pitch whilst the Nigerian plays on the left.

    This is of course an attacking move, but it could also see Liverpool's No. 10 have to track back more and do a shift defensively in the same manner that Jordan Henderson does for the team now.

    Gerrard has played at both right-back and defensive midfield for Liverpool, so he knows all about taking responsibility at the back. As he has gotten older, he has developed more and more of an understanding of how dominating that central midfield area is crucial to winning a game.

    A different role is expected of Coutinho, of course, but if he's understanding the job that his captain is doing and helping out in the process, then that will only stand him in good stead.



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    Learning English is one thing when a foreign footballer moves to the Premier League, but learning Scouse is quite another.

    With Jamie Carragher's distinctive voice removed from the Liverpool dressing room and the majority of Liverpool's promising young players drawn from other areas of Britain, the local dialect is somewhat lacking in the first team.

    Gerrard will keep it going strong, and the sooner Coutinho understands it, the greater a chance he's got of feeling at home in Liverpool.

    Don't expect him to be adopting the accent any time soon, though!