Philippe Coutinho is under no illusions about his time at Barcelona and offered a brutally honest assessment of his form during his time at the Camp Nou on Monday.
The Brazilian joined coach Ronald Koeman at a press conference to preview Barca’s next match against Juventus in the Champions League and spoke about how he thinks he has failed to live up to expectations.
I demand a lot from myself and I am the first to know my form hasn’t been what everyone expected. Barca have the attention of everyone and what I can say is that I’ve worked a lot more mentally to be well, and nowadays, I consider myself stronger in that sense.
Coutinho arrived at Barcelona from Liverpool in January 2018 after shining for the Reds in the Premier League. Barca splashed out a reported fee of $170 million to land the Brazil international.
The Barcelona forward also spoke about his team’s frustration at losing to Cadiz last time out in La Liga and the players’ determination to put things right against Juventus in their final match of Group G.
Whenever you lose an important game, the atmosphere is one of frustration. But I see everyone wanting to change this moment we’re going through. Mentally, I’m stronger than before and the team looks eager to change this.
I started to work in a different way. It was necessary to have more strength. And mentally, it’s the same. There are things that are making me stronger and, physically and mentally, I’m doing a better job.
Barca’s form in the Champions League in 2020-21 so far has been perfect. The team has won all five games and is in a strong position to finish top of Group G which should theoretically ensure a more favorable draw in the Round of 16.
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Coutinho Calls for Patience with Barcelona
Coutinho started the season well with two goals and two assists in his first five outings for Barcelona. However, a hamstring injury disrupted his campaign and the Brazilian has struggled to find his best form since returning to action.
Indeed, the team as a whole have disappointed in 2020-21 under Koeman and are currently down in ninth place in the league table and closer in points to the bottom than the top.
Coutinho urged patience and highlighted how the team are in a period of transition under new coach Koeman.
We’re in a process of renewal, we have to be patient. We have to want to improve every detail that doesn’t work out, internally we talk a lot, in chats with the coach and between us, there are many things to improve and we’ll improve them internally.
The coach has changed, the players, it’s all part of the process of renewal, we have to be patient and we, who are inside, have to make everything work in the best way possible.
Patience is indeed required but is frequently in short supply at a club so accustomed to success and collecting trophies every season. Coutinho is in his second spell at Barcelona, after spending last year on loan at Bayern Munich, and there has already been speculation this season Barca could be willing to offload the Brazilian.