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Premier League will test talented Coates

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Tim Vickery | 15:45 UK time, Monday, 29 August 2011

On the verge of joining Liverpool, Uruguay centre back Sebastian Coates was last seen on the pitch in Buenos Aires celebrating victory in the Copa America, and then accepting an award for the best young player of the tournament.

These are impressive credentials for a player who is not 21 until October.

Coates is shaping up as a potential future captain of his country but, assuming the deal goes through, the challenge he now faces at club level is very different, and is surely going to stretch the youngster with the gangling frame.

Tournament football is played to its own rhythm - look at Paraguay, beaten convincingly by Coates and his Uruguay team-mates in the final. They reached the decider without winning a single game.

Coates enjoyed a successful break-through tournament in the 2011 Copa America. Photo: Getty

In a competition where eight of the 12 teams make it through to the knock-out stage, the emphasis is on not being beaten. The 2011 Copa was a counter-attacking tournament, and part of Uruguay's success was that they read it so well.

In every game they played in last year's World Cup Uruguay had less possession than their opponents but more shots. During the Copa they made sure they pulled back still deeper, swapping striker Edinson Cavani for yet another hard working midfielder.

It was, then, a good tournament for a young centre-back to find his international feet.

Coates could defend deep, with Diego Perez and Egidio Arevalo Rios snapping into tackles in front of him - and the magnificent Diego Forlan-Luis Suarez partnership to win the game at the other end.

Coates is now about to team up with Suarez once more, but this time the circumstances are very different. Liverpool's quest is to win enough games to get into the top four, or even mount a title challenge.

It means that, if called upon, Coates will be asked to defend much higher up the field, with much less protection in front of him, in a context where everything is happening much more quickly than anything he has ever been used to in his young career.

It is a step up that proved far too big for a South American centre-back previously signed by Liverpool - Gabriel Paletta, who came to Anfield soon after helping Argentina win the 2005 World Youth Cup.

Paletta has gone on to prove himself in European football, coming back from a serious knee injury to enjoy a solid debut season in Italy with Parma. He is a strong, rugged defender - had he waited until now for a move to Liverpool he might have done better.

But as I argued in this space five years ago, swapping Banfield in the Argentine league for Liverpool in 2006 was dangerously premature.

In comparison, Coates would seem more prepared for the new demands he is about to face. Despite his age he has accumulated some interesting senior experience, as well as making his way through Uruguay's excellent youth ranks.

It was after shining for his country at Under-20 level at the start of 2009 that Coates was thrown into the deep end with Nacional, one of Uruguay's big two.

He made an immediate impression, and was a fixture in the side that year that became the first Uruguayan club in two decades to reach the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores.

Come the vital second leg at home to Estudiantes of Argentina, Coates made the crucial mistake, gifting an away goal after being caught in possession.

It was an unfortunate error, but also a great learning experience. There are no short cuts for young defenders. Mistakes are going to be made. In this case, Coates did not let it affect his momentum.

He has performed solidly through the club's two subsequent Libertadores campaigns, having responsibility thrust upon him and, without being a shouter, showing good leadership potential, organising things around him, keeping things simple and using his height to be a dominant figure in both penalty areas. He is much further down the road than Paletta was five years ago.

For all that, the step up he is taking is still a big one. For evidence, he need only look to the wildly differing fates in English football of his team-mates in the Uruguay attack.

Diego Forlan is a truly magnificent footballer - intelligent, audacious, unselfish, technically excellent. He could even speak good English when he crossed the Atlantic to join Manchester United.

But straight from Independiente in Argentina with no senior international experience, it was too much, too soon. At Old Trafford he could never get a regular run of games and he lost momentum and confidence - before going off to Spain and proving himself a truly world class player.

Suarez, on the other hand, arrived in the Premier League that vital few years later, having bedded in with Ajax and shown what he could do in a World Cup. He has lit up Liverpool from day one.

The one undoubted plus point about Sebastian Coates joining Liverpool now is that he will only have to face Suarez in training games.

Comments on the piece in the space provided. Questions on South American football to, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.
From last week's postbag;

Q) I've been keeping an eye on the Brazilian league since the start of the season, and I can't help but notice that Santos, who have one of the best squads in the league with the likes of Neymar, Ganso and Elano in their squad, have really been struggling this year.

Fifteenth in the Brazilian league just isn't good enough for a team that hope to challenge at the Club World Cup this winter. What do you think is going on?
Arthur Holmes

A) I don't think it's anything to get too worried about, unless they slip back into the relegation zone, which is unlikely as recent results have picked up.

This kind of slump is normal for a Brazilian team that has just won the Copa Libertadores. As holders they are guaranteed a place in next year's Libertadores, and they start thinking day and night about the World Club Cup - it's hardly surprising that domestic form slumps.

It becomes even less surprising when you add in the fact that Santos have lost lots of players to international call-ups - the stars away for a month for the Copa America, others away for a month with the World Youth Cup - all during the domestic season.

I don't think their league form has much relevance in terms of their chances in the World Club Cup.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I think with the potential demise of Arsenal (not a fan but felt oh so sorry for them on the weekend) and the form/potential of Liverpool I think CL football is firmly back on the radar for them.. I think 1st or 2nd is not quite there for them but 3rd 4th is on like donkey kong as they say!

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    Are you Sebastion Coates biographer or something Oliver..... ;)?

  • Comment number 4.

    SebastiAn even.....damnit!

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 6.


    Should Lionel Messi watch out, i think you've just described the best defender thats ever graced this planet. Liverpool fan perhaps?

    Good young player who will grow and get better, will he straight in ahead of carragher/agger/skrtl, probably not. No doubt he'll be bedded in over this season, maybe a couple years.

    Have to agree with Dan Striker, shame on wilson, his chances will be limited now when another young British player was so highly rated and never given a chance, maybe now he could go back to rangers and actually play.

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm not so sure about Wilson. It could be that he will get the starts for a while as Coates gets bedded in. Maybe Dalglish has them in mind as the CB pairing of the future?

  • Comment number 8.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 9.

    Post number 2 by Oliver is actually an article from the Independent last week. Nice to see the usual tripe from the Liverpool hates (poster number 6) though.

  • Comment number 10.

    Tim Sturridge from The Independent was just on the phone: he'd like large portions of his article back.

  • Comment number 11.

    @9 - Doh! :-)
    (At least I provided a link! :-P)

  • Comment number 12.

    @9 Onlydez

    What part of what i said exactly do you think is tripe? Yes what is said in post number 2 is an article from another journo but its very overhyped for a player so young. Or was it the part when i said Coates was a good young player who will grow and get better?

    All i said was that we shouldnt get too excited about this guy, he'll take time to bed in, he's young and its a huge change in his life to come to england, i never once said he was rubbish or a waste of money.

    Being scottish im actually delighted to see Dalglish back in a job he loves so much, and LFC are very much back on the radar of the other top teams in the league. At least i can smile about one thing, us Scots seem to be able to at least produce decent managers! :)

  • Comment number 13.

    Tim, what do you make of Arsenal's new left back Andre Santos? I have previously read in your articles that left back is something of a problem position for the Brazilian national side, so can you see him becoming a success in the Premier League?

    Another great article, nothing I like more than reading about new young talent. Thanks.

  • Comment number 14.

    I urge the BBC please pronounce Sebastian Coates' name as it is said in England (Coats) rather than the embarrassing attempt on MOTD of pronouncing it in a Spanish way (Co-ar-tez). He is of English descent after all.

  • Comment number 15.

    Seems like a promising player, and I'm glad to see that with this signing and the Enrique signing at least Liverpool are moving away from buying hugely overpriced mediocre British players. As for Wilson, he has had a few games and has not shown any real potential. He is still young, but I suspect that he is not really going to become the top level defender that we require.

    Keep Mereilles. (Although I would like Yossi back!)

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm going to watch Brazil v Ghana next monday, any idea what sort of team Brazil will be putting out?

  • Comment number 17.

    Excellent stuff Tim. There are certainly elements of Coates' game that he will need to improve upon to be a success in England, and this will no doubt take some time, but he's dealt so well with all the challenges faced by him so far in his short career that I see little reason why he won't be able to overcome these and become a top centre-back.

  • Comment number 18.


    Coates has 2 scottish grand parents so i think you'll he's of Scottish descent.

  • Comment number 19.

    Practically NO liverpool fan will have seen Coates in action for his club National.

    Alot of them will have watched the Copa America to see Suarez. Uruguay enter the competition as the highest ranked South American nation and are eventual winners.

    The best team Uruguay face in the tournament is world ranked 9th Argentina. They also face teams ranked 11 20 26 (twice) semi 25 final.

    On the basis of this tournament were Coates receives worthy plaudits, Liverpool fans can tell, from Coates' only 5 international appearances, that Coates is dominant in the air in both boxes, has the poise and presence to single-handedly ward off the best strikers on the planet, can turn defence into attack with Glenn Hoddle like long passing, can dribble like Maradona, tackle like Bobby Moore, score goals like Pele and dictate games like Zidane.

    In short Coates is a certainty to be the best defender ever to have graced the game and he would be equally comfortable in any outfield position. This boy is a magician that we only ever witness every 50 years or so.

    Signing for liverpool, they have signed a player 10 times better than Phil Jones for half the price. Liverpool must surely now have the best 11 players man for man in world football at their disposal. They are certain to dominate domestic and European football for decades and start by winning the domestic treble this season, followed by a few quadruples in the coming years.

  • Comment number 20.

    'Red-Optimism' was there actually a point to your comment, or just sarcasm for the sake of it ? The article was well-balanced and interesting, providing in an introductory insight for those of us (which is most) unfamiliar with the player. Good luck to him in England.

  • Comment number 21.


    I do hope that was sarcasm!

  • Comment number 22.

    can you stop saying british! football in this country isnt british! its the English premier league and England national side. But thats just the BBC for you!

  • Comment number 23.


    was there a point?

    well, I don't hold much faith in your powers of perception, but I will try to spell it out to you.

    Liverpool fans are getting massively carried away with this relatively unknown player on the basis of him doing well in 5 games. They are plagiarising the most optimistic article they could find on the internet, with no real foundation to the wild claims in a bid to make Kenny Dalglish look like Bob Paisley mixed with Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. Aren't they Oliver?

  • Comment number 24.


    Practically NO Liverpool fan has made any such claim, it is just idiotic Utd. fans like you who claim we do.

    Good article Tim, I recall your points about Paletta at the time, so I was encouraged by your praise for Coates' club form. One for the future possibly if he is managed properly.

    Glad to hear that Paletta is also doing okay for himself now.

  • Comment number 25.


    So you missed Oliver's classic at 8.58am then?

    AAnd you have checked every football forum on the internet to support your claim that liverpool fans haven't been getting massively carried away? Thought not, you are just being ignorant with your speculative guess.

  • Comment number 26.

    why do man u fans have to automatically become idiots when they post on here. Most LFC fans do not think that Coates is the best defender ever but from where we have been over the last two seasons to see us buy good developing talent, like utd have done with the impressive Jones and Smalling, to make a sustained challenged over not just this season but over a number of them. Coates looks imposing on film but you'll never know until you see him in the flesh whereas Jones looked very good at Blackburn and many clubs tried , including LFC, to get him. Like to see how many games Jones and Coates have plaed by season end as both of them will rarely start especially once Vidic and Rio are fit

  • Comment number 27.

    Interesting signing, not getting carried away, the press seem to be doing all that as us fans simply no very little or nothing about him.

    Biggest concern for me is why on earth we're trying to sell Meireles?!?! Madness. The whole idea of making signings was to create strength in depth. If we sell him, Poulsen, Cole etc, then all we'll have to bring on is Spearing and Shelvey. Hardly the experienced heads that we need to change a game. Meireles has been one of our best players in the short time he's had on the pitch so far this season as he links up well with Suarez and to sell him at a loss AND take back a player we dumped last year is simply crazy!!! I'd take Yossi on a free if he was happy to sit on the bench, but they can't value him at £5m!!

  • Comment number 28.

    chelsea made a bid that we rejected rather than vice versa. Yossi is welcome back but i see him going to the emirates myself

  • Comment number 29.

    Interesting read Tim. I said basically the same the other day on a Liverpool fan site. The discussion was around Skrtel, and where he would fit in with a defence of Agger, Carragher, and Coates.

    This is what I had to say.

    "The Coates signing looks all but done, just waiting for the official announcement, but don't discount Skrtel yet. Remember when we signed Lucas? Young, South American, and no European football experience. Came with a big reputation as a great "prospect" after winning the player of the year award in Brazil.

    While he started in the Carling Cup, he didn't start in the Premier League until the end of November. And that, if I remember rightly, was when Alonso was injured (24th November 2007 against Newcastle). He got a decent run in the side while Alonso was injured, and for the second half of the season, featured in more Premier League games than he didn't. I think even Lucas would admit, he did struggle to adapt at first (no surprise). But look at him now, and in the last few seasons.

    The fact he was bedded in slowly, with the help of having class players like Alonso, Gerrard, and Mascherano around him, helped massively. When we lost Alonso, Lucas was then a guaranteed starter (even more so in the abscence of Aquilani). Still, many fans were unsure of him, but he went from strength to strength. Those 70+ appearances he had raked up in his first few seasons helped him. And he grew.

    What I am trying to say is, lets not demand and expect too much too soon from Coates. Unlike Suarez, he hasn't had the luxury of "adapting" to the European way of life in an "easier" league. He is coming straight to the unknown. Unlike Spain, where many people will share his language/culture, few people here will (bar members of our squad).

    That is why someone like Skretl, who can put in a good shift, can really help Coates develop. Him, Agger, and Carragher will probably play more often than not, with Coates being the 4th choice (for at least the first few months of the season). Allow him to settle and adapt to the English lifestyle, and the English game.

    Then, if Coates proves he can do it, he can push the other 3 CB's all the way. But I am sure, for this season (at least, if not beyond), Skrtel will play a key role in our squad."

  • Comment number 30.

    red optimism why dont you head off to some place deserving of an argument?

    Tim Vickery has written an article that deserves to be read as his opinion is well informed and lacking partizanship.

    I dont see a massive expectation from Liverpool fans for Coates just yet. Thats just your wild imagination. Sure you can always find isolated internet posters sprouting rubbish......You should know that :)

  • Comment number 31.


    Actually I did miss Oliver's post as it was removed by the time I logged on. Someone else posted the link which I was then able to read.

    As Bobbysmith has pointed out above, it appears to be some Journos who are getting carried away rather than Liverpool fans. You will always get one or two who will buy into that and it is in fact you who has chosen one post to level your accusations at ALL Liverpool fans.

    There is nothing wrong with a bit of optimism however, so in that spirit, This year will be our year for sure...

  • Comment number 32.

    @23 'Liverpool fans are getting massively carried away with this relatively unknown player on the basis of him doing well in 5 games' - correction 'A' Liverpool fan is getting carried away, and before you jump on this comment i'm fairly sure he's not the only overly eager fan that's ever posted online with regards to Liverpool. Equally though i'm fairly sure every club has their share of idiotic fans that post online, for example I remember man u fans calling for Alex's head a few years ago.. not their finest hour either.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ red_optimism.

    I'm a Liverpool fan, as are a lot of my mates, yet i don't know anyone who's getting 'carried away' with the potential of this youngster.
    But still, thank you for handing out a generous slice of negativity for us all today. I mean, it must be really awful for you to see other teams making promising signings too.

    Phil Jones IS looking like he's going to fulfil the hype, we get it...

  • Comment number 34.

    The Man Utd v Liverpool rivalry on this thread is pointless and irrelevant.

    All of us who follow international football have known for the last couple of years that Sebastian Coates is the outstanding young centre-back breaking through in world football. Comparisons with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are embarrassing: he has already won the Copa America and been Best Young Player at it.

    Jones and Smalling need to win Euro'2012 and be elected Best Young Player to be considered his peers. Not going to happen.

    More to the point, Coates was Best Young Player at the Copa America ahead of the likes of Neymar and Ganso. The idea of Smalling or Jones being at that level is comical.

    Coates may take a while to adapt to the Premier League, but he has already reached the top at a far higher level.

    A fascinating under-story to this is just where Uruguay are going as a national team. They will get next summer off, than have the 2013 Confederations Cup to let their team gel for the 2014 World Cup. It is possible that Lugano, Forlan and Perez may have to be replaced during South American qualifying as they start to age.

    But Uruguay will still have an astonishingly strong spine, with Coates and Godin in central defence, Fucile and Caceres at full-back, Alvaro Pereira and Arevalo Rios in midfield and Cavani and Suarez in attack. All they lack is a truly creative midfielder. If Nicolas Lodeiro starts to blossom in that role at Ajax we will see Uruguay firm as improbably contenders for a third World Cup, but if he doesn't they will need to somehow wrap Diego Forlan in cotton wool to nurse him through to Brazil!

  • Comment number 35.

    i agree with uruguay strength but cavani needs to develop more as he was poor when he played against liverpool for napoli last year in europa league. they look much more of a team than brazil or argentina who may have great talent but do not gel well especially argentina when you consider the players thay have available

  • Comment number 36.

    So often we hear the line "he should have waited before moving to europe", however in many cases it is simply not true. Do players move to big clubs before they are ready for it? Yes of course, but that happens regardless from all countries.

    You mention Paletta and Forlan as those who went early and lost out because of it, but you fail to even suggest that actually being at Liverpool/United might have made them better payers and been a large part of the player they have become today. Would they have actually developed quicker/better staying at home? Or would they have in fact stagnated without the greater challenges and better coaching?

  • Comment number 37.

    37. Good point Hackerjack. I think that these experiences can be really valuable, even if they're not pleasant. So many foreign players are happy to move around the world in search of a pro-contract and chance to prove themselves. It's often a chance to prove people wrong at home as well as for a select few being lucrative.
    I think that some English pros (or wannabe pros) could take note of this. Maybe this is the real reason so few Englishmen are now playing in the Premiership, they refuse to test themselves outside of the English football pyramid.

  • Comment number 38.


    Sorry can you please remind me whereabouts in Eng-ger-land Swansea is?

  • Comment number 39.

    For the Liverpool fans that are saying they feel sorry for Danny Wilson, do you not think they can both be accomodated?

    Carraghar and Agger both have pretty checkered fitness levels in the past few seasons, and like someone said earlier, Dalglish may be looking to the long term for these two to take over.

  • Comment number 40.

    @34 Yakubu, if you want to compare trophies and awards from different continents, why don't we make it all a little more relevant and see what the supposed "outstanding young centre-back breaking through in world football" has won after a few years with Liverpool compared to Jones and Smalling.

    My guess is that the "outstanding centre back" won't be the winner.

  • Comment number 41.

    @40 he may have been comparing trophies won, but the post showed that coates won the best young player at the copa america, ahead of neymar and others, an individual award, something jones or smalling havent done and probably wont do because of the defenders that are ahead of them right now. coates, jones and smalling are all good, there is no need to compare, I, as a liverpool fan, was upset when we didnt sign phil jones, but if coates signs, then I would be pretty happy as he is also as good and talented as jones

  • Comment number 42.

    wilson unfortunately has not played enough for Liverpool to see if he has a future here. Now he looked ok last week Vs Exeter but thats the only time he's played centre half for us. He only played half a season for rangers so maybe a loan for experience is the way forward for him. Skrtel scares me every time a cross comes in as he does a lot of tugging of shirts especially corners. Agger's past injury record is only slighty better than van Persie so he cannot be relied upon so Coates may play. Also Jamie will 34 in january so may only have this season before he becomes bit part player like Sami before him. So yes Wilson may have future but he needs to prove a lot (got there eventually)

  • Comment number 43.

    @41 I completely agree, but was only highlighting that Yakubu was surely being rather contradictory in his points.

    I don't think Dalglish achieved much last year (he did what was necessary, by seeing out a meaningless campaign), however his summer dealings and the football he has Liverpool playing currently, makes it difficult to question his judgement.

    I am confident that Smalling and Jones will go on to be our future centre backs, and as mentioned above I see no reason presently to question Dalglish' belief that Coates can do the same at Liverpool.

    Some of the football on display this year has been superb, many games have been good to watch and I hope it continues from all areas of the North West.

  • Comment number 44.

    Couldn't help but think about Paletta when I first heard that we were linked with Coates. But I don't get the uneasy feeling about Coates, that I did about Paletta. I think he'll be a good player for us EVENTUALLY. It seems that some people expect him to immediately go into the starting line-up (a la Phil Jones at Utd), but I don't see that happening for a little while at least, unless Kenny sees something absolutely outstanding in training straight away. He will be given the time he needs, we have Skrtel and Wilson (even Kelly at a push, if fit) if there are any problems with the starting two. Also Suarez and the other South Americans will definitely help him settle quicker.

    I think Liverpool fans are getting a bad rep from the media hype surrounding this transfer. However inevitable it is, I don't think he should be compared to Phil Jones. Jones played in the Premier League for a year and a bit, so it's not really that surprising he could go to Utd and fit in.

    Anyway my point is, lets be optimistic, but not expect too much too soon. He will be good, just give him a chance!

  • Comment number 45.

    Engish football is boring. Scottish football is worse. Irish and Welsh football are no better than a Sunday kick-about in the park. In short, British football is a festival of misplaced passes, huffing and puffing and rants at the referee. The only good aspect is the devoted fans' singing. You would expect reasonably priced facilities in a country that pilfered wealth all over the world for over a century. Instead you pay sky high prices for a decrepit transport network and lousy food. Few players and even fewer teams play good football in the over-hyped Premier League.

    It is not a surprise that England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland play the most atrocious football at international tournaments, when they manage to qualify. Remember Kevin Keegan, Glenn Hoddle, Trevor Francis, John Barnes, Peter Barnes, Alan Shearer, Mick Channon, Trevor Brooking, Gerry Francis etc. These were so called world class players who never made ANY impression at the Euro Cup or World cup. Ryan "missing" Giggs is the best British player to grace the Premiership since 1990. Has he shone in any of Man. United's Champions League Finals? No. Now Rooney is supposed to be world class and comparable to Messi. What a load of rubbish. The sooner the English admit their limitations and stop hyping their players/teams to the high heavens the more likeable they will become. Players go to England beacause of the high salaries, the strong pound, and the chance to learn English.

    Any young player going to England should head to Arsenal, Norwich or Chelsea. I feel sorry for Coats. He is destined to languish in doldrums of Liverpool and leran to play kick and rush rugby in the mould of Jamie Carragher. They don't play football there anymore. Ask Torres and Gerrard.

  • Comment number 46.

    Yakubusdiet @34:
    "A fascinating under-story to this is just where Uruguay are going as a national team. They will get next summer off, than have the 2013 Confederations Cup to let their team gel for the 2014 World Cup."

    Well, there's the Olympics next summer, which I expect will be taken extremely seriously (we go on and on about winning the gold in 1924 and 1928, after all). That'll be an under 23 side, but with 3 older reinforcements, so it will be a good chance for the youngsters, most probably including Coates.

  • Comment number 47.

    yakubusdiet wrote:
    The Man Utd v Liverpool rivalry on this thread is pointless and irrelevant.

    All of us who follow international football have known for the last couple of years that Sebastian Coates is the outstanding young centre-back breaking through in world football.


    Ha ha

    Blatant lies to try to support an argument

    Prior to 2011 Coates had achieved little at International level with just 10 U20/U21 appearances.

    'outstanding world youngster' - hype! He was barely on the radar until a few weeks ago.

    And liverpool fans automatically assume I'm a United fan based on the fact that I don't show their over enthusiasm for liverpool. LOL

  • Comment number 48.

    don't play football there well i would say that you do not watch us recently. Torres left and has done nothing for club or country since. Gerrard? You could say this 12 months earlier but EPL is not kick and rush but the international issues are due to lack of interest from players and clubs. from your name i guess you may be a brazil fan. lovely to watch but your domestic leagues are a joke with most players till recently being touted to any european club with money. Corinthians now seem to have cash but does that improve the whole league

  • Comment number 49.

    #23. How the hell are Liverpool fans getting carried away with this signing??? Please tell me how you have come to this conclusion because as a Liverpool fan I haven't seen any over-excitement from the fans about this signing.

  • Comment number 50.

    To Red Optimism.

    Get a life, love. 8-2 at the weekend, yet you still troll Liverpool blogs? I love the fact that we worry Man U fans who should be rightfully wallowing in a historic result to this extent! Coates is a player and you are insecure.



  • Comment number 51.


    jumping on the band wagon of insults

    if you could read you'd know I am not a United fan _ I'm actually a Sheff Wednesday fan if it bothers you. My initial post was a direct sarcastic response to a liverpool fan 'bigging' Coates up to Messi levels. Since then I have had insults and been incorrectly labelled a United fan.

    Liverpool fans show insecurity dashed with delusion otherwise they wouldn't even be that bothered to digest my comment

  • Comment number 52.


    Didn't get the chance to read Oliver's post but if it does lift off the article as posted it seems pretty balanced as of course Tim's does. Not a Liverpool fan myself but I remember getting pretty excited when Boro signed Juninho after he had been voted young Brazillian of the year, nothing wrond with that. Don't think there's anything wrong with pool fans thinking this kid could be good after being voted young player of the Copa.

  • Comment number 53.


    Having a little trouble understanding your user name, even your fellow Owls if you truly are one would question your loyalty.

  • Comment number 54.

    @47.At 14:20 30th Aug 2011, red_optimism wrote
    International football in the sense meant would be world football , maybe that phrase would help you .

    BTW Wednesday play in blue

  • Comment number 55.

    Ps not jumpig on the bandwagon as I havent insulted you yet

  • Comment number 56.

    @45.At 14:13 30th Aug 2011, Falcaocerezo wrote
    Irish isnt British , you know as much about geography as you do about football .
    "Any young player going to England should head to Arsenal, Norwich or Chelsea" NORWICH!!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    Nice to see another nice piece high-jacked by Man U fans. Last time is was the article about Kun and before that Suarez. Nobody cares about your 'opinion', you're not commenting on the topic, so why don't you just go back to football365 or something? The same goes for any Liverpool, Man City or Chelsea fan who can't look further than their own nose. You're boring.

  • Comment number 59.

    so you can't reason an argument so resort to cheap jibes. 1990 was the last time for the record but since then 3 FA Cups, 3league cups, UEFA cup and of course the champions league (widely recognised as greatest comeback final ever). Guessing Utd or Chelsea fan with a united fan at least having the right to make that jibe as they have a similar magnificent history tinged with real tragedy

  • Comment number 60.

    going back to original post, it seems that Coates is a promising player who could be something after a season or to. Some fans can go overboard but previous blogs have criticised liverpool signings but it seems that most of those this year are bedding in well (reserve judgment on Henderson at the mo as he is so young). Utd have bought well but keeper needs a season to bed in like schiemcal (terrible spelling) did in 1992. De Gea was stunning in Europa semi against LFC in 2010 and will be good addition once he learns english. Jones was a great buy (already stated that would have loved LFC to get him but champions are a big draw)

  • Comment number 61.

    Tim, what have you done? This should be your last blog related to Liverpool or Man Utd. What awful replies, like one of those Phil McNulty threads! 606 should be re-opened, if only to save the rest of us reading this nonsense.

    I do agree with you though - I had expected him to struggle a bit, but Coates looked very good indeed at the Copa. Of course it helps having Lugano beside you... Jamie Carragher is a different matter!

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.


    Great point there about Lucas once he joined the club. Similiar situation here with young Coates' - I personally think its a wonderful signing for Liverpool. As some of you mentioed on Agger and Carragher's fitness, its unpredictable for Dan Agger sometimes. But players like this around Coates' will certainly help him settle into this fantastic league! So i wish him all the best.

  • Comment number 64.

    This blog has become ridiculous. South American football always written very well by Tim is now an English slagging match.

    Completely agree with #61 stevie_bhoy. Tim you should not write any more about English premier league related even if there is south American relationship.
    Blog becomes unreadable with people mocking each other in wayward topic.

  • Comment number 65.

    My club is irrelevant on this blog.

    I named it as lfc fans are obsessed with labelling anybody who disagrees with them as a 'Manure fan'.

    The name reflects my view of liverpool fans blind optimism and was made up for the purpose of commenting in reaction to post 2. Liverpool fans become enraged at anybody who challenges their opinions, even in jest.

  • Comment number 66.

    So you made a new username on the BBC just to goad Liverpool fans? What an exciting, interesting life you must lead.

  • Comment number 67.

    By the way, great blog as usual Tim, keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 68.

    Mark Norman

    Actually it is Co-a-tez because strangely enough pronounciations change as names are changed across the world.

    Should we call Per Mertesacker - Peter Becausesacker or Bastian Schweinsteiger - Barry Pigclimber. No you silly billy because that's not their names. It's very disrespectful to the player and family.

  • Comment number 69.

    Tim, doesn't Coates remind you of Gonzalo Sorondo who also played briefly in the EPL (Charlton & Crystal Palace)? Both of them are massively big defenders, Sorondo frustrated Henry in the 2002 World Cup earning Henry a red-card... I just hope Coates doesn't end up like Sorondo, who is playing for Internacional Porto Alegre or I should say not playing.

  • Comment number 70.

    At 17:01 30th Aug 2011, red_optimism wrote:

    My club is irrelevant on this blog."

    Bite your tongue! My club too, and Owls are always relevant.

  • Comment number 71.

    yeah whatever coates and liberpool will finish in mid-table

  • Comment number 72.

    #69_El Presidente

    haha totally agree! i think Coates is more promising though

    #65. At 17:01 30th Aug 2011, red_optimism wrote:

    The name reflects my view of liverpool fans blind optimism and was made up for the purpose of commenting in reaction to post 2. Liverpool fans become enraged at anybody who challenges their opinions, even in jest.

    Your in the wrong place mate. this is for football fans

  • Comment number 73.

    phil, the comparison with forlan is false.

    forlan moved to a big club in Man United, liberpool stopped being a big club a long time ago.

  • Comment number 74.

    # 68

    One thing ive always wondered though, is say for example in a spanish tv coverage of european competition where Liverpool play, do the spanish commentators make the effort to say "steevie gerraaard" in a high pitched scouse accent like when Motty and the like would do for Ginola (shino-la) or Asprilla (ashpriya) on the bbc, or do they just say "gerrard" in their own spanish way of doing it?

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    @65.At 17:01 30th Aug 2011, red_optimism wrote:
    Sad .

  • Comment number 77.

    "So basically, you're stating that you're a fool. As someone who supports a much smaller club, it's always interesting to see how small-minded the supporters of big premier league clubs can be."

    But he's, supposedly, a fan of league 1 Sheffield Wednesday.

  • Comment number 78.

    77. I'm honestly speechless at this point.

  • Comment number 79.

    dont get upset. its not our fault this blog has a liverpool bias.

    it has also always been anti-argentina but i suppose phil is from brazil so yeah whatever

  • Comment number 80.

    Hello Tim,

    I need talking to you!

    Answer my email please.

    I look forward to


  • Comment number 81.



    whoever he is, sounds like tim's been a naughty boy!

  • Comment number 82.

    79. We have a phrase for you in English, but my last post was taken don't for just calling someone 'a fool'. S___-stirrer. Frankly I like it, but it still distracts away from the topic of the article.
    In my opinion, it's better for South Americans to adapt to European football at smaller clubs where there is more chance of regular football and less media attention and fan expectation. The sad truth is at 21, Coates may not get a chance. Dalglish hardly has a reputation for blooding young players anyway.

  • Comment number 83.

    82 *taken DOWN, not don't!

  • Comment number 84.

    Coates will start against Stoke in my opinion, in a back three.

  • Comment number 85.

    I hope so. Regardless of what some people may say, Carragher has a mountain of experience, so it would make sense to put him in with two old heads. He can do the running, while Agger and Carragher can organise.
    I'll be interested to see how he gets on.

  • Comment number 86.

    76. At 19:02 30th Aug 2011, murry1975 wrote:

    @65.At 17:01 30th Aug 2011, red_optimism wrote:
    Sad .


    I agree with you. Very sad indeed.
    Clearly, as supporters of a club, you should not be optimistic about your clubs chances for fear of causing issue with supporters from another club.

    Also we should not be at all excited by a new signing, because that equates to making him out to be the best thing since sliced bread.

    But I will agree that the posters on here and other forums represents the hundreds of thousands of Liverpool supporters. We all have the email addresses of this select group and we all send them our thoughts. They are then able to speak on our behalf...

    Sigh, some people....

    Back to the topic in hand - Coates has clearly shown signs of promise at an early age, and it's always a gamble buying such players as you never know how they will progress/settle in a new league.

    However, I'd much rather take that gamble at the £8m odd price mentioned, than see him fulfil that potential and have him cost £millions more at a later date.

  • Comment number 87.


    I think you do Dalglish a bit of a disservice. The Liverpool teams that have been taking the field since he took over have a decidedly youthful look about them, admittedly some of it out of necessity.

    I agree with you to some extent about young players joining big clubs where their opportunities may be limited.

    The flip side of that is that if the clubs don't make their move early, the players with the best potential will end up elsewhere.

    It's a catch 22 situation which unfortunately sometimes doesn't work out for either the player or the clubs concerned.

  • Comment number 88.

    It was more a dig at his previous stint as Liverpool coach to be honest. I know a few Liverpool fans who were cursing him for letting the team become so old and not bringing in fresh talent. Maybe, he's trying to correct that now...

    Yeah, and it can be great business. Ajax, Palermo and Udinese have been filling their youth teams with young South American talent for years. Some make it, most don't.

    I meant that if I were a young Uruguayo footballer, I'd think twice about going to one of the bigger clubs. It's a long way to fall from when you're put on such a high pedestal. I'd going to one of the lesser teams of EPL, La liga or Serie A or pehaps go the Ronaldinho/Ronaldo route and go to one of the bigger clubs in the smaller leagues; eg. Dutch or French.

  • Comment number 89.

    @86.At 19:51 30th Aug 2011, Shoots-The Swindlement of the Swindling Swindler
    Clearly, as supporters of a club, you should not be optimistic about your clubs chances for fear of causing issue with supporters from another club.
    Er , did you read anything ? I will give you a summary .
    red_optimism is a sheff weds fan who picked that name today to come on to this blog so he could "stir" things . That is sad .

  • Comment number 90.


    I'm not suggesting you are over the hill or anything like that but I'm guessing you would make that kind of decision with the benefit of some life experience.

    These youngsters are most likely being encouraged by unscrupulous agents and possibly even their own clubs to go to bigger clubs in order to command bigger fees etc.

    I'm sure Tim could shed some light on that subject if he hasn't already done so in previous blogs. But he seems to be understandably giving this blog a wide berth now since it's been hijacked by some idiots.

  • Comment number 91.

    He's tough, good in the air and not afraid to tackle. With Carragher aging, Skrtel's somewhat patchy form and Agger an injury concern if used well Coates will be a good addition to the team. Some Central and South American players fail to adapt as the cultural differences are so great. Teams this side of the Atlantic are more prone to protect their players and offer arms around shoulders. Whether the softly softly approach is a necessity is debatable, but it's just how it's done. In England it's more every man for himself.

    My two-penneth - he'll come good if Kenny trusts and values him.

  • Comment number 92.

    As a Liverpool fan now living in Argentina, I have managed to see quite a lot of games where Coates has played, as well as the Copa America first hand. Have to confess that I was smiling when I saw the interest in him from Liverpool, as it was inevitable that he would be heading to Europe this summer. As Tim says, he is a promising player, looks full of potential, and hopefully, he can become a bedrock in the Reds defence over the near future.

    Is he is going to be Liverpool's Number 5 (Ok, I'm old) for years to come, doubtful, more because of the transitory nature of players today, but having seen him play, and stand out at times (well, he is 6.6) he looks like he will become a very good defender over the next ten years, whether that be at Liverpool or elsewhere.

    There are a lot of decent players plying their trade in Argentina and Uruguay, and also a lot of very ordinary ones, many of whom move to Europe simply for the money, and on a whiff of a promise of "wunder-kid" - some make it, many fail, and Tim's blog highlights the downs, as well as the ups - Thanks for keeping things sane about some of these players.

  • Comment number 93.

    90. Hahaha, At 31 I hope I'm not over the hill yet! Dalglish is a good manager and yes, he's picked a good one here it seems and it's exactly what Liverpool need; some speed at the back as well as one for the future. I'm sure Dalglish has learnt his lesson this time.

    Too true, the fact that Nacional will only see around half of the transfer money due to selling half his rights a few years ago for magic beans illustrates that perfectly. It's a shame, but while Grondona and Teixeira are in charge, I doubt anyone will do anything about these vultures that simply buy the rights to these kids and then basically send them to anywhere they choose, while the clubs get poorer and poorer.

  • Comment number 94.

    I hope Coates can become the next Sami Hyypia because we have really missed him since he left a player whos commanding in the area, strong and can score a few goals but you can't tell if he will be any good until he gets game time.

  • Comment number 95.

    I watched Coates play alongside my favourite centre back Lugano in Copa America and he was brilliant. Strong, fast, surprisingly good footballer and a really big unit. Liverpool have got an absolute steal and so young as well. I was screaming for Spurs to get him. Please rescue Bryan Ruiz from Fulham Harry!

  • Comment number 96.

    79 - last week I was accused of a pro-Argentina, anti-Brazil bias. I'll take getting the opposite this week as proof of hitting a sound balance!

    69 - Sorondo comparison - another centre back I once had high hopes of. There are similarities, though I think Coates is naturally leaner, less bulky of build. Sorondo, of course, has proved very, very injury prone - hopefully the career of Coates will not be dashed against the same rocks.

  • Comment number 97.


  • Comment number 98.

    everyone knows the bbc is biased towards liverpool

  • Comment number 99.

    Nice to see some tactical assessments in a football write up Tim. A rare event in our media, and I think one reason why our national team in particular doesn't seem to be making any headway. I've got no problem with the bench press, but it doesn't seem to me like we put nearly enough effort into the thinking side of the game.

    Don't know much about Coates, but judging by the football Liverpool have played since Dalglish returned as manager, it looks like he will be joining a club returning to the football it once was renowned for. Whether that's enough to topple the new order remains to be seen. As a Man City fan, I hope not, but it should make for good theatre.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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