Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is one of the world’s best soccer players. Yet his play for Liverpool in the Premier League has been largely uneven, with the Egyptian star starting the season on a swoon.
The veteran internationalist, though, seems to have found his bearing lately, scoring six goals in the Reds’ last seven games.
Curiously, Salah’s in-season “revival” has coincided with manager Jurgen Klopp shifting Salah from wing to center-forward.
Klopp has been empathetic to his star as well, pointing out that Salah has had to deal with some injuries, and that his body needed time to fully heal. While that seems to be the case now, Klopp nonetheless noted that Salah has not had “the same calmness, coolness” in scoring situations.
Klopp’s admission, however innocuous, seems like a subtle dig at Salah — a restrained acknowledgment that the Egyptian is maybe not the player he once was or that he is simply not performing up to expectations.
It also shows, in some ways, the brewing disconnect between manager and player, fanned in part by rumblings about Salah’s purportedly selfish ways.
But again, Salah seems to be getting his groove back. Former Reds defender Stephen Warnock, however, thinks Salah’s solid play lately is fool’s good, at least for now.
Warnock still thinks Salah is “out of sorts” and is still figuring out Klopp’s long-ball system.
“I just don’t feel that the Liverpool’s front three are clicking in the same way they have done in the past,” Warnock explained, before lamenting the Egyptian’s me-first tendencies.
“I know everyone is talking about Mohamed Salah being back in form, but I don’t see it myself, said Warnock. “I still think he is out of sorts – he is trying to play as an individual and is not enough of a team-player.”
The Salah drama, though, has not put a dent on Liverpool’s quest for Premier League silverware. The Reds are currently crowding league leaders Manchester City at the top of the standings, and have remained unbeaten despite their best player’s struggles.
This is certainly welcome news for the club as they remain just a rung off the top spot. Ultimately, Liverpool will need an in-form Salah if they want to finish the season strong. Reds fans will surely keep tabs on the 26-year-old Egyptian, as will fans in soccer-mad Nigeria and its booming online sports betting industry which Africa Feeds reported about previously.
The soaring popularity of online sports betting was spurred largely by the payment systems developed by homegrown technology firms, which have made online business in general more viable.
Nigerians can now bet online on the Premier League, and a host of other leagues and sports as well, including La Liga, golf, and basketball. A popular bet is on who will cop the Premier League title, and Liverpool, trailing Manchester City by just two points as of press time, are certainly in contention.
And Salah rediscovering his spectacular game might just be what the Reds need to power past the Citizens as the season rolls along.
Otherwise, Salah and Liverpool might be headed for a divorce, especially if the former heeds his manager’s advice. Javier Aguirre, Salah’s manager in the Egyptian national squad, has urged his star to quit Liverpool if the club fails to win silverware this season.
The Reds are still in good shape, firmly in second behind Manchester City and just a Salah surge away from the top spot. Then again, they are a Salah stink job or two away from falling off the top five, too.