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LIVERPOOL FAN CHRIS WILLIAMS HAILS THE IMPACT OF NEW REDS HERO MOHAMED SALAH...
The amazing impact of Salah
SUBLIME. Sensational. Stupendous. The superlatives to assign to the superb Mohamed Salah are endless. In years to come, my fellow Liverpool fans will remember this period in the club’s long history as The Days of Salah, and rightly so.
At the time of writing, the £36m signing from Roma is a mere three goals shy of setting a new Premier League record for goals in a 38- game season, eclipsing esteemed company in Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer all tied on 31, and may yet chase down Alan Shearer and Andy Cole’s shared accolade of most goals in any Premier League season (34 in 42 games).
There is very little to say about the 25year-old that hasn’t been repeatedly recited from his first goal against Watford in the season’s curtain-raiser, right up until his recent four-goal rampage in the 5-0 rout over, er… Watford again, but there are several people who should share some of the credit for the Egyptian’s spotlightstealing season. They deserve our thanks.
Since arriving on Merseyside, the “Normal One” has made a few eyebrow-raising signings. Instagram model-turnedgoalkeeper Loris Karius remains about as safe as a treehouse in a lightning storm and Estonian centre-back Ragnar Klavan continues to be as useful as an underwater hairdryer. Nonetheless, Klopp isn’t interested in who the media think he should buy, how much a payer will cost, or even the player’s current club.
He is interested only in his system. If a player fits his system, the German needn’t consider anything else. This has lead to key purchases such as Andrew Robertson and Gini Wijnaldum, both of whom had just been relegated with their former clubs, along with Sadio Mané and Salah.
A player that fits the system helps the team, and helps the player reach new heights. Thank you, Jurgen.
THE ASSIST MEN
In 20 years’ time, historical stats won’t tell you the full story of the importance of the man with football’s whitest teeth to this Liverpool team.
Yet Roberto Firmino’s work for the team in final-third pressing is second to none, and his persistence cannot be undervalued.
His assist for Salah in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Manchester City was the epitome of the man, and his sixth assist for the Egyptian.
Mané has also served up six goals for the winger, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain four and James Milner and Robertson two apiece. Thank you, lads.
Coutin-who? A distant memory to a shamelessly bitter Liverpool fan, thanks to the exploits of the remaining members of the so-called “Fab Four”.
Firmino, Mané and Salah have hit new heights in the wake of the Brazilian answering the call of Barcelona boss Ernesto “Yoko Ono” Valverde, with Salah scoring in eight of the ten Premier League games since Coutinho departed to pursue his dream of watching the Champions League knockout stages in the comfy seats of the Camp Nou. Thank you, Philippe.
The so-called Special One must be scratching his head as he watches Salah and Kevin De Bruyne battle it out for PFA Player of the Year.
As Vesper Lynd says to James Bond in Casino Royale, “You think of women as disposable pleasures, rather than meaningful pursuits”, so too Jose thinks of player recruitment.
A fleeting high while players like Ibrahimovic provide an instant impact before fading away, while ‘the ones that got away’ such as De Bruyne and Salah prove that in the right hands, a player can flourish. Take note, Luke Shaw.
While Mourinho is a fantastic football manager, he is a poor coach of players. Thank you, Jose.
And of course, thank you Mohamed Salah. In years to come, we could have something special together. Can’t hurt to dream. Alléz Alléz Alléz.
SHOOTING STAR: Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates and, insets, Philippe Coutinho, left, and Kevin De Bruyne