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08 Feb 2020 12:31:25
With all the Player of the Year talk, i’m going to float an idea that most people don’t seem to give a second thought to; the Salah of today is a far better and more effective all round player than the one who scored 44 goals in 2017/ 18.

Back then Salah was, like Thanos, an inevitability. Virtually every game it was a certainty he would score. Sometimes he would have a relatively quiet game and then pop up with a moment of magic that would change the whole complexion of the match.

I’d argue that Salah’s unbelievable goalscoring record was largely a result of the unique collective brilliance of the front 3 as a unit and the explosive counter attacking football that was being coached by Klopp. Back then, we were probably the finest counter attacking team since Real Madrid in 2011/ 12, and relied exclusively on the oppositions willingness to get at our defense, which they invariably always did as back then our defense had a pretty bad reputation.

After a year of obliterating teams on the counter and playing football at 100 miles an hour, Klopp knew he would have to tweak the tactics to make us more multi-dimensional and sustainable over the course of the season, otherwise we would be found out. Naturally, this affected Salah’s game enormously, and he has had to adapt his game to be able to play in a possession based side.

I would argue he has adapted better than the vast majority of players ever could. Firmino and Mane find it far easier to contribute with goals as they possess a bizarre natural ability to score headers from the crosses of the fullbacks, which Salah does not. Despite this, he still continues to top the scoring charts over the course of the season, despite playing through bad injuries for long periods and suffering clear knocks in confidence when the fans get on his back about selfish play. He is still able to create massive amounts of chances for himself and teammates, and i would argue that this season he is having one of those inexplicably unlucky seasons in front of goal that cannot be explained, just as in the same way his first season could not be explained, and is very unfortunate not to score more.

What is most impressive is that despite not being able to counter attack and use his pace anywhere near as much as he used to due to the conservative play of our opponents, he has adapted his all round game to suit this new system. His hold up play with his back to goal is absolutely outstanding, it is a far cry from the speedy nippy winger we saw in his first season. The man has become an absolute beast and holds up the ball better than the vast majority of 6’4 target men. His footwork is now absolutely dazzling and his control in tight areas is now at a standard of some of the true greats in the game, sometimes he’ll be surrounded by 3 or 4 players in the attacking third and yet he’ll be able to shift his feet so rapidly it is almost impossible to dispossess him. If you look at the statistics, he has been by far the most creative player in the premier league over the last few seasons, but you wouldn’t believe it because the narrative is that he is ‘selfish’.

Salah doesn’t seem to be getting the credit he deserves this season because of people who do not watch full liverpool games are passing judgement on the Salah of today to the Salah of two years ago. The truth is that they simply do not understand the complexities of how our team operates now compared to then, and do not watch anywhere near enough of Salah to give him the credit he deserves. We should appreciate him while he’s here and get off his back whenever he makes a poor decision in the final third; the man is a world class player, just let him get on with it!

Agree11 Disagree0

08 Feb 2020 12:41:51
I’m starting to think this AW. You don’t know what you have till it’s gone kind of situation. Salah is the ever world class player in the team since the day he arrived. His numbers are ridiculous.

08 Feb 2020 12:46:58
Agree I constantly have friends that are fans of other clubs saying Salah is rubbish because he hasn't score as many goals. But his work rate and also his runs that create openings for the other players. The other thing is he's not out of the running for a 3rd goldenboot in a row. I still find it hard to look beyond big Virgil. But to be fair you could give it to Trent, Allison, Henderson, Mane and I don't think anyone would argue much.

08 Feb 2020 13:32:47
AW, That is the most cogent, competent post about Salah I have ever read. Not only is it both of these things, it is actually the truth. I watched an interview on RedMen TV where David Maddock addressed this very topic on Salah and you are spot on with his analysis. He said that Salah has become a true animal not just cos he is STILL scoring goals BUT cos his pressing ability under the new system we play, has been outstanding.

Maddock said people can go on about Salah not scoring enuff or the other rubbish about him being sold as a result of that BUT Klopp is not arsed about any of that nonsense. To Klopp, Salah is having the season of his LFC life right now and judging him on goals scored is a fool's errand cos well, Klopp does not judge Salah on that. Therefore for me, I now watch Salah differently now with this info in mind and based on what I have seen, Maddock is spot on. So to those who think Salah should be sold, I suggest you watch that interview and get informed.

08 Feb 2020 14:29:16
I don't know why people have a downer on him. Is it because of the agent touting him about and Liverpool fans worried about losing another big star to the Spanish league? He's scored tonnes of goals for Liverpool in his 3 seasons. And who can blame him for hitting every chance he gets?

The only down side is his decision making on rare occasions. There have been a few times when he should have passed. But only about 4 or 5 times this season and that's not too bad really.

08 Feb 2020 14:51:40
I actually find this season he's relying more so on breaking in behind as a source of his goals as opposed to a much more variation over last 2 seasons. Of his 14 league goals 3 were pens which leaves him with 11 from open play. From my memory most of them were 1v1 situations or 6 yard finishes from squared passes.

In previous years salah would score long range goals, curlers from tricky areas or individual solo efforts. I can't recall one of those type of strikes this season and his goals are resulting from getting in behind defences solely which is a great stat as he's getting goals from probable areas and not relying on goals out of nothing. I'm sure with growing confidence well see him bag a few like the types of worldies he's scored vs spurs, Everton, Chelsea, southampton, Roma, Watford, Bournemouth over last 2 seasons.

This season though he's racking up nearly all his goals from 1v1 areas behind line of defence and every goal inside the box.

08 Feb 2020 14:54:48
Robbie, I think the people who have a downer on him have been spoiled with the amount of goals he scored in his first season so they cannot see past that, as if that magical season can be sustained. Also with this in mind, they are unable to see that Salah based on his overall game, is three times the player he was when he had that season. Like I said, if you judge Salah on goals scored then you are fooling yourself and missing the big picture.

Klopp does not judge him on the bleeding obvious (goals/ assists) . Klopp judges him (according to Maddock) on his movement, his instinctive pressing, positioning, understanding of pressing angles in other words, ALL the things you cannot see if you are only searching for goals and assists. If you watch Salah with all these judgment points Klopp uses to judge him, you will see how great Salah has become under Klopp and if the OP could see that then, anyone can see these things IF they actually bothered to try.

08 Feb 2020 15:23:03
Some good insights being posted about salah here in fairness. I'd much rather have a salah get 20 goals in a season if it means mane might also get 20 and firmino notch 15 as opposed to having a player get 30 or 35 goals but harming our overall attacking threat. We used to purr at the numbers Suarez or Torres scored while ignoring our next threat below was a kuyt or a coutinho maybe getting only 10 goals.

Same when people have called for likes of Henderson or gini to be replaced by fernandes, maddison etc simply cos they score more goals.

08 Feb 2020 15:35:20
And salah gets double teamed, if not tripled. That first season he was another promising winger but by season 2 defenders and coaches knew he was a world class talent who would damage them if given space.

Har red's post was interesting and correct I think. I remember a lot of 10 yd goals and penalties but not the top corner curlers either. I love the guy. When he picks up the ball in the final third I get a little surge of energy, knowing he can do amazing things.

08 Feb 2020 20:53:01
Warning. This will be controversial!

Salahs first season.44 goals. very impressive number. however. I still had the overall impression he needed 3 chances to score one. much like Andy cole back in the day. I think the problem now is salah scoring 20 goals in a season when he needs 3 chances to score a goal. his finishing inefficiency is now a little more obvious. Honestly. out of the front three, he is definitely the only one we could upgrade on #mbappe2020 😁.

08 Feb 2020 21:44:54
Nice one, Torben BUT Klopp does not see things that way, I'm afraid. You can get your Mbappe (good luck with that, lol) in to replace Salah BUT if he cannot do all the other "invisible" things Klopp demands of his team, it ain't going to happen. Bobbie doesn't score enuff goals as a CF, so they say. Do you want to replace him too?

I did some research and found that Klopp is more concerned about a player's conduct when he does NOT have the ball than when he does. Hence in Salah's case, Klopp is not worried about the goals he misses cos in the end, Mo WILL score goal regardless.

Klopp is more concerned about Salah improving his overall individual and team play, pressing instincts, angles and overall improvement cos IMO if he can do that, he will be able to score more goals. Now if Salah wants to go then fine BUT we should not kick him out cos he did not score a few tap-in's. Just my opinion.

09 Feb 2020 08:53:44
Thanks. I am glad that you KNOW what Klopp wants. for info. I think bobby is irreplaceable right now. and mane is close to being irreplaceable. Mo offers a decent work rate and an unreliable end product. That is upgradeable!

09 Feb 2020 10:58:42
Torben, I know what Klopp wants cos I have watched interviews of those who have inside info provide that information. This information is available to anyone who bothers to want to know it, even you.



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