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16 Sep 2021 06:42:26
Hey Ed 001,

Hope everything is good at your end! Seeking out your opinion on something i have noticed off late with our team. Please note this is not me complaining/ throwing a fit or whatever. I am happy with starting UCL campaign with a win but I cannot lie I was overall a lil frustrated with an aspect of our play.

I think our first choice wingers (mane and salah) are far less effective than they used to be at the peak of their powers. With Mane it is clear for everyone to see, what is probably controversial and many may disagree with me is Salah. I see Salah changed his style to be as effective as before - by linking up more and trying to create chances for others more often.

Great wingers are good both when open space is ahead of them and also good at beating their man on the wing or wriggling out of a congested area with a combination of acceleration and touch.

Mane has clearly declined in the above aspects and I feel salah has too but has moulded his game to still be effective in other ways. Salah doesn’t seem to have the electric pace he once had (Arsenal goal at anfield, west ham counter with mane, …) and mane has lost more pace than Salah. I also think Salah has lost some of his acceleration and touch combination play he had (against Spurs for the injury time goal, watford where he boatengs Britos) .

Do you think this is a cause of concern for this team and needs to be addressed soon or do you see differently? One takeaway from today’s game for me was our wingers though they rack numbers up can be increasingly frustrating if opposition get tight and the area around the box has traffic. There was a couple of instances where I saw Matip/ Keita break through a crowded area around the box more successfully than our wingers with effective dribbling. Our wingers now seem to work better when they have space to run into.

Interested to hear your take!

{Ed001's Note - I can't agree with you at all sorry. They are fine, it is just that now they are always at least double-marked and are given no room to do anything. That is what creates space for the likes of Matip and Keita to move through, as the opposition are too busy trying to block off passes to Mane and Salah, rather than closing them down.}

Agree0 Disagree0

16 Sep 2021 07:22:51
Salah and Mane are still quick. It’s just that in the modern day professional game all players are athletes. Gone are the days where centre backs are big lumbering headers of the ball and full backs are there to make up numbers. You only have to look at stats of players who are recorded quickest in the league and Europe and it’s no longer dominated by forwards. The great thing is that both don’t solely rely on pace to score goals because they still getting plenty of chances and goals.

16 Sep 2021 07:58:03
Op I think salah looks amazing at the min in fact I can’t remember him looking anything but amazing! We all know mane has suffered from long C.V. and is definitely getting back to some good form. Am just thankful we have them to be honest.

16 Sep 2021 08:03:29
Salah has gotten better imo. His link up play has gone up a level. Also, did you see him sprint all the way back to cover for Trent and winning the ball back? That was the moment of the day for me! :)

16 Sep 2021 07:36:52
Hmmm…. I do have to disagree with OP too. I think that most teams know they can’t match our front 3 and have decided to park the bus more, hence it’s not so easy for our wingers to slice them open anymore.

I know Mane has cut a frustrating figure in the past 12 months, esp. with the missed chances. But, it wasn’t so long ago that he had long stretches where he was unplayable. Also, Mane has always missed chances, he just ain’t as clinical. But he always gets into or creates goal scoring chances. So I’m still quite satisfied with her and hope that he puts on his scoring boots a bit more.

16 Sep 2021 08:11:50
His finishing hasn't been great so far this season, but other than that mane is playing really well I think. Salah is salah, he's one of the best in the world and is playing as such. They're both probably still building a relationship with Jota, which means they're less fluent, but I definitely haven't seen anything to complain about.

16 Sep 2021 09:29:05
Personally I think the weak midfield is the problem.

16 Sep 2021 10:22:19
Wingers are indeed better when they have space to run into, someone should tell the opposition teams to give mane and Salah some more space lol
In all seriousness I doubt you would find many wingers who would be better than Salah or mane considering how tightly they are marked.
It’s up to other players like Jota, Firmino and whoever’s playing in the advanced midfield role to make the most of the gaps that Salah and mane create.
When we counter attack you see Salah and mane making them runs you are talking about, the problem is we are only ever in a position to counter attack when we are ahead in games or in the rare occasion a team comes and has a real go at us.

16 Sep 2021 10:42:58
If you're comparing Salah to Theo Hernandez who he was up against yesterday then its worth understanding that Hernandez is absolutely rapid! Timori is also pretty fast.
Salah is a machine and I think he's going to have a very very good season.

16 Sep 2021 11:11:12
I was looking metrics the other day for Mane, Salah and Bobby from 2018 to this season.

Mane had the highest conversion rate of all 3 from 2018-2020, then simply fell off a cliff last season. Why? Who knows, C.V., injury, weird season etc could have set him back.

Im not sure whether that means a rot has set in for him. But what is consistent with him is his work off the ball and particularly defensively where he has consisently performed better in that area of the pitch compared to his amigos.

16 Sep 2021 11:25:13
Salah has been consistent throughout his time at Liverpool. Mane however I think is on the decline. Sad to see because I love him and hope I’m proved wrong because he was and hopefully is still a great player. Just something is telling me he won’t rediscover his pre last season form. Also we need to rebuild so maybe summer would be the best time to cash in.

16 Sep 2021 12:07:45
I agree with the OP but I think both have adapted their game especially Salah who is so good in the box and a clever finisher.
There was a time when if both were in open space one on one with a defender you would put your house on them getting past, that’s now not the case imo.

16 Sep 2021 13:51:20
I think salah is looking better. All round play and team work is miles better than last season. Passing and vision has improved.

Mane is still the same player talent wise and work rate wise. I think he is starting to decline ever so slightly on the consistency front.

Where before i would have put them in the same bracket i just feel mane is now a level below salah as an overall package.

Maybe its just a case of him being in his own head too much and a solid run of great games gets him back to free flowing football without over thinking.

Struggle to think of anyone out there that could replace him so he is probably doing just fine all things considered and we are being overly harsh on the lad.

16 Sep 2021 14:03:56
Salah has played in 5 games and has been involved in 6 goals. The guy is amazing. Mane is being double team almost every time he gets the ball, plus he hasn't had the service he normally gets.

16 Sep 2021 16:46:03
As Ed said, it is more a case of the oppo. picking their poison and do not want to be beaten by the front 3 so they try to shackle them and then say, "Go on. Who else you got that can beat us? ". They will be fine esp when the team is at full pelt cos it is still early in the season.

16 Sep 2021 16:59:38
Firstly, would like to say thankyou for expressing your opinion in a mature and eloquent fashion. If any of the crybabies from late August are still milling about, let this be an example of how you can be critical of the team in an rational, intellectual capacity without resorting to hyperbolic childish slander.

Having said that, i don’t think i could disagree more emphatically. I must admit i was one of the Mane naysayers last season, i thought he was past it and in many games didn’t even look to be trying. His touch, his movement, his finishing, it was all abysmal. I’m delighted to be able to say how wrong i was and how fantastic he has been the first few weeks of the season. He’s playing with real fire in his belly and with an intensity i haven’t seen for a long time. His unpredictability in his all round play is back, his movement is fantastic and he just looks so confident and dangerous, on and off the ball. The only thing missing is his finishing, and to be honest i think that is something that will come back in time. Mane is a player who, when at his best, plays on the edge. He is so explosive and unpredictable that i don’t think he even knows what he’s going to do half the time, he just taps into this sort of footballing voodoo and he let's his body take him wherever it wants to go. You can see that is back in his all round game but not in goalscoring positions. His whole body language changes, everything slows down and its all too forced and laboured. He just needs to play himself back into confidence and trust his instincts again. The Leeds game was a perfect microcosm of this. He fluffed so many good chances by panicking and trying to force things, but his goal was pure instinct. One touch, turn, finish, bang, quicker than a flash. Hopefully that goal will remind him what he can do when he just goes with the flow, but after the horrors of last season its no surprise he is a little tentative.

As for Salah, i can’t say much else other than i’ve been completely in awe of him this season. He seems to have gone up yet another level and his all round game is just astonishing now, he’s a far better player than he was when he joined. He should never have been able to score as many goals as he did during his first season, teams sitting back against us as they do now should have all but nullified him, but his desire to keep on improving has turned him into the complete forward. His upper body strength, dribbling, passing, creativity, speed of thought, he’s got everything now. I think your judgement of his and Mane’s perceived lack of pace is way off the mark; just go and compare clips of the goals we score now to the ones that Salah was scoring in his first season. The amount of space teams were willing to give us back then was far more than it is now. The goals we score now are far more complex and skilful than back then, Salah and Mane can’t use their lightning pace because teams don’t give them the space in behind to use it. Salah has started this season like a man possessed and at the rate at which he is continuing to improve, combined with his relentless fitness crusade, he could be playing at this level way into his mid thirties. Losing him would be nothing less than a disaster. Obviously the club have to be shrewd when negotiating but they really should be throwing the kitchen sink at keeping him if it comes to that.

Both lads have still got it and are back with a vengeance. Both will be in the top 5 scorers in the league this season, no doubt. I wouldn’t worry about them mate, just enjoy watching them while you can.

16 Sep 2021 20:46:30
People have very short memories. 2 seasons ago Mane was just about our best player. He eclipsed Salah and we won the league. Last season he started well, got C.V. and his form fell off a cliff. What is all this long time rubbish? You mean 6 months, right?

17 Sep 2021 08:30:12
Spot on, Mark.

17 Sep 2021 08:45:15
Thanks for all the inputs! It opens up so much perspective. Shoutout to Ed1 and Woolback for your responses. I will be watching the games more closely for rest of the season. I see the double marking, however I did remember 2 or 3, 1v1 down the wing that salah was trying to meg and get past Theo Hernandez. Theo got the better of him every time ; blocking the attempt to run in behind.

I think there was an X factor he possessed where any 1 v 1 he left defenders for dead with change of pace and trickery. These days when salah comes up against a defender 1v1, he seems to run into traffic as opposed to beating the man frequently. He sometimes still does it though- like where he went on a mazy run against Norwich taking on 2-3 players. However, they seem to be measured in his game now and not as frequent.



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