ﻣﻮﻗﻊ ﺻﺪﻱ اﻟﺒﻠﺪ

Supervisor
Elham AbolFateh

Sports

The real reason why goal-shy Mohamed Salah can't find the net for Liverpool at present

Wednesday 20/March/2019 - 02:14 PM
Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah
Liverpool Echo

The Reds have maintained - and even strengthened their claims - for a Premier League title by going two points clear of Manchester City، while managing to juggle twin glories on the continent with the Champions League، Liverpool Echo website reported.

The 3-1 win over Bayern Munich last season sent Jurgen Klopp's side charging into the last eight where they were handed a favourable tie with Porto، starting at Anfield on April 9.

As the season ticks past the mid-March point، Liverpool remain firmly on course for a remarkable double and the most incredible climax to a season since 1984.

Juxtaposed next to such potentially dizzying heights is Mohamed Salah، enduring the biggest barren run of his Reds career.

The blank he fired at Fulham on Sunday took him to seven games without finding the net، with his confidently dispatched effort against Bournemouth back on February 9 leaving the 'Egyptian King' rooted on 49 Premier League goals for the time being.

Salah's shot-shy run isn't for the lack of trying. If anything، the former Roma man has، at times، appeared to be trying too hard to wrestle the monkey off his back.

The 26-year-old's overall output shouldn't be diluted in the eyes of supporters by his failure to find the net with the breathtaking regularity of last season.

After all، he has become the first player since Luis Suarez five years ago to net 20 goals in successive seasons.

However، the question remains - just why have the goals dried up for a player who netted a whopping 44 times last term?

Yet، despite his recent drought، Salah still remains the second-leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 17 goals - just one behind Sergio Aguero.

He's had 104 shots، the highest total in the top-flight. He's missed 15 big chances، second only to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Egyptian has recorded seven assists، second only to Andy Robertson at Anfield and the joint-fifth highest in the division.

Meanwhile، he's played 14 through-balls، the highest total at Liverpool، while full-backs Robertson، Trent Alexander-Arnold and stand-in James Milner are the only Reds who can better his total of 51 crosses.

He's also making more sprints per 90 minutes than anyone in the league.

Salah might not be hitting the same heights as he was last season، but he's still both having chances and creating chances and remains one of the Premier League's most-attacking threats across the board.

But there is one other statistic that could go someway to explaining his recent goal drought. Could he just be a little bit tired?

Only Alisson and Virgil van Dijk have played more Premier League minutes than the forward this season with Salah totalling 2،645 minutes of action. That's the 11th-highest total in the top-flight as well 190 minutes more than Mane and 388 more than Firmino.

Aleksandar Mitrovic is the only attacking player to have more minutes under his belt this season. Coincidentally the Serbian's no-score against Liverpool was also his seventh game without a goal.

Away from the Premier League، Salah has featured in every Reds game this season. While he might have only made second half substitute appearances in League Cup and FA Cup defeats to Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers، he has missed just 22 minutes of Champions League football.

In all competitions he has played 800 minutes more than Mane and Firmino، and is well on course to total his highest number minutes in a season.


Last season he sat out just four of Liverpool's 56 fixtures as they reached the Champions League Final، before rushing back from a shoulder injury to feature for Egypt at the World Cup in Russia.

He has 41 appearances to his name this season. If he maintains his record in featuring in all of the Reds' outings this campaign، he will reach at least 50 come May. If Liverpool reach another Champions League Final، that number rises to 53.

When you include his 10 international appearances since June 2017، he has made 103 appearances in less than two years.

There is a reason why Salah has been spared travelling to Niger and Nigeria for international duty this month.

With Liverpool's next match coming at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 31st March، he has a two-week gap between appearances.

Still chasing his 50th Premier League goal for the Reds، a rest could be just what he needs ahead of the decisive weeks of the campaign.

If Klopp can get him firing on all cylinders during two weeks off at Melwood، it'll be full steam ahead for Liverpool's Premier League and Champions League run-ins.

Form is temporary. Class is permanent. And an out-of-form Salah still remains one of the European football's most gifted players.


Edited by: Mohamed Emad

Comments

ads

Poll

What do you think about our new design?

What do you think about our new design?
ads