This summer everyone has fallen at the feet of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and quite rightly so as the Egyptian international had a fantastic season up front, but the worry with Salah is, was it simply a one off?
When Salah joined Liverpool for almost £40m last summer from Roma the transfer hardly made the headlines. This was in part because he had already played in the Premier League for Chelsea where he had failed to impress. At the London club Jose Mourinho quickly dismissed the player and he played just 3 games in the same season that Chelsea went on to win the league. He was put on loan to Fiorentina and then Roma and Salah’s chances of making an impact in the Premier League looked lost.
That was until Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saw potential in him as a classic centre forward and brought him back from Roma. Klopp’s decision paid dividends with Salah scoring 32 goals in the league and 44 goals in all competitions. It was a remarkable debut season and reminded one of Fernando Torres’ first season also with Liverpool. Though Liverpool came up empty handed last season despite reaching the Champions League final, Salah has been rightly praised for his presence in the box and his goals and has continually been making the short lists for all sorts of awards. Last week he won the goal of the season for example.
However Salah has started this season off very slow, scoring just 3 goals so far from 11 games in all competitions. Whilst at this stage of the season there really shouldn’t be any cause for concern we only have to look back throughout his career to see that last season may have been unique.
Take out last season and the most league goals Salah has scored is 15 with Roma. In all competitions that rises to 19 again with Roma in the same season. Salah is 26 and whilst he still has a good five seasons at the very top it is easy to see why last season doesn’t correspond with the others.
Still how will this affect Liverpool is anyone’s guess giving that they have an abundance of players that can score goals in the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino but Salah’s lack of goals this season could come back to haunt Liverpool at a later stage in the season when they need him to make the difference. Salah will certainly score more goals this season but on the evidence of his past history and the way he has started this season it is questionable if he is the real deal or as Steven Gerrard once said: “we are witnessing the start of greatness.”, which may have been said quite prematurely.
It is sometimes difficult to know how to feel about Mohamed Salah. The former Chelsea and Roma star has enjoyed quite possibly the finest season of his career this year with Liverpool, having arrived from La Liga last summer. He topped the Premier League goalscoring charts and generally dominated play, lighting up football pitches up and down England whenever he laced up his boots. With that in mind, there were high hopes that he could help inspire his team-mates in the Egypt national team into a good outing at the World Cup this summer. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened, and rumours have been swirling that Salah could even be set to retire from the international stage at just 26 years old.
When one has limited experience playing international football and is selected for the World Cup squad to represent the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, it could be easy to accept that things aren’t too likely to go your way and do the bare minimum. That has not proven to be the case with Russia midfielder Denis Cheryshev, however. The former Real Madrid midfielder is arguably one of the more well-known names in the Russia national side, despite having only 10 caps to his name before the grand competition kicked off a few days ago. His performance level – and overall contribution – to the host nation’s cause has, therefore, been something of a surprise to some.
The second round will end today with England looking to secure the qualification against Panama. Japan and Senegal will square off in the afternoon, trying to maintain the momentum they obtained after the surprise wins in their respective debuts. The main event will be Poland versus Colombia, where both teams need a win to bounce back to stay alive.
Let’s recap the already sealed verdicts ahead of the third and final match. Four squads have gained access to the elimination stage: Russia and Uruguay in the group A, France and Croatia in C and D one. Continue reading →
An action-packed week on the World Cup is the books and the tournament rages on with an uncanny amount of penalties and own goals. The first verdicts are already in: Russia and Uruguay have advanced in the group A after their wins against Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Croatia did the same in the G one.
While La Celeste has been doing it with minimal efforts, the other two teams, along with Belgium have been the most impressive squads so far. The Sbornaya is on an incredible run and is very well-structured. As for the Red Devils, who have more than one foot in the next phase, Romelu Lukaku keeps terrorizing defences, while Eden Hazardnetted his first two goals in a World Cup.
Two contenders will take the field on Sunday: Germany will square off against Mexico, while the Neymar-led Brazil will take on Switzerland, both looking to get off on the right foot, but their opponents are no pushovers. Today’s first game will be between Costa Rica and Serbia.
Two other top national teams will make their debut in Russia on Monday: Belgium will face Panama and England will challenge Tunisia. They will try to take advantage of favourable match-ups on paper. The slate will be opened by Sweden versus South Korea. Two intriguing teams in the second tier, Colombia and Poland, will day view on Tuesday, respectively against Japan and Senegal. Continue reading →
The World Cup is finally here, so let’s take a look at the first few days of action. The home team of Russia will kick things off on Thursday facing Saudi Arabia in the pretty open group A. There is a lot of curiosity towards the Red Army, which obviously skipped the qualifications and has played only three official games in the past two years, in the Confederations Cup, and had mixed showings in the friendlies.
Their main rivals to advance, Egypt and Uruguay, will square off on Friday. Continue reading →