This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons at the weekend as tempers flared, somewhat overshadowing Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Burnley.
The Senegal striker reacted badly to being substituted late in the second half following two occasions where Salah failed to play him in for a goalscoring opportunity, as he instead opted to go for goal himself.
Jurgen Klopp assured the situation has been cleared up but did admit that Mane was angered by the 27-year-old’s refusal to pass.
Many Liverpool fans have been vocal in their criticism of the Egyptian, accusing him of being “greedy”, but the statistics indicate that is far from the truth.
Against the Clarets Salah may have been a little too determined to get on the scoresheet, but in the time since he arrived at Anfield in summer 2017, he has the most assists in the Premier League of any Liverpool player, with 24.
Mane, comparatively, has 10 over the same period, and the Senegal international has also produced less in terms of chances for his teammates than Salah, who has created 139 chances in total since signing, as per Wyscout.
It is, therefore, a little unfair to criticise Salah in the way he has been, particularly as it is his apparent greed which has led to brilliant and crucial goals for the Reds – which was evidenced as recently as last week’s match against Arsenal.
As long as the Egyptian continues to produce in the manner he has been his manager won’t mind, either, with the German suggesting that the international break should provide both with a chance to get the dispute out of their system.
Moreover, it could be a sign that there is competition in the squad, and a strong desire to score goals and play well. Klopp is the man to channel that into a positive and it should allow the duo to finish amongst the highest places in the golden boot standings, as they did last season.