John Aldridge has already made his thoughts clear on the quality (or lack of) of Mo Salah’s performance against Bournemouth as the Reds succumbed to a shock 1-0 defeat.
The Egyptian was part of a blunt Liverpool attack that failed to make much of a dent on the day, and the Sunday World journalist has suggested that perhaps Jurgen Klopp should have hooked the No.11 rather than £140,000-per-week (according to Capology) forward Darwin Nunez just after the hour-mark.
“There were a number of bad performances on Saturday, but I think that was Salah’s worst 90 minutes in a Liverpool shirt. From the first minute to the last, for whatever reason, it just wasn’t Mo Salah,” the former Red told the Liverpool Echo.
“The penalty aside, his actual performance was not like him and only he knows why that was the case. Sometimes you need to come off if you’re having a bad game, I’ve been there myself, but it was Darwin Nunez who made way.
“Salah just didn’t seem to be in the game: that’s the reason the penalty was so poor. I’m not blaming him for the missed penalty as it happened to me in my career, but he didn’t seem present and it showed in his performance.”
It’s worth pointing out that the blame for the Merseysiders’ latest failed attempt on the road could hardly be laid solely at the former Roma hitman’s feet.
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From top to bottom, barring perhaps Alisson Becker, we simply weren’t at the races beyond the opening 20 or so minutes of action.
The Egyptian could have turned momentum around by putting away his spot-kick, though it would be unfair to brutally lambast a player who’s registering 22 goals this term (in all competitions).
That being said, there’s certainly an argument for suggesting that Nunez should have remained on the pitch given he looked comparatively the more threatening forward of the two, though perhaps Klopp wished to avoid the tactical concerns such a substitution would have entailed.
With Real Madrid on the horizon, hopefully our Egyptian King can rally and get a goal or two to feed his confidence levels ahead of a challenging month of football ahead.
#Ep73 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Author chat with Chris Roberts on Football, Mental Health… and more!