Liverpool legend, Robbie Fowler, has launched a staunch defence for forward, Mohamed Salah following his squabble with fellow teammate, Sadio Mane in the Reds’ 3-0 win over Burnley last month in the Premier League.
TIMELY POST recalls that Mane was taken off for Divock Origi, shortly after failing to receive a pass from Mohamed Salah when the score was 3-0.
When he was taken off, the Senegal forward could be seen walking past manager, Jurgen Klopp and shouting at a member of Liverpool’s staff on the bench.
He was then comforted by fellow goalscorer Roberto Firmino, who had also just been replaced.
But Fowler has now said that Salah will continue to be selfish when he sees the goal because it makes him a ‘great goalscorer’.
“It’s the noise surrounding Mane and Salah that I can’t believe,” Fowler wrote in his UK Mirror column.
“Everyone commenting and talking nonsense about being “greedy” or destroying team spirit, have they never watched football before?
“Because you can’t be a top-class goalscorer without total belief you will score.
“One of my more famous goals was at Old Trafford where I smashed one past Peter Schmeichel through a sliver of a gap at his near post. Made him look stupid, made me look brilliant – classic striker’s goal.
“Yet Rushie was unmarked in the middle, and the gap was TINY. Should I have passed? Those people slagging off Salah would have you believe so. They’d say I was selfish, was jealous of Ian Rush and the goals he scored.
“Thing is a few minutes before that, I was in the same position – and did pass. And Rushie missed a sitter, from three yards!
“But I was never going to pass anyway.
“I saw Schmeichel had just drifted to his left, had the weight on his left foot, and I believed I was good enough to hit that gap between him and the near post. I always believed.
“That’s what goalscorers do. They train for it, their whole week on the training ground is spent practicing, visualizing, working out how to score for every position and the best always believe they can score – from five yards, from 20, from 40. Wherever. Even if it’s easier to pass for a tap-in.
“I look at Salah’s record and it tells me he’s going to keep doing it.
“You don’t score that many goals without being what people say is selfish. But what the hell do people want?
“Do they want him to be a goalscorer or do they want him to be someone who’s always looking to pass? You can’t really have both.
“And the other nonsense I’ve heard is people saying he’s not passing because he’s jealous, he doesn’t want Mane to score.
“If anyone can slow down the game so much they have time to think, ‘Oh, I’m not passing to him because he’s scored more than me’, well they’re the best who’s ever played. Yes, Salah can be selfish when he sees the goal, but, to me, that makes him a great goalscorer.
“And it’s not as if he doesn’t create chances for others. Mane knows that, and what he did was just frustration at being taken off.
“There was a moment in the 2001 FA Cup final late on when I was criticised for not passing to Michael Owen. Pass? I believed I’d score and no way was I going to miss out on it.
“He did it to me, too. I had frustration in my career that I never had a partner who was a creator, with the team built to provide me with chances. I was always alongside another scorer – Rushie, Stan Collymore, Michael.
“But we still played well together, played off each other. I understood them, they understood me, even if we didn’t always get along.
“And it did my head in far more when a midfielder had one of those shots from 40 yards that never go in!.”
Liverpool will take on Newcastle United this weekend at Anfield in their next Premier League fixture.
Super Eagles drop in FIFA ranking
The Nigeria national team, the Super Eagles, have dropped one place in the latest FIFA world rankings released on Thursday by the world football governing body.
According to the August/September 2019 edition, the Super Eagles are now placed 34th in the world, down from last time’s 33rd position.
The team recently played 2-2 draw against Ukraine in an international friendly game at the Dnipro Stadium, their first game after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, where the team finished third.
Coach Gernot Rohr’s men, however, gained one point, cumulating 1482 points from the previous 1481 points.
In the African ranking, Nigeria maintained its third-place despite the drop in the world ranking, with Senegal and Tunisia also maintaining their first and second positions respectively.
Algeria climbed two places in the world rankings and are fourth on the African ranking behind Nigeria, while Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo DR, and Cote D’Ivoire occupy the fifth to tenth positions respectively.
Meanwhile, Belgium remained top of the world ranking, with France, Brazil, England, and Portugal making up the top 5.
Belgium continues to hold its place as the topmost country on the FIFA world ranking.
Uruguay, Spain, Croatia, Colombia and Argentina are the other countries who make up the top 10 of the latest FIFA rankings.
Frankfurt vs Arsenal: Unai Emery lists strong squad for Europa League clash
Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has left out Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from the squad that has travelled to Eintracht Frankfurt, for their Europa League group game.
Rob Holding makes the trip, having not yet made an appearance on the comeback trail from a serious knee injury.
Also featuring in Emery’s 19-man squad are youngsters Joe Willock, Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith-Rowe.
Thursday’s game in Germany kicks off at 5.55pm UK time, with Group F rivals Standard Liege and Vitoria facing off in Belgium the same night.
Goalkeepers – Leno, Martinez.
Defenders – Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Mustafi, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac.
Midfielders – Guendouzi, Torreira, Willock, Xhaka, Ceballos, Smith Rowe.
Attackers – Martinelli, Nelson, Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang.
Chelsea vs Valencia: Livescore from Champions League clash
Frank Lampard takes charge of his first Champions League tie at Chelsea, when they welcome Valencia to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Lampard will be without Antonio Rudiger, N’Golo Kante and Emerson Palmeri due to injuries, while the LaLiga side arrive with a full squad.
Chelsea and Valencia have met six times previously in European competition, with the Spanish club not winning any of these matches
Kick off is 8pm West African time.
Chelsea XI vs Valencia: Kepa, Christensen, Tomori, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Kovacic, Jorginho, Alonso, Willian, Mount, Abraham
Valencia XI vs Chelsea: Cillessen, Wass, Garay, Gabriel, Gaya, Kondogbia, Parejo, Coquelin, Cheryshev, Rodrigo, Gameiro
Tuesday, September 17
First half: No goals.
Second half: Rodrigo scores for the LaLiga club. 0-1.
Full time: Chelsea have lost 1-0 to Valencia.
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