Mohamed Salah is currently experiencing a ‘blip’ of sorts. It’s hardly like the Egyptian King is playing badly, because he’s not.
In contrast to the incredibly high standards he set for himself last year, however, he’s not quite at those levels – but that was going to be some ask.
What is frustrating about the whole ordeal is that so much is being made of Salah’s so-called crisis – too much in fact.
Fans and pundits alike seem very eager to forget that Salah and all other professional footballers are not machines and are humans. Humans are not as consistent as machines and cannot be expected to perform at such staggering levels at all times.
However, humans are capable of bouncing back from these blips, much like Salah undoubtedly will, and like one of his team mates did only earlier on this year.
It seems like longer ago, but in 2018, another member of Liverpool’s prolific front three, Sadio Mané, suffered a dip in form akin to that that Salah is going through now that was greeted with a similar response from the footballing world.
The similarities between the two’s struggles for their best form are stark: uncharacteristic sloppy passing and poor touches, things not quite happening for them in front of goal and their usual trickery not quite getting them past defenders.
It was clearly obvious that it frustrated Mané as it is frustrating Mo, but the two keep plugging away and trying as they always do. And even though they’re not at their best, they’re still playing on a level that is unachievable to many.
Another similarity between the two situations is perhaps the most telling one: Jürgen Klopp stuck by Sadio as he is sticking by Mo Salah.
This is perhaps the most telling and important aspect between the two scenarios. Klopp is an open advocate for sticking by his players, having come out and publicly defended Mané earlier this year as he has done with Salah recently.
Backing like that will do wonders for Salah’s confidence and also gives him the chance to play through his tough spell rather than being reduced to the bench where he won’t get the chance to prove he can pull out the bag such performances as he did last season.
It’s crucial to note that Mané played through his troubles and continues to be a pivotal member of Liverpool’s side and has more than discovered his best form.
Klopp is of no doubt that Salah will do the same, and neither are the best majority of the Liverpool fan base. But for those constantly out for a cheap pop at Salah (rival fans mainly), it doesn’t really make much sense.
It may be that Salah made a rod for his own back in a sense by having such a good season last term, that unless he does the same year on year he’ll look like he’s under performing. But he’s not.
He is still at the centre of everything Liverpool are looking to build going forward and people should be supporting him through this period where his best form alludes him, but will certainly return with a vengeance sooner rather than later.