Is Mo Salah The Best Ever?

I won’t lie, I was tempted to use this piece as an excuse to laugh at Manchester United Football Club. I’ve seen tweets from some people suggesting that they feel sorry for the Red Devils at the moment, such is the extent to which they are so very poor. Whilst pity from Liverpool fans would undoubtedly wind up certain Mancunians, they aren’t going to get any from me. Having been born in 1982, the 1990s were when I grew up and I had to watch United either win the title or challenge for it every single year. They effectively ruined my teenage years, such is the extent to which they were so successful just as I was getting into football. Being presented with such a golden opportunity to laugh at them is not something that I’m going to pass up any time soon. That Gary Neville keeps tying himself in knots to blame anyone other than the players and manager, with Neville having been one of the mainstays of my misery, merely serves to make it all the sweeter.

United do not look like a good football team. More than that, though, they’ve lost any sense of pride. Even during Liverpool’s worst days we didn’t regularly get spanked by Everton and United themselves in the same way that the Red Devils have been by us and Manchester City in recent years. We haven’t played them yet and there are any number of things that might happen before we have to travel to Old Trafford, not to mention the fact that the stadium is not a particularly happy hunting ground for us. Even if we lose there, though, it doesn’t change the fact that they are a state and we’re looking like a serious side. United’s constant decision to buy names over players that might actually fit and help them play better football continually amuses. They struggle to perform in a way that befits one of the country’s great sides and I am absolutely here for it. Long may their demise continue as far as I’m concerned. If I never see them win another title, I’ll die happy.

Mo Salah Belies His Age

Mohamed Salah is 31-years-old. In Premier League terms, that means that he should be on the wind-down. It explains, perhaps, why so many people were convinced that Liverpool should seriously consider the money being offered by Saudi Arabian sides in the summer. Yet I personally would be looking to offer him another contract. He is still producing every time he plays and, had the Video Assistant Referee made clear that Luis Diaz’s goal was onside against Tottenham Hotspur, he would have had either a goal or assist in every single top-flight game so far. Whilst Salah would obviously attract more people to the Saudi league, should he choose to go there, Jordan Henderson played in front of 696 people over the weekend. It is semi-retirement and I don’t think that the Egyptian is ready for that just yet. Salah will be fairly determined to win as many trophies as he can with the Reds before he decides to move off somewhere else before he hangs up his boots.

The good news our point of view is that that doesn’t seem like happening any time soon. Salah is still performing at the highest level, even though he gets next to no help from the officials. I would be the first to admit that he went down a little easily once or twice during the early part of his Liverpool career, but he soon learned that he wasn’t going to get anything by doing so. As a result, he hasn’t really done that for years, in spite of the fact that he gets all but assaulted on a weekly basis. Even against Nottingham Forest at the weekend, there was a moment when a Forest players manhandled him right in front of the assistant in a move that wouldn’t have looked out of place in WWE, but the assistant watched every moment of it and gave the away team the free-kick. Salah, entirely understandably, just laughed. There is a sense of racism to what happens to the Egyptian week-in, week-out without reprisal, so he deserves credit for not completely losing his rag. That’s the sort of class act he is, though.

He Is One Of The Best

I never really got to see the likes of Kenny Dalgish, John Barnes or Ian Rush in their pomp. I vaguely remember Robbie Fowler, but even that was more towards the tail-end of his time at Anfield, once the injuries had started to take their toll. Steven Gerrard, of course, is one of the best players that the club has ever had, being the talismanic captain in a team that was otherwise struggling for quality during his time as a Red. Otherwise, the only other player that should be part of the conversation is Luis Suarez, who was a genius with a football. Yet I do wonder if we’ve all become a little bit blasé about the things that Mo Salah is doing. Despite being labelled as ‘another Juan Cuadrado‘, it goes without saying that the forward has proven himself to be world-class. He is in the conversation as one of the Premier League’s best ever, with performances seeming to disprove the idea that players are over-the-hill at 30. He is anything but done at the top-level.

One of the things that is most impressive about Salah is the manner in which he has changed his game in order to suit his current abilities. Whilst he is still quick, he no longer has the lightening pace that he had when he was younger, so he’s adapting and is getting plenty of assists instead. The ball that he played to Dominik Szoboszlai for the pre-assist for Darwin Núñez’s goal in the match over the weekend was inch-perfect. Perhaps it is what Suarez would have done, had he decided to stay at Liverpool instead of moving to Barcelona. It is Salah’s longevity that means that I think that he is above the Uruguayan in terms of the best players that the Reds have ever had. Suarez could do silly things, things that would take your breath away. Salah does those sorts of things too, but we’ve just become so used to it that it barely raises an eyebrow anymore. He is like a mix of the genius of Suarez and the industry of Gerrard, which is one hell of a heady cocktail.

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