Liverpool's Mohamed Salah Defends His Season Amid Goalscoring Drought

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 31: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 31, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah believes his performances for Liverpool this season aren't being assessed fairly. The Egypt international is enduring a lengthy scoring drought at club level but still knows his numbers stand comparison with the Premier League's most productive attackers.

Salah spoke to ex-Reds defender Jamie Carragher after Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Anfield on Sunday. The 26-year-old told Sky Sports Super Sunday:

"I didn't score for a couple of games but there are some players who has the same number of goals as me but people are saying those players are having the best season of their life.

"There are three or four players and no-one talks about them - they say they have a good season and I'm the only one that has had a bad season. I want to win the Premier League - that is the most important thing to me."

Salah still couldn't get back among the goals but ultimately proved decisive vs. Spurs.
Salah still couldn't get back among the goals but ultimately proved decisive vs. Spurs.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Salah didn't score against Spurs, but it was his downward header that led to the winning goal in the final minute. He used clever movement to decisively meet Trent Alexander-Arnold's cross.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris spilled the header, with the ball then clipping off centre-back Toby Alderweireld and squirming into the net. A freak goal, perhaps, but one valuable enough to send Liverpool back above Manchester City and into top spot.

Liverpool's ability to stay in control of the title race is doubly impressive when the club's attacking talisman has scored just once in the last nine league matches. He also drew blanks in two UEFA Champions League games against Bayern Munich during the same stretch.

A profligate run this long is hardly the endorsement of a great campaign, especially one during which Salah has struggled to score against the best teams in England's top flight.

William Hill @WilliamHill

Goals against the 'Big 6' this season: Victor Camarasa: 3 Mohamed Salah: 1 🤫 #CityAsOne https://t.co/LNj5UJ5Ss2

Even so, Salah is staying in touch with the division's leading goalscorers:

B/R Football @brfootball

Sergio Aguero leads the way this season 🎯 https://t.co/TDpb5wWFKM

It's little wonder Salah feels slighted. While the goals have been hard to come by, he remains Liverpool's biggest threat in the final third.

Not even fellow forwards in-form Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, who scored the opener against Spurs, can match him for pace. The same quality keeps defences deep and deters teams from committing too many bodies forward against Liverpool at the risk of being caught on the break.

Aside from his pace, Salah is also an invaluable creative outlet for manager Jurgen Klopp's team. He's chipped in with nine assists so far in all competitions.

Those connected with the club, including 2005 Champions League winner Vladimir Smicer, are still aware of Salah's value:

Goal @goal

Vladimir Smicer says you better put some respect on Mohamed Salah's name 👊 https://t.co/IciD9AQPlb

However, even though former players are content to give Salah props, some Liverpool supporters are concerned about Salah's form. Specifically, a few have taken to Twitter to bemoan the ex-Chelsea man's penchant to shoot at the expense of playing in a teammate, per Rich Jones of the Sunday Mirror.

It's a valid argument because Salah's eagerness to end his barren run in front of goal has been obvious in recent weeks. While all prolific strikers have to have an element of selfishness, the appetite for finding the back of the net can't come at the expense of what's best for the team.