Liverpool supporters have been reasonably satisfied in recent times despite seeing their side’s 100% start to the Premier League season come to an end at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went into their encounter with fellow high-flyers Chelsea at Stamford Bridge having won each of their opening six league games, although having lost to the Blues in the Carabao Cup a few days earlier. And they looked set for a second loss in the space of a week when Eden Hazard gave Maurizio Sarri’s men the lead, only for a stunning strike from Daniel Sturridge to rescue a 1-1 draw for the Reds, albeit it wasn’t enough to keep them top of the Premier League following Manchester City’s win earlier in the day.
Nevertheless, there have been many satisfied Liverpudlians up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit and ex-defender Jamie Carragher, who has launched a defence of Mohamed Salah for his start to the season, stating: ‘it’s not a bad start’.
And while it does appear as though the Egypt international is struggling somewhat and perhaps underperforming, Carragher is absolutely right to leap to Salah’s defence, as those doubts about his start appear to be chiefly down to the brilliance he produced last season.
Ultimately, very few could have foreseen just how incredible the forward was going to be for Liverpool last season, what with the 26-year-old scoring a sensational 44 goals in just 52 games in all competitions for Klopp’s side, 32 of which coming in the Premier League to win him the Golden Boot.
And with ten goals en route to the final of the Champions League as well, the Egyptian embarked upon one of the all-time great seasons last time round – it was always going to be difficult living up to that billing again this term.
Yet his numbers are actually pretty good in the early stages of the season given he has scored three goals and laid on two assists in his opening seven Premier League matches, which actually equates to the same amount of direct contributions as Roberto Firmino, and one more than Sadio Mane.
Yes, the 26-year-old has been guilty of missing some decent opportunities in the early phase of the campaign, he twice got into good positions against Chelsea at the weekend but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, but as Carragher rightly points out, he was guilty of missing chances last season as well – he could have easily finished the season with in excess of 50 goals to his name.
Thus, the fact that he has bagged three goals already this term, which is only one fewer than he netted this time last year, appears to have been lost among the expectation for Salah to replicate his season last time round – he may well go on to do that, but he again looks on course for another fine campaign.
As such, while he isn’t firing on all cylinders like he did throughout the 2017/18 campaign, Carragher is absolutely right to defend the Egyptian for his start to the season, as it is really not as bad as it may seem.
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