Liverpool have not had the best title defence that they would have hoped for, as a dominant display to win their 19th Premier League title last season was not backed up by similar performances this season.
An injury crisis in defence, in what has been an extremely tough season to play in because of the congested fixture schedule has made sure that Liverpool are well off the pace to defend their title.
Liverpool’s woes have not stopped there, as a marquee signing in Thiago failing to fire on both cylinders, and a fractured relationship between fellow forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane as reported by The Athletic.
High maintenance Salah
Reputed football news outlet The Athletic’s recent article (requires subscription) scrutinized Liverpool’s current predicament and what could wait for them in the future.
The article particularly forayed into star player Mohamed Salah, and how he is “high maintenance” – according to The Athletic, Salah despises being substituted and his relationship with Sadio Mane is “imperfect.”
Salah has also reportedly been unhappy about the time when young Trent Alexander-Arnold held the armband for Liverpool in a Champions League game against Midjytlland this season – a game in which Salah thought he should inherit the captaincy for his seniority and experience.
Backlash against the divisive article
The Athletic’s comments on Salah in the article written by Adam Crafton, Simon Hughes and James Pearce angered a section of the ardent Liverpool support on Twitter, who called the news outlet out for being biased against the Egyptian forward and causing a rift between the African duo.
Liverpool fans have launched a valiant defence of their star player who has churned out some extraordinary numbers since joining the club in 2017 and is known for being a humble customer who wants nothing more than to do his job.
The Merseyside club’s faithful also ripped into The Athletic for their allegations of Salah being unhappy when substituted – by asking the writers if Salah is the only player to have ever been upset after being taken off.
Trent angry being subbed off – no issue— Samue (@MindOfSamue) March 13, 2021
Milner angry being subbed off – no issue
Mane angry being subbed off – no issue
Salah angry being subbed off – “Salah can be high-maintenance. He hates being substituted” [The Athletic]
When will this agenda on Salah ever end? 🙄 pic.twitter.com/X0LBF72uCi
The fans accused the news outlet of having an agenda against their stand-out performer – Salah leads the league in goals despite Liverpool’s underwhelming performances as a unit.
Check out further reactions below –
Why do the Athletic single out Salah? Our best player for the last 4 years faces constant slander from our own journalists. Don't get it. We're actually gonna bully out a player who gets 20-30 goals a year and has carried our entire team this season.— liam (@MacMiIner) March 13, 2021
I read that Athletic 'article' and went 🤷♂️ cause if Salah isnt upset at being subbed or not being captain id be worried.— chris1182 (@chris11825) March 13, 2021
Plus if Jurgen thought he was rocking the boat hed have him out. He has said he doesnt want lads that dont want to play for us and i believe him. Non affair
Very divisive article from the Athletic. I expect nonsense like " Salah can be high maintenance" from the Echo but to see Athletic join is very dissapointing. Salah is one of the most humble players we have, he doesn't say too much, just carries on performing season after season.— LFC Views (@Mobyhaque1) March 13, 2021
This Salah/Mané nonsense from the Athletic isn't worth it. I wouldn't read too much into it at all. We all know they have a great relationship, but it's clueless people within the media trying to create headlines.— Dahir (@dboetan7i) March 13, 2021
The smear campaign against Mo has already started. Legwork in place.— Nidhi Shankar (@BoldMonk_) March 14, 2021
The owners very well know that the player who can get them the max $$$ is Mo Salah. Its wilful ignorance if you think the Athletic article is just innocuous reporting. Even worse if you think its investigative.