Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season no problem for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

There is a lot of expectation on the shoulders of Mohamed Salah after his record-break exploits last season. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season no problem for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

  • After this record-breaking season last campaign the Egyptian ace has only two goals so far this term.
  • Liverpool face Southampton this weekend having won all five matches so far.

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season is not causing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to lose any sleep.
The 26-year-old Egyptian star — who had a disappointing World Cup after entering it with a shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final — has scored just twice this term.
Klopp’s lack of concern over his form is supported by the 44 goals he scored in all competitions after a similarly slow start in his first season with the club.
“Wow, that’s a crisis,” said Klopp sarcastically ahead of Liverpool’s clash against Southampton on Saturday.
“No one remembers that (his slow start last season), it is really no problem.”
Klopp, whose side have begun the season in great style and are yet to drop a point after five Premier League matches despite Salah’s lack of goals, admitted the Egyptian’s superb record had raised expectations.
“Of course, of course everyone expects that, that is clear,” he said.
“We don’t expect that. We want him to score as often as possible. It is completely normal everyone expects that.”
The German, whose side opened their Champions League campaign with a thrilling 3-2 home win over French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, said Croatian central defender Dejan Lovren, who has yet to feature after picking up a hip problem at the World Cup, is getting closer to return to the squad.
“Dejan is close,” said Klopp. “He looks really fit. He did a lactate test last week so fitness-wise he is — for his situation — on a really OK level.
“He is not for the squad for the weekend, of course, but we will see how soon we can try to involve him again.”


Good evening, Jeddah! A wave from Neymar for 60,000 Saudi fans

Brazilian footballer Neymar acknowledges cheers from Saudi spectators before the match between Brazil and Argentina at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City. (Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Good evening, Jeddah! A wave from Neymar for 60,000 Saudi fans

  • For many, watching Brazil play Argentina in the “Superclasico de las Americas” was the opportunity of a lifetime
  • I never imagined I would be watching Brazil vs. Argentina in my country: Saudi fan

JEDDAH: Lionel Messi was not there, but Neymar and his Brazilian superstars were — and more than 60,000 Saudi fans loved every minute of their feast of football on Tuesday night at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.

For many, watching Brazil play Argentina in the “Superclasico de las Americas” was the opportunity of a lifetime. 

“I always had a dream to see South American teams abroad, but I never expected a Superclasico to come all the way to my hometown,” said Abdullah Sheikh, 25.

Female fans were full of praise for King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for making this moment happen for them. “I am a football fanatic and was always jealous to see my brother going to football matches,” said Anoud Husseini. 

“After the ban was lifted this year, I went to Al-Ahli vs. Al-Batin, and now I’m at the Superclasico and watching my favorite superstars live. It’s a dream come true for me.”

Bayan Qutub, also from Jeddah, told Arab News: “I never imagined I would be watching Brazil vs. Argentina in my country. Although I am not a diehard football fan, witnessing two giants lock horns in my city is a big thing, and so far it is full of entertainment for me and my family.”

And the match? Brazil won 1-0 — but the real winners were those 60,000 ecstatic football fans.