Jurgen Klopp relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool goal drought

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrate after their recent Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur. (Reuters)
Updated 03 April 2019

Jurgen Klopp relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool goal drought

  • Salah, who scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield, has gone eight matches without finding the net
  • Salah’s success last season means he has attracted more attention from opponents

LONDON: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is relaxed about Mohamed Salah’s goalscoring drought, saying the Egyptian forward remains a key part of the title chasers’ attacking armory.
Salah, who scored 44 times in his maiden season at Anfield, has gone eight matches without finding the net but still has 20 goals in 2018/19 and played a pivotal part in the last-gasp winner against Tottenham on Sunday.
“When everybody is talking about ‘he didn’t score in I don’t know how many games’, he doesn’t seem to be bothered about it. I’m not,” Klopp said on Wednesday.
“For sure we didn’t really speak about it. I think if something is clear and obvious you do speak about it. How do you deal with a situation when he scored 40 goals last year?
“His career’s not over. It’s like if he can score this year 20 goals then he’s scored 60 in the last two. Wow, that’s not too bad.”
Salah’s success last season means he has attracted more attention from opponents in the current campaign, often being double-marked.
It has had the effect, though, of benefiting teammates, with Sadio Mane (20 goals) and Roberto Firmino (14) taking on some of the burden.
“Sometimes you need a bit of time to adapt to the new situations and I don’t think he really needed that,” said Klopp on Salah’s overall value to the side and how he has coped with the close attention.
“He’s a threat. He helps us a lot. He deals with all the new situations for him really well.
“If you have only one (goalscorer), you think maybe you rely a bit too much on that. This year we don’t rely on Mo’s goals, but he’s still in a very good position in comparison to all the other players.
“Seventeen (league) goals is a good number, and there are still a lot of games to come. But it was never a problem. We have 79 points — you cannot have that with a lot of problems over the year.”
Liverpool travel to Southampton on Friday and Klopp reported a clean bill of health after a minor injury worry over defender Virgil van Dijk following the win over Tottenham.


Tokyo to skip one-year Olympic countdown over coronavirus: organizers

Updated 05 June 2020

Tokyo to skip one-year Olympic countdown over coronavirus: organizers

  • Games pushed back until July 23, 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak

TOKYO: Tokyo will scrap events marking a year to go until the postponed 2020 Olympic Games, organizers said Friday, citing the “current economic situation” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Games have been pushed back until July 23, 2021 because of the disease outbreak, though it remains unclear whether even that delay will be sufficient.
Last year, the city and organizers held a series of events to mark the one-year countdown, including unveiling the newly designed medals.
But given the global crisis, organizers ruled out a similar celebration.
“In view of the current economic situation, Tokyo 2020 will not be holding any events to mark the new one year to go milestone for the Games,” the organizers said.
“But we will consider what we can do to show our solidarity with the people.”
The confirmation came after reports in the Japanese media that organizers would scrap the event, fearing it was inappropriate given the global pandemic and the ongoing risk of infection inside Japan.
Kyodo News agency reported that posters and messages of encouragement to athletes might be put up and displayed online instead, adding that the organizing committee felt a more “moderate tone” was appropriate.
A nationwide state of emergency over the virus has been lifted in Japan, but a recent rise in cases in Tokyo has led to fears of a second wave.
The latest reports come after Tokyo’s governor confirmed the city and organizers are looking at ways to scale back next year’s Games.
Japanese media said streamlining plans could involve cutting the number of spectators and reducing participation in the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Yomiuri Shimbun daily quoted an unnamed source as saying that everyone including athletes, officials and spectators would be required to take a test for the virus.
Tokyo 2020 declined to comment on those reports, saying discussions about coronavirus countermeasures would be held “from this autumn onwards.”
Organizers and Tokyo officials face the twin headaches of ensuring the postponed Games can be held safely, given the pandemic, and keeping additional costs to a minimum.
But with the pandemic continuing to rage in much of the world, it remains unclear whether the Games can be held next year.
On Friday, a member of the organizing committee’s executive board said a decision on whether the Games could be held or not would need to be taken in spring.
“I think we need to decide around March next year,” Toshiaki Endo, a former Olympic minister told reporters, denying speculation that the IOC intends to make a decision in October.
IOC chief Thomas Bach said last month that 2021 was the “last option” for holding the Tokyo Games, stressing that postponement cannot go on forever.
He declined to say whether a vaccine was a prerequisite for going ahead with the Olympics, but was lukewarm on the idea of holding them behind closed doors.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said it would be “difficult” to hold the postponed Tokyo Olympics if the coronavirus pandemic is not contained.
And Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori has said the Olympics would have to be canceled if the disease isn’t under control by next year.