Mohamed Salah's argument with Jurgen Klopp on the sidelines is unacceptable. His behavior was inappropriate and went beyond what is expected of a player, as stated by OLIVER HOLT.


Mo Salah is an exceptional footballer. Everything I have heard about him, from team-mates, ex-team-mates and people who have worked with him, suggests that he is also a model professional, someone whose dedication to the game is beyond reproach, someone whose meticulous attitude towards recovery between matches, as one example, sets the standard.

It is a high bar at a club that has won as much as Liverpool, but Salah is one of Anfield’s all-time greats, a player who deserves his place in the club’s iconography alongside legendary strikers like Roger Hunt, Kevin Keegan and Ian Rush, a man who has won it all during his time on Merseyside.

He has been good for Liverpool and Liverpool has been good for him and the way he behaved towards Jurgen Klopp on the touchline at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon does not change the fact that his record demands he continues to be regarded with great respect long after he leaves. The consistency of his goalscoring has been remarkable.

Imagine for a minute Hunt behaving like that towards Bill Shankly or Kenny Dalglish showing that level of disrespect towards Bob Paisley. It is inconceivable. They had their disagreements, too, but they had more dignity and regard for their managers to behave like a spoilt child in front of tens of thousands of people at a stadium and millions watching on television.

Mohamed Salah acted like a spoilt child in clashing with Jurgen Klopp on the touchline

The Egyptian star crossed a line that no player should cross and his behaviour was inexcusable

The Egyptian star crossed a line that no player should cross and his behaviour was inexcusable

The Liverpool legends of the past had greater dignity and regard for their managers

The Liverpool legends of the past had greater dignity and regard for their managers

What I find particularly hard to stomach is that Salah should do this now, at a moment when a manager who has done so much for him, for the club and for the city of Liverpool, is at his most vulnerable and, in many ways, most in need of support from senior players.

What Salah did after the game exacerbated the situation, too, and I don’t just mean the fact that he was at pains to shake hands with West Ham boss David Moyes while studiously avoiding Klopp.

In all his years at Liverpool, Salah has barely ever stopped in the mixed zone to speak to journalists after the game. It is considered a lengthy exchange with him if he says ‘no comment’. So for him to say ‘If I speak, there will be fire’ was an escalation of an already incendiary situation and he knew it.

Klopp deserves better than that. Salah is a fantastic footballer who has brought a lot of joy and a lot of success to Liverpool fans but he also owes Klopp a huge debt of gratitude for building a platform for him to shine in the Liverpool sides he has graced over the seven years since he arrived from Roma.

Salah might have been the headliner in that brilliant forward line he played in with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino but that was because the other two often sacrificed their own individual ambitions to serve Salah.

Salah is a goalscoring genius who made all those sacrifices worthwhile but as he ranted and raved at Klopp on Saturday, embarrassing Darwin Nunez and Joe Gomez as they waited to come on with him, it felt as if he had forgotten everything Klopp had done for him.

It felt as if he had forgotten that, when he was a callow kid struggling to make it at Chelsea, he was reduced to tears by Jose Mourinho at half-time of a match against Norwich City and substituted at half-time, according to former Chelsea player John Obi Mikel.

It felt as if he had forgotten that, even though he deserves the credit for rebuilding his career at Roma, it was Klopp who signed him for Liverpool and it was Klopp who built the team with whom Salah won all the top honours in world club football.

Salah is a fantastic footballer, but he also owes Klopp a huge debt of gratitude for his success

Salah is a fantastic footballer, but he also owes Klopp a huge debt of gratitude for his success

As he stropped on the touchline it seemed he had forgotten everything Klopp has done for him

As he stropped on the touchline it seemed he had forgotten everything Klopp has done for him

Klopp built a team around the Egyptian that went on to win all of club football's top honours

Klopp built a team around the Egyptian that went on to win all of club football’s top honours

Perhaps this is a traditionally hierarchical view of football, and life, but Salah owes Klopp. He certainly owes him more than putting his finger to his lips to tell a managerial great like Klopp to shut up in public view just as the club’s fading hopes of winning the Premier League were being dealt a fatal blow.

Perhaps we are moving on now from an era where a player’s respect for a manager is to be assumed. Perhaps it is a facet of the increasing power of players and the trend for fans to support players rather than teams. Perhaps the younger generation of fans will be more inclined to side with Salah than Klopp.

To this observer, Salah acted like an over-entitled prima donna. He acted like a player who has come to believe he is more important that the manager and more important than the club. He acted like a man made giddy by his inflated idea of his place in the hierarchy of a club where successful managers are God-like figures.

Maybe he will regret it one day. Maybe he is already regretting it. Maybe, like Kieron Dyer, who came to feel ashamed of an isolated act of insubordination towards Sir Bobby Robson when they were at Newcastle, Salah will be contrite one day.

In years to come, Klopp will retain his place alongside the legends of Liverpool. His likeness will be displayed alongside the images of Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish and Rafa Benitez, his name will be sung by the Kop and the affection in which he is held now will not fade.

Salah disregarded all that when he did what he did at the London Stadium. Salah sought to belittle one of the most revered figures in Liverpool’s history but instead of it enriching Liverpool’s prolific forward, it made him poor indeed.

Salah sought to belittle one of the most revered figures in Liverpool's history by his unseemly actions but instead of it enriching his own profile it has left him much poorer indeed

Salah sought to belittle one of the most revered figures in Liverpool’s history by his unseemly actions but instead of it enriching his own profile it has left him much poorer indeed

Beautiful tributes paid to the great Mike Dickson 

So many people wished to pay their respects to the Daily Mail’s much-loved and highly respected tennis correspondent Mike Dickson at his memorial ten days ago that space ran out at St Mary’s Church in Wimbledon and 50 or 60 of us found ourselves watching the service on CCTV in the church hall and wondering at the beauty of the tributes to Mike from his wife and children. 

I turned around at one point to see Roger Taylor and Jeremy Bates sitting next to each other unobtrusively a few rows further back. Taylor was one of my first sporting heroes, a semi-finalist three times in the men’s singles at Wimbledon. 

Bates was a serious player, too, a British No 1 for many years. Their presence was a tribute to Mike, most of all, but it said plenty about them, too.

Keepers receiving unnecessary protection 

I don’t understand the new fashion for rescuing goalkeepers from terrible clangers. 

The latest example of it happened at the London Stadium at the weekend when Alphonse Areola threw the ball in front of him because he thought he had been awarded a free kick during West Ham’s match with Liverpool. 

West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola almost suffered a terrible clanger on Saturday. After falling to the ground having caught a cross, he rolled the ball out despite no foul being awarded

West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola almost suffered a terrible clanger on Saturday. After falling to the ground having caught a cross, he rolled the ball out despite no foul being awarded

Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to save Areola's blushes as Cody Gakpo was about to score

Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to save Areola’s blushes as Cody Gakpo was about to score

Except he hadn’t been awarded a free kick. But instead of allowing play to continue and Cody Gakpo to run the ball into an empty net, referee Anthony Taylor blew his whistle and stopped play. 

Former referee Peter Walton praised Taylor, who is one of our best referees, for using common sense but I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Why is it suddenly up to a referee to interfere in the outcome of a game beyond officiating the rules? What’s next? 

If a defender lets the ball run under his foot in a dangerous position, does the referee spare him embarrassment for that, too? 

Areola made a stupid mistake. He should have been made to suffer the consequences.



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