Mohamed Salah is crowned PFA Player of the Year
It really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Mo Salah has just beaten off his rivals to be named PFA player of the Year. The debates however will rage on. De Bruyne at City, Kane for Spurs etc, none of them should really come close if we’re being brutally honest. De Bruyne is a world class talent, but he’s in a side that was always going to challenge for the top honours, and whilst he has been more than a key player for City, neither him the prolific Harry Kane have been anywhere near as wonderful to watch as Salah this season.
The goals and assists tell a fraction of the story, but let’s just marvel at them once again; forty-one in forty-six games and eleven assists thrown in for good measure. Not bad for a player who raised eyebrows with his transfer fee last summer. More than the just the numbers though, Mo has added an extra gear to Liverpool this season. His sheer quickness of thought, movement and feet are enough to bamboozle any back four, but throw his work rate and frightening pace and you really do have a precious talent. He’s also started to score all kinds of goals too, from looping headers to calm chips over top class goalkeepers; it really is the work of a world class player.
His addition to the ranks has also helped rocket the Reds through the Champions League and his individual brilliance in key games show that he really does have what it takes to lead Liverpool into a new era of success.
The fans have idolised him, with kids and grown adults alike in awe of his ability and humble enjoyment of playing for Liverpool. He plays with a smile and without fuss, whilst also possessing a selfless streak to play others in. He was very down to earth when picking up his award last night:
“I didn’t have my chance at Chelsea. It was clear I would return and show everyone my football. I think I left and came back a different person, man and player.”
This laid back approach and focus on the team have been really refreshing to see, in a game dominated by egos and other players trying to pinch goals from their team mates. It has been nice to see Mo not get distracted by the race to the Golden Boot either, his priority is the team and us supporters worship him for it.
Building the team
We all saw what a fantastic impact Sadio Mane’s pace and skill had on the team last season. But he alone was the only player with lightening speed and it was a concern that Liverpool’s form dipped in January and February last year when he was recovering from his exploits at the African Nations Cup. As the games have worn on this season and the squad has become more and more stretched it has been a bit worrying that we haven’t been able to rest Salah on more occasions as we look to avoid any costly injuries and history repeating itself.
The next window really will be crucial in determining whether or not we build on this season’s exploits, regardless of what happens in the Champions League. It would be a crime against football if we were to burn Mo out, like we did with Owen, Gerard and Torres in previous eras. We must be in a position to bring in better quality squad players and allow Mo and others to recover for some of the so-called straightforward matches.
In all fairness, the likes of Stoke, West Ham and Southampton, have all done their best Real Madrid impressions against Liverpool in recent seasons, so we’ve had little choice but to go full strength to move them aside. We all saw at the West Brom game though that the rotation does hurt our fluidity and results. It would have been the perfect situation if Salah and Mane could have been fully rested from the first eleven, safe in the knowledge that their replacements were of sufficient quality to get the job done.
With Salah, we posses one of the best players in world football and the team must be built around him if we are to truly go on and win some serious trophies with this man leading the line and Klopp at the helm. Make us dream Mo!