Former Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler has weighed in on the debate surrounding the so-called spat between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Mane appeared to be furious after being taken off in Liverpool’s latest Premier League win away at Burnley, with his substitution coming just moments after Salah had opted to take a shot at goal instead of playing in his team-mate.
The post-match agenda was dominated by the incident with pundits all being quick to share their opinion on the matter.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was quick to down play the incident in his post-match press conference insisting everything was fine between the pair and he had spoken to the Senegal international about his reaction.
And now Fowler, writing for the Mirror , has launched a staunch defence of Salah and revealed some of his experiences in similar positions.
The Kop icon wrote:
“It’s the noise surrounding Mane and Salah that I can’t believe.
“Everyone commenting and talking nonsense about being “greedy” or destroying team spirit, have they never watched football before?
“Because you can’t be a top-class goalscorer without total belief you will score.
“One of my more famous goals was at Old Trafford where I smashed one past Peter Schmeichel through a sliver of a gap at his near post. Made him look stupid, made me look brilliant – classic striker’s goal.
“Yet Rushie was unmarked in the middle, and the gap was TINY. Should I have passed? Those people slagging off Salah would have you believe so. They’d say I was selfish, was jealous of Ian Rush and the goals he scored.
“Thing is a few minutes before that, I was in the same position – and did pass. And Rushie missed a sitter, from three yards!
“But I was never going to pass anyway.
“I saw Schmeichel had just drifted to his left, had the weight on his left foot, and I believed I was good enough to hit that gap between him and the near post. I always believed.
“That’s what goalscorers do. They train for it, their whole week on the training ground is spent practising, visualising, working out how to score for every position and the best always believe they can score – from five yards, from 20, from 40. Wherever. Even if it’s easier to pass for a tap-in.
“I look at Salah’s record and it tells me he’s going to keep doing it.
“You don’t score that many goals without being what people say is selfish. But what the hell do people want?
“Do they want him to be a goalscorer or do they want him to be someone who’s always looking to pass? You can’t really have both.
“And the other nonsense I’ve heard is people saying he’s not passing because he’s jealous, he doesn’t want Mane to score.
“If anyone can slow down the game so much they have time to think, ‘Oh, I’m not passing to him because he’s scored more than me’, well they’re the best who’s ever played. Yes, Salah can be selfish when he sees the goal, but, to me, that makes him a great goalscorer.
“And it’s not as if he doesn’t create chances for others. Mane knows that, and what he did was just frustration at being taken off.
“There was a moment in the 2001 FA Cup final late on when I was criticised for not passing to Michael Owen. Pass? I believed I’d score and no way was I going to miss out on it.
“He did it to me, too. I had frustration in my career that I never had a partner who was a creator, with the team built to provide me with chances. I was always alongside another scorer – Rushie, Stan Collymore, Michael.
“But we still played well together, played off each other. I understood them, they understood me, even if we didn’t always get along.
“And it did my head in far more when a midfielder had one of those shots from 40 yards that never go in!.”