Saturday Sep 07, 2019. 16:00
Michael Owen insists that the supposed spat between Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane at Liverpool is nothing to he concerned with.
The Reds have enjoyed a perfect start to the Premier League season (four wins from four), but in their last match against Burnley Mane expressed anger and frustration at some selfish play from Salah, who opted to shoot for goal instead of passing to better-placed teammates.
The friction between the Senegalese and Egyptian stars will not derail Liverpool’s ambitions, according to club legend Owen.
“When you look at Liverpool’s front three, you have Roberto Firmino, who is probably the most unselfish player in the world — he would lay on anything — so would be a dream to play with,” Owen told ESPN FC.
“At the other end of the spectrum, you have Mo Salah, who is just focused on scoring and wanting to be the goalscorer. Then you have Sadio Mane, who sits in between — he likes scoring and is selfish when he needs to be — but he’s also quite generous in his passing.
“I think you have a great balance there, but it just boiled over the other day. I was doing the [Burnley-Liverpool] game for television and I said at the time, ‘Have you seen that? There are a couple of times he [Salah] should have been passing.’
“Of course, it all blew up and I saw it coming in many ways. These problems happen all the time and it’s Jurgen Klopp’s job to smooth them over. But I do think that, as a striker, there is a balance in everything.
“There has to be one that’s unselfish and one who is selfish, otherwise you are never going to get any goals. I was always at my best with Emile Heskey — he was really unselfish and I was a really selfish so-and-so. But put me with another selfish player — another striker who was hungry for goals — and you wouldn’t necessarily hit it off the same.
“I don’t think it will be a problem that will last. Next time Salah gets the ball, he will probably be more conscious that he has to pass sometimes, if there is a better opportunity.
“If he does, I guess it will be forgotten about, but these players are playing right on the edge at the very highest level and little things can just happen like that. It’s fine. These things happen all the time in every dressing-room — you get arguing all the time.
“Unfortunately for Jurgen Klopp, it happened in front of the cameras and he had to dampen it down, but things like that happen all the time at every club. Sometimes having an argument is quite a good thing because it keeps everyone on their toes.”