Neville: Salah has hit a brick wall at Liverpool – just like Son did

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Neville: Salah has hit a brick wall at Liverpool – just like Son did

Gary Neville says Mo Salah has hit a brick wall at Liverpool – just like Heung-Min Son did for Tottenham 18 months ago.

‘There just comes a point whereby you need a break’

“I was at the Merseyside derby, and I’ve done a lot of Liverpool games recently and Salah’s not at his level. He’s been an amazing player and is an amazing player, but he was massively off it in the Merseyside derby.

Mohamed Salah's returns for goals and assists have dropped off since New Year's Day, despite hitting more shots on target and clocking a higher xG per 90 minutes

Image: Mohamed Salah’s returns for goals and assists have dropped off since New Year’s Day, despite hitting more shots on target and clocking a higher xG per 90 minutes

“I mean, he didn’t touch the ball in the first half. What was noticeable, he’s right in front of me up against Mykolenko, I can’t remember him getting the ball. I think we showed that he had about five to six touches after 30-odd minutes.

“He wasn’t in the game, they weren’t getting him in the game. But Mo Salah usually gets in the game.

“In the second-half when Ashley Young comes on and actually goes to the left back for Mykolenko, who picked up that knock, and you’re thinking ‘right, OK. Here we go. He’ll fancy this, 1-0 down and Liverpool fighting to keep themselves in the title race. Local derby’.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League clash between West Ham and Liverpool.

“There was nothing from him.

“Mo Salah’s just hit a brick wall. You’ve got be careful, there was a player out here [in the north London derby] called Son that I think hit a brick wall probably about 18 months ago, where he looked like he was gone and he was struggling.

“These players play so much football they play so consistently and Salah has been almost ever present for like six or seven years. There just comes a point whereby you need a break.”

‘Klopp’s exit might help Salah in spat’

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New footage shows Mohamed Salah and Jurgen Klopp had shaken hands before their touchline spat in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with West Ham on Saturday.

“Unpleasant when you see [that between] an amazing manager and an amazing player.

“I had that at Manchester United a few times. There’s only one winner, but the problem is that the manager is leaving which helps Mo Salah a little bit.

“I think there might be a bit of a problem if it were to carry on for the rest of the season. Two massive personalities and characters.”

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Jurgen Klopp says the side-line disagreement between himself and Mo Salah has been resolved in the dressing room after the match.

‘Klopp exit announcement not to blame for Liverpool form’

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Gary Neville discusses whether he thinks Jurgen Klopp’s mid-season departure announcement has affected Liverpool’s performances this season.

“The only example I’ve got of it was when Sir Alex Ferguson announced that he was leaving before the end of the season in 2001/02. It was an unpleasant last four or five months because it created uncertainty in the club and there was lots of speculation.

“The conversation is never good when it’s not about what you’re currently doing and it’s about who’s coming in and what’s going to happen next season. The next time Sir Alex Ferguson retired, he announced it at the end of the season because he knew it was a mistake first time round.

“He knew that basically that conversation was not helping the players. It wasn’t helping him. It wasn’t helping the fans. It wasn’t helping anybody.

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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed to LFCTV he will leave the club at the end of this season after admitting he is struggling with his ‘energy’ for the job.

“There are two ways of looking at it. Maybe it was going to leak. I thought they were announcing it because Liverpool, this sort of quite efficient machine, wanted to approach their next manager and that they [would] announce it.

“It’s almost like they’ve gone from number one, to number two, to number three.

“They’ve done it for a reason. I don’t know Jurgen Klopp by any stretch of the imagination, but when I look at him, he looks like he’s a man of integrity. He’s a man that I think would find it hard to live a lie. Not a lie, but the idea of withholding information sometimes can be the same as a lie, can’t it?

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Melissa Reddy on why Liverpool have chosen Arne Slot to replace Jurgen Klopp instead of Ruben Amorim

“When you just withhold something that you know that everyone else [doesn’t]. I don’t think Jurgen Klopp would like to live his life like that. I think he’d rather move forward with that transparency and honesty so that everyone knows. I think because of his experience and his know-how and his intelligence he probably thought ‘I can navigate this’.”

“I don’t think what’s happened with Liverpool in the last few weeks is because Jurgen Klopp was announced earlier in the season. I don’t think that at all.

“Everyone said it was a positive thing. ‘It’s the farewell run-in. We all know. We can go and enjoy ourselves in Dublin and win four trophies. People were using as a positive angle at one point. Now it’s gone slightly wrong in terms of the performances.

“I think always think you should judge a team based on what you thought at the start of the season and if you had said to me ‘Liverpool will win a trophy in the finished third’. I’d have said that was a bloody good season without a midfield at the start of the year and thinking that they were going to transition from this great team into this new team.”

‘Liverpool haven’t bottled the season’

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (left) appears dejected during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday April 24, 2024.

Image: Liverpool will finish the season with a trophy and Champions League qualification – but had been fighting on four fronts until a few weeks ago

“Overall on Liverpool, I’m not sat here thinking that they’ve bottled it. I’m sat here thinking they were running a hundred miles an hour.

“I mentioned six or eight weeks ago that I felt like they were sprinting for their lives to stay in this title race because their performance levels were nowhere near the level of City or Arsenal’s.

“You watch them all every week and Arsenal were at a really high level and City were getting to a really high level. Liverpool were just hanging on in there. I feel like it’s just gone over the edge. It’s just been too much for them.

“The talk of emotion helping you and the Jurgen Klopp farewell. That works but you have to get near the end for that.

“They just haven’t been good enough. I think with Liverpool it’s not a case of their mentality or anything like that, I think they’ve just gone as far as they possibly can and they’re just drained.”

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