Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Jurgen Klopp tells Mohamed Salah to accept brutal truth about Erling Haaland

Jurgen Klopp tells Mohamed Salah to accept brutal truth about Erling Haaland

Jurgen Klopp has told Mohamed Salah that he cannot compare to Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.

Salah, 30, won his third Golden Boot award last season but has only scored twice for Liverpool this season. 

Haaland has already scored 19 goals for the champions at the Etihad, 14 of which have come in the league.

Klopp expects his Egyptian forward to “explode,” but insists he cannot compare himself to City’s new talisman. 

“With Mo, I hope he is close to exploding” Klopp said.

“But nobody in the world can cope with the Haaland situation at this moment.

“It’s crazy what he is doing. When he scored his second goal in the Champions League (against Copenhagen) he shook his head as if to say ‘I can do whatever I want and the ball bounces straight to my feet.’ Haaland is an exceptional player in an exceptional team, so that obviously works pretty well.

“I don’t think we should compare anybody with Haaland at this moment – at least I don’t.

“Mo wants to score goals. Definitely, desperately, definitely, 100 percent – and that will never change. Call him in 20 years and it will be the same. That will never change.

“With Mo, it is like this: even if his goalscoring numbers are not that crazy, you see how often he is involved in the passes for goals. The problem is, that if he doesn’t score a goal, then no-one appreciates that.”

Liverpool lost ground on early pacesetters Arsenal with a 3-3 home draw against Brighton last weekend, prompting Klopp to criticize his team for failing to defend properly.

The Reds responded by defeating Rangers 2-0 in the Champions League, with Salah scoring from the penalty spot. They travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal, with their manager urging them to follow Salah’s lead in doing the dirty work.

Klopp said: “From my point of view, the way Mo defended against Rangers was at an incredibly high level. And if this team defends at a high level, then we are able to play some good stuff. Forget about Mo scoring or losing the ball here or there. He makes three of four key passes – and that’s exceptional. As a coach, it is easier for me to see what he does because I watch the whole game again and not just the highlights.

“It means I see those little things – so for me, Mo is fine. We are just used to having a specific picture of him in our minds, but he is a human being. We have to make sure that the team performs at a level where every player can be the best version of themselves.”

Liverpool trail Arsenal by 11 points, and Klopp admires the way Mikel Arteta has rebuilt the Gunners after a difficult start to his tenure.

However, Klopp will be watching to see how the Londoners handle an increasingly hectic schedule in the run-up to the World Cup.

He said: “Arsenal is a big club, there’s no doubt about that, and we have big games against them. They’re a great club. Under Arsene (Wenger) they stood for a specific style of football. There have been a few changes but pretty quickly they have found their way back.

“They play in the Europa League again this season. They didn’t make it last year into the Champions League, but now they are ready for the next step. We will have to see how they deal with three or four competitions.”

Jurgen Klopp tells Mohamed Salah to accept brutal truth about Erling Haaland