Sadio Mane gives an honest Liverpool admission following the team below-par performance.

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Sadio Mane gives an honest Liverpool admission following the team below-par performance.

Sadio Mane gives an honest Liverpool admission following the team below-par performance.

Sadio Mane was ruthlessly frank in his evaluation of his campaign earlier this week, asserting that he is in the midst of the “worst season of his career”.

He said in an interview with Canal Plus,
“If you ask me what is wrong I will struggle to give you an answer. Personally, I don’t know. I have always tried to be positive, whether things are going well or badly. I question myself all the time.

“I even underwent a test to take a look at my body. Am I eating the right foods, or has everything changed? But they checked the test results, and everything is fine. I need to understand that in life there are ups and downs. I will keep on working hard – and perhaps in time this situation will pass.”

On the surface, Mane’s own self-criticism may seem severe. He has after all netted 14 goals across all competitions this term which is total of many forwards at this level would be more than content with.

However, the 29-year-old Senegalese understands he’s competent of so much more and the standards he has previously set are remarkably high, breaking the 20-goal barrier in each of the past three campaigns before this one.

It’s not just the goals that have been wanting in the Senegal international’s game though, but also an all-round fiery edge that in years gone by has been an essential part of the forward’s makeup.

Mane has averaged approximately equal number of shots, touches inside the penalty area and progressive runs. He’s even dribbling more on a per 90 basis too.

However, perhaps that latter statistic depicts a picture of a player not contributing more, but instead one trying too much, looking for answers to an unexplained void in his form.

His below-par form could just be described by a natural regression, the Reds number 10 does after all turn 30 next year. But, based on circumstances of the last few seasons, a more likely but yet neglected analysis could in fact be burnout.


Fatigue is difficult to quantify, making it hard to conclude as the key logic behind his recent struggles, yet delving into his past few seasons highlights how it could well be a reasonable reason.

We know already that the COVID pandemic has had a sizeable adverse influence on a number of aspects of football this summer, with packed fixture schedules reducing quality and intensity levels across the division.

Yet for Mane, the pandemic only increased a drop-off that could have been foretold based on the amount of highly competitive games the Liverpool man had been playing before COVID hitting.

After the 2018/19 season, Mane had made 50 club appearances across league and cup competitions. This would be a tedious number for any player, yet it was expressly so for Liverpool players given the extreme nature of almost every fixture they played that season.

On the domestic face, they battled Manchester City for the Premier League, driving them until the final game of the season, only to miss out by a single point.

Equal to this, they persevered and saw off Europe’s elite en route to their Champions League success in Madrid.

Not only was Mane helpful in all of that, but the forward then headed straight to that summer’s African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) with Senegal, again going all the way to the final, only to agonizingly fail out on competition victory following a 1-0 defeat to Algeria.

Despite the taxing impact not only physically but also mentally from all of that in the space of one season, Mane took just a two-week break before reporting back for pre-season to do it all again.

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Sadio Mane gives an honest Liverpool admission following the team below-par performance.

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