Life & Style

‘That’s done,’ says Jurgen Klopp after apparent touchline argument with Mohamed Salah

By Aimee Lewis, CNN

CNN  —  Just weeks ago, it seemed as if Jürgen Klopp was set to end his tenure as Liverpool manager with a flourish. The club was in contention to win the English Premier League, was favorite to win the Europa League and in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. Adding three trophies to the League Cup already won in February was not such a fanciful prospect.

Yet, Klopp’s reign, which ends this season, will not have the romantic, trophy-laden finale Reds supporters had craved. A series of surprise results – defeats by Crystal Palace and Everton – have all but ruined hopes of a second league title under the German, while the Reds are out of the FA Cup and Europa League after shock defeats to Manchester United and Atalanta respectively.

A 2-2 draw against West Ham on Saturday leaves Liverpool with just a slim chance of winning the title – only an unlikely unravelling by both Manchester City and Arsenal would put them back in contention.

The push for a ‘quadruple’ of trophies has quickly come away at the seams this month and the club’s miserable end to the season epitomized by the apparent touchline argument Klopp had with star striker Mohamed Salah during Saturday’s draw.

As he was about to enter the pitch as a second-half substitute, television coverage showed Salah and Klopp exchanging words on the sidelines.

Klopp had walked over to speak to the forward, which prompted a response from the Egyptian. Salah then continued to speak in Klopp’s direction, raising his arms in apparent frustration, after the German had walked away, before teammate Darwin Núñez, who was also set to be introduced as a substitute, intervened to end the eyebrow-raising exchange.

Speaking after the match, Klopp did not say what the incident was about but told TNT Sports: “We spoke already in the dressing room. For me, that’s done.”

Footage of Salah walking through the ‘mixed zone,’ an area inside a stadium where journalists can speak to players, was widely shared on social media with the striker telling one reporter as he walked by that there would be “fire” if he spoke.

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch, working as a pundit for TNT Sports, said of the exchange: “It didn’t look good, I can’t lip read, I don’t think it looks good for the club.

“Mo Salah is a player who has started the majority of games for Liverpool and he will be fuming to be on the bench. Players like that, who expect to start, are never happy.

“But no-one likes to see this between a manager and a key player.”

Liverpool has won just one of its last five league matches and is now third, two points behind leader Arsenal, though the Gunners have played a game fewer. Manchester City, in second, is a point ahead of the Reds with two fewer games played.

Salah has played below his usual standard of late, being part of a Liverpool attack which has squandered ample opportunities in recent games.

He last scored in the league in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, a game which seemingly started Liverpool’s downturn in fortunes.

Since returning from a hamstring injury sustained playing for Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations in January, Salah has scored just three goals for the club.

”I’m not in the mood to talk about that, to be honest, or to look at that at all,” Klopp said, speaking to TNT Sports, about the title race.

“We had to win here, we knew that, and we didn’t.

“Now we have a little bit more time between now and the next game. We will try to get the boys ready again and we will go again.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool has agreed to a compensation deal with Dutch club Feyenoord for Arne Slot to become its new manager, according to multiple reports.

Related Articles

Back to top button