Since arriving at Liverpool last summer, Mamadou Sakho has been a terrific ambassador for the club and a model professional. He immediately involved himself in various organizations and charitable events around the city, and has been a regular fixture at community events and local schools. His arrival and subsequent bedding in is exactly what you'd hope for from new players, and by all accounts he's an excellent teammate in addition to proving a terrific representative of the club.
On the pitch he hasn't been quite as convincing, however, with a section of supporters still unnerved by his unorthodox style of distribution despite strong performances down the stretch last season and a wonderful World Cup campaign this past summer for France. His appearances for Liverpool thus far this season have been mixed; featuring alongside Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure he's been solid at times and uncharacteristically sloppy at others, which isn't much of a surprise given that playing time hasn't come with any sort of regularity since arriving on Merseyside.
That inconsistency continued ahead of Saturday's Merseyside derby, when Sakho was pictured leaving the stadium prior to kickoff. He wasn't included in the matchday squad, and with no report of illness or injury, it wasn't entirely clear why he left. It's still not, but whatever the reason, he felt the need to apologize on Saturday evening:
I really want to apologise to the club, the supporters and every person who felt offended when I left the stadium this afternoon.— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho3) September 27, 2014
I’m aware that it was a bad choice from my part to go isolating to watch the game!— Mamadou Sakho (@mamadousakho3) September 27, 2014
Nobody actually knows what he was thinking or feeling as he left, and nobody knows what this means about the climate in the Liverpool changing room. What we know is that he left, wanted to be alone to watch the game, and then ultimately felt the need to apologize for those actions. We can speculate, which plenty have done in the hours since pictures of him leaving first hit Twitter--the working theory is that he was upset at being left out in favor of Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, and Kolo Toure, which makes sense but doesn't necessarily justify a departure--but that adds little to the picture other than add further reasons for hand-wringing.
Which, at the present time, is about the only thing Liverpool are doing with any sort of consistency.