If last week’s defeat to Manchester United felt like an epic burn, Saturday’s 5-0 win against Watford was the perfect balm. Mohamed Salah scored four of the five goals that led to the win, officially putting him over Harry Kane’s goal tally for the league, and tying him with Fernando Torres for most goals in a debut season for Liverpool. With 7 (or twelve, depending on who you ask) games left, he’s on track to rise to the heights of Liverpool’s most prolific goalscorer - Ian Rush. Of course, all of these records, and comparisons are bound to happen, but captain Jordan Henderson is insistent that they’re similar but not exactly the same.
“They are both fantastic players in their own right and you can’t compare them,’’ Henderson said, following the match on Saturday.
”They are different players. I know they score a lot of goals and both work hard off the ball but it is very difficult to make that comparison.
”Luis moved on to Barcelona and is doing fantastically well. He is a fantastic player who I was privileged to play with.
”But Mo this season has been unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. He is doing it every week, without fail.’’
As the only member of the current squad that played regularly with Suarez, especially in 2013-2014, Henderson is probably the best judge of that character and is happy to offer up the real similar quality that Suarez and Salah share - confidence.
“It’s the confidence,’’ continued Henderson. ”You have someone like Mo who does the hardest part of the game, which is putting the ball in the back of the net.
”Then, as a team, if we work as hard as we possibly can, Mo -- or even Sadio [Mane] and Bobby [Roberto Firmino] are going to finish it in the final third.
”We had that with Luis. You know when you are walking out there are so many goals out there for you.
”It’s just about defending well as a team because you know you will create chances.’’
All that to say that we shouldn’t be enjoying this piece of time for the team. Mo Salah is a gift and should be celebrating every chance he gets - just as the team should be. We’re witnessing the start of something magical at Liverpool and yes, fighting the impending bucket of cold water that we’re used to experiencing is hard, but embracing the goodness we’re in doesn’t come easy to anyone. Even fellow teammates, like Henderson, who signed Salah’s match ball that he earned on Saturday. It was his first of hopefully many in a Liverpool shirt, after all.
“Everyone did the ball for him. I just kept it simple for him. I just said ‘Well done superstar.’’’