The business of being a striker can be a tough one. Sure, they are often the highest paid professionals on the field and also tend to be the ones that bask in glory. Everyone, for example, knows their clubs top goal scorers. Being a forward is certainly not yeoman’s work.
That extra scrutiny, though, often comes with its own pitfalls. Because just as the job of putting the ball in the back of the net often draws our attention, then it is reasonable to expect that the casual observer also notices when those goals stop coming. And they especially tend to notice when some glorious chances are left begging.
Last weekend, Liverpool’s top goalscorer Mohamed Salah failed to convert two chances against Everton. One of them coming on a breakaway that saw him take the shot inside of the 18 and within the frame of the goal. It was a terrific save by Everton’s keeper Jordan Pickford that helped to earn the hosts a point, but from a Liverpool perspective, it felt like an opportunity lost.
With Mo Salah having failed to score a goal since the match against Bournemouth back in February and given that he only stands one goal shy of notching his 50th Premier League goal, some have wondered if it is up to nerves. Considering how goal scoring still remains such a difficult task on most days, I suppose it is reasonable to rush to questions of intangible causes for a mini-goal scoring dip. And with misses on chances that look certain goals through the rose-tinted lenses of fandom, it becomes easier to ascribe something like this as being down to an issue happening between the ears.
Jurgen Klopp, though, does not share that same anxiety. When asked at his pre-match presser regarding any potential concerns or discussions with the Egyptian, Klopp responded with clarity that he did not believe there was a problem.
“We have very often talks and everything and of course when you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in a game, you want to score with them, that’s clear. But as a manager I’m more than used to that, that players don’t score all the time, so that’s how it is. So no, we didn’t really speak about it or whatever because it’s completely normal.”
There you have it. Jurgen Klopp thinks this is part of a normal cycle and, given the fact that Mo has had similar moments, I tend to agree. Hopefully, he can find his way to the scoresheet soon and kick off a cycle of goalscoring. Just in time to help the Reds in their push for their first Premier League title.