A solid start for Liverpool in the Premier League has been recognised by the fact that Jürgen Klopp, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mané have been shortlisted for awards as the Premier League’s best manager and player for August.
Liverpool have started the season with two wins and a draw to sit second in the league ahead of Huddersfield, Manchester City, and West Bromwich Albion on goal difference. An opening 3-3 draw away to Watford FC showcased all the attacking qualities and defensive concerns that often make Liverpool’s game so entertaining for neutrals. Two successive wins replete with clean sheets underlined the defensive progress made under Klopp from the final month or so from last season up to the opening month of this campaign.
Seven clean sheets in the last nine league games going back as far as mid-April should be heartening considering that Klopp boasts considerable and proven attacking power in Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Adam Lallana. Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 4-0 on Sunday to follow up a solid 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace without Coutinho and Lallana, proving that there is a very good group of players at Anfield.
One of those players has continued his fine form in pre-season with three goals in five games in the Premier League and Champions League. Mohamed Salah may not have made it at Chelsea but has made it in Serie A at Fiorentina and AS Roma. Now the furiously rapid Salah is making an impact at Liverpool. Two goals and two assists in three league games is a wonderful return despite missing plenty of chances; however, Salah keeps getting into positions to score like a hungry poacher. Stewart Downing scored three league goals for Liverpool in 65 matches; Salah has two in just three.
In the absence of Coutinho, Mané has reminded everyone how stupendously brilliant he is as a footballer. Intelligence, pace, work ethic, a sneaky streak, a healthy disregard for occasions, and star quality are all present within this Premier League superstar. There is not a club in the country where Mané wouldn’t be an automatic starter. Three league games. Three goals. Along with Alexis Sánchez and Eden Hazard, Mané is in an elite band of wide attackers in the country.
You can satisfy your curiosity by seeing all the other nominees and casting your vote on the Premier League’s official website. No wonder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked like the happiest man in the world yesterday; under Klopp and his coaching team, this Liverpool side is one of perspiration, togetherness, and a gloriously ravenous appetite for goals.