In life, you make mistakes, it’s as simple as that. Mo Salah started his Liverpool career like a Japanese bullet train, but it begs the question, was he too good? I know that sounds totally ridiculous, however, he’s now got to repeat that feat or better it. That’s alongside battling against ‘second-season syndrome’ which is a myth. I understand the whole concept of second-season syndrome, yet I just don’t buy it. Either way, the whole point of this article is to take a look at whether Salah is going to get caught up in the whole second-season syndrome debacle.
So far this season, Liverpool & Salah have played four games. Guess what we’re going to do? Aye, that’s right, compare the first four games of last season to the first four games of this season! I know, it’s groundbreaking. Let’s begin with 2017/18 which started with an entertaining score draw at Vicarage Road. 3-3, to be precise. Salah got the goal which put Liverpool 3-2 to the good in a game which gave us a look at a front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino for the first time. Not a bad way to start. Palace were next up as they made the trip north to Anfield. A narrow win saw Mane score, so nothing from a statistical point of view from Salah in this game.
Another London side, Arsenal, visited Anfield a week later. Liverpool wiped the floor with them. 4-0. Salah scored the third and set up Sturridge for the fourth. Tidy. A short venture to Manchester beckoned for the fourth game. City. Mane getting sent off in the 37th minute changed the complexion of the game completely and Salah was substituted at the interval as Klopp sought to regain some sort of shape in the middle of the park. So, from the first four games, Salah scored two and assisted another. What about this year?
Ye olde fixture computer was much more favourable this season as there was no Arsenal or City to face in the opening four games. West Ham were up first. A home game under the lights at Anfield. Do they get much better? Not for Salah; he opened the scoring after nineteen minutes and Liverpool didn’t look back after that, running out eventual 4-0 winners. In an almost carbon copy to the season prior, Palace were Liverpool’s second opponents of the campaign. The difference? It was at Selhurst. Another win for The Reds, Salah getting the assist for the second goal, this one coming in stoppage time.
Brighton travelled from the South Coast to the North West for the third game of the season. Our man got the only goal of the game midway through the first half. We end with the most recent of games. Leicester. We’ve even got a fancy image to go with this one!
Salah was unable to register a goal or assist and he was (wrongly) taken off with the game finely poised at 2-1. You have to feel that if Salah was kept on the pitch with Leicester committing more bodies forward, he may well have registered another goal or assist.
In a wonderfully symmetrical manner, Salah has exactly the same number of goals and assists that he did after four games last season. Second-season syndrome? Bollocks.
Until the next time.