Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned of dangerous Mohamed Salah trait – ‘Boy who cried wolf’ | Football | Sport

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Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has urged Jurgen Klopp to ensure that Mohamed Salah cuts simulation out of his game as quickly as possible, suggesting that the Egyptian winger’s tendency to exaggerate contact has the potential to cost Liverpool dearly in the long run. The Reds are enduring a torrid defence of last year’s Premier League title with the Merseyside club currently occupying eighth place in the table, five points adrift of the division’s top four.

Salah has been one of Liverpool’s few shining lights this season, leading his side’s attacking charge with 25 goals from 40 appearances in all competitions.

However, the 28-year-old has not been immune to criticism, with one standout trait attracting plenty of attention for all the wrong reasons on a weekly basis.

He has been known to throw himself to the floor in response to the slightest of touches, leading many onlookers to accuse him of diving in order to gain an advantage.

It seems as though he is rather well-acquainted with football’s dark art, coming under fire for a number of prominent incidents since the turn of the year.

Salah’s questionable fall under the challenge of Wolves defender Willy Boly was singled out prior to the international break, while a number of other high-profile examples against the likes of Everton, Manchester City and Leicester City have also been highlighted by the forward’s critics.

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Hackett, who served as general manager of Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) between 2004 and 2009, has suggested that Klopp needs to clamp down on Salah’s unwelcome trait in order to avoid negative consequences in the future.

He told Football Insider that managers and referees should come down hard on simulation from next season, warning Klopp that if the Egypt international continues to deceive officials, he could see genuine instances of foul play given against him as a result.

“I think that what he does is, he puts a degree of pressure on the referees to make certain that he’s getting the right view and the right viewing angle,” said Hackett.

“The referees have got to move in relatively close to see what level of contact there is and whether he’s going to ground before the contact is made.

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“This is a challenge to referees, a player of this type. They’re players that easily go to ground. There are times when Salah goes to ground that gains nothing and the referee does nothing.

“For me, this whole area of acts of simulation to deceive a referee needs a clampdown. It needs referees at the start of next season to say, ‘Right, OK, we’re going to try and cut this from the game.’

“I would like his manager to whisper in his ear and say, ‘Look, come on…’. But the game is different at a professional level. It’s almost win at all costs.

“There’s an element of boy who cried wolf here. I’ve seen incidents where Salah has been fouled and not been given the penalty kick so it does work both ways.

“The reputation is built and there’s no question that referees can be conditioned. In the modern game, referees are more prepared and there’s no question he’s got that reputation.”

Salah is yet to pick up a single yellow or red card for any reason in the Premier League this season.

His theatrical tendencies were previously criticised by Klopp after Liverpool fell to a crucial defeat at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge back in May 2018.

The winger was booked by referee Michael Oliver after making the most of a challenge from then-Blues defender Gary Cahill.

“Yes I think it was a dive, was it?” Klopp told reporters. “Or he waited for the contact, I am not sure, so that is not what I want to see, that is not what he wants to do. But obviously it happened.

“With all the other situations, he couldn’t get any foul any more. That is not right as well. It was always like this and you have to deal with that.”





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