Liverpool have been sent a warning that the red-hot form of Mohamed Salah may be papering over some of the cracks in the team by ex-star Glen Johnson.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Mirror, former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has warned manager Jurgen Klopp that Mohamed Salah’s scintillating form this season may be covering over some of the deficiencies within the squad.
Liverpool have made an unbeaten start to the season, having not lost a game across any competition this season. Heading into Sunday’s clash against West Ham United, the Reds are third in the Premier League table, four points off leaders Chelsea. At the same time, they have qualified for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Liverpool’s charge has been led by Mohamed Salah, who has been in unstoppable form this season. The Egyptian superstar has plundered 15 goals and six assists in just 14 games in all competitions, helping the Merseysiders remain unbeaten.
While Salah’s brilliance has ensured that Liverpool have been deadly in attack, they have had a few issues at the back even though Virgil van Dijk has been pretty much an ever-present in most games. And Johnson believes that the form that Salah has displayed may be papering over the cracks for Liverpool.
“I don’t think they’re as rock-solid as they have been,” Johnson told the Mirror. “They’ve got very high standards, and they set the bar high, of course. By their standards, I don’t think a few of their players are at their best – but I don’t think they have to be at their best to win football matches.”
“If they want to take this title race to the line and go deep in the Champions League, then they will have to hit form at the right time. So I don’t think they’ve been as solid as they usually are, but they’re still performing well enough to win games. “
“Anytime you’ve got players like [Salah] on the pitch, then you’re always gonna be a threat. He’s always going to peg teams back if you’ve got the ball, so it doesn’t matter if your defence isn’t on form anyway,” he added.
Liverpool have kept six clean sheets in the Premier League this term, but there have been some concerning displays. The Reds’ backline was bullied by Ivan Toney in the 3-3 draw against Brentford, while they yielded a two-goal lead to be held to draw by Brighton & Hove Albion more recently.
Before their clean sheet in the win over Atletico Madrid this week, Klopp’s side had conceded five goals in three Champions League clashes, letting in two goals in the reverse fixture against the Rojiblancos as well as AC Milan. That is something that the German tactician will need to sort out as the Reds look to go all the way this season.