And so we enter another week with yet again the positivity and shine of an excellent win over Hull, being diluted by the antics of our “Scouse Soldier” Mamadou Sakho.
Despite what people might think, I would like it to be known that I am neither Pro-Sakho nor Anti-Sakho. I am merely a passionate Liverpool fan who wants to see the best being done for the club by its players, staff and fans at all times. In this instance unfortunately I think Sakho has left himself between a rock and a hard place with both his employers and the fans, and everyone bar the most maniacal Sakho supporters must realise that he is as close to the exit door as is humanly possible.
As most will know but some may not, this is not the first time that Sakho has found himself on the wrong side of his manager both whilst at LFC and previously at PSG. He is a player of undoubted potential and someone who I genuinely believe wants to integrate with the community in which he lives and works, however, for some strange reason every time he seems to be at a point where he will make that final step to becoming one of Europe’s best players in his position, he self-destructs and the walls come crashing down.
From his senior PSG debut at the age of 17, Mama’s rise to prominence was one of meteoric proportions, first captaining the side just 4 months after his debut. By the time he reached 21 he was the full time captain of the club and someone who both junior and senior members of the PSG team looked towards for leadership.
SAKHO AT PSG
However, within a short space of time, due to a string of incidents both on and off the pitch, he was on the side lines, wondering where it all went wrong and ended up having to make a move to Liverpool for a fresh start, as successive PSG managers in Carlo Ancelotti and Laurent Blanc had made it clear that they didn’t see him as a key player in their team. Less than 3 years later and it is an uncomfortable case of Deja-Vu as he is yet again on the outside looking in due to his own actions.
Very few would doubt that when on top form, Sakho is a formidable Centre Back and would most likely add to Liverpool’s starting eleven. His physical presence and style of defending makes him an ideal fit for Premier League football, however his injuries and attitude problems have been a major hindrance in helping to establish himself as LFC’s #1 defender. Under this current Jurgen Klopp regime, individual ability only gets you so far and Klopp truly does believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Ability alone will not get you into the current LFC XI, you need to marry your ability with the right attitude, a willingness to learn and adapt your style of play to the methods being taught on the training pitch and possibly the most important aspect, respect and accept the managers’ requirements for you both on and off the pitch.
It is most likely the latter that has seen Sakho fall out of favour with his manager and something that may ultimately lead to his transfer from the club and yet I can’t help but feel he could have avoided all of this, just like he could have his departure from his beloved PSG, had he just used his head a little more than his heart when in these awkward situations.
I have no doubt that another chance would have come its way had he kept his head down and trained hard without making a fuss. Of course you’ll have those who say “why should he if he was feeling unfairly treated” or “He has a right to speak his mind” and whilst that is true, I believe that if he truly does love the club and the fans as he claims to, surely he understands that he is only causing an destabilising effect on both the team and the fans by bringing these issues to the fore through social media in the middle of the night. I can’t help but feel that perhaps rather than knuckling down and doing what was asked of him, he decided that the Sakho show needed to be front and centre and therefore decided to release the comments knowing that they’d be the first things LFC fans would wake up seeing. To do so on what was the morning of a very important game for the club against Hull (the type of team we have regularly failed to get past following good results against top 4 rivals) was even more unprofessional.
I believe Jurgen Klopp to be a rational and pragmatic man, who will do what he feels is best for the good of the club and the group of players he has at his disposal. If he thinks that the team can be improved by bringing Sakho back into it then I believe that bridges will be built and we will see him back in the squad. For now though, I fear that it may have gone beyond that and Sakho has talked himself into a situation that makes his position at the club untenable. I hope not as I think we have a better squad with him in it than out of it, but only if he can buy into the collective group ethos and get on track with what his manager wants from him. Otherwise it’s goodbye and thanks for the memories.
They say the flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long. In this instance I think Mama has been pouring petrol on himself!