Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Cascarino has claimed that Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane has ‘become more selfish’ since joining the club.
The Senegal international caused headlines before the international break when he became visibly frustrated at teammate Mohamed Salah failing to pass to him in front of goal in their win over Burnley. Cascarino feels that his reaction is the result of a forward’s ingrained desire to be the main man.
“Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah each scored 22 goals last season and want to outdo the other this time around, and that is good for the team,” he wrote for The Times. “It creates competition in your own camp, it makes players train harder if they feel the need to be top dog.
“Mané has become more selfish since joining Liverpool from Southampton three years ago and Jürgen Klopp will love that. Mané was angry about Salah’s selfishness against Burnley but strikers, even if they apologise, will not really mean it. You can be sure that they will avoid the pass again soon.”
This is an interesting piece from Cascarino, giving the reader a bit of an insight into the psychology of a top class striker. At the end of the day, goals are currency for attackers and that’s what Cascarino believes lay behind Mane’s frustration with Salah against Burnley. They both tied for top scorer in the Premier League with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last time out, and so it’s natural for the duo to both want to go one better and claim that title outright for themselves. To do that you have to be selfish. That’s why Salah took a shot at goal rather than passing to Mane, and it’s also why the former Southampton star was so upset at his teammate’s failure to find him. However, Cascarino is correct that the competition between the two men will make this Liverpool team better. It’s only going to lead to more improvement in their games and more goals, which in turn will result in more victories. In amongst this, of course, is the unselfish Roberto Firmino, who holds this whole thing together for Klopp’s team.