John Arne Riise says Mohamed Salah’s body language doesn’t look good amid Liverpool’s unprecedented run of bad form in recent weeks.
The reigning Premier League champions have now lost six top flight home games in a row, and the fan favourite left-back wants Salah to realise that his demeanour in recent games is bound to come under intense scrutiny.
Riise that Salah looks “sick and tired” due to his body language but that nobody can truly tell whether that’s the case for Liverpool’s main man.
Riise spoke exclusively to RadioTimes.com ahead of Liverpool v RB Leipzig live on BT Sport tonight.
He said: “What players don’t realise, and I was the same sometimes, people look at body language, the attitude.
“People can try to read players’ reactions and attitudes – ‘Ah, he doesn’t care’, ‘he doesn’t work enough’, ‘he wants to go’ – and Salah’s body language tells not a good story.
“He shows that he’s sick and tired. He doesn’t like this, he doesn’t like that and it could be the opposite, he could love it, but people get this feeling because of the body language.
“That’s why I’m telling people now, I’m a manager now in Norway, if you show me your body language is bad, I think you don’t like me, and you’re out.
“It’s hard. I think Salah is frustrated because he doesn’t perform as well as he wants to, or score as many goals as he wants to. I think you can understand his frustration.
Riise believes injuries have majorly impacted the balance of Liverpool’s team but conceded that in Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, they should still have enough to win games against relegation-battling teams such as Fulham at the weekend.
“Obviously they still have the power and skills to win games, no doubt, but now the confidence is at the bottom.
“I think mental fatigue, physical fatigue, and the last three years of that style of football has caught them up because they didn’t get any holiday, they won the league last year and didn’t get any celebrations. But for sure, they still have the quality to beat [teams like Fulham].
“There are going to be a million answers and it’s hard to find the right one. The way I see it, I think football is played with relations, meaning when you play with a squad of players, they all know each other inside out – weakness is strength.
“The problem is, when they’re losing so many players to injuries and have to swap around players in different positions, you don’t get that consistency or relations between the players.
“For example, Liverpool play a higher line in defence, when you don’t have Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, the quick ones, and you still play a higher line, you get punished because opposition teams have learned how to play against them.
“They’re more deep, more compact, and go for the counter attack. And Liverpool still keep playing the high line.
“In midfield, we don’t have the normal three like Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson available, and you don’t win the ball with the high press like you normally did, which then doesn’t give the front three the chance to score goals like they normally do.
“It’s down to missing key players in key positions and they can’t get that system going. Yes, other teams are the same, but I think Liverpool has been extremely unfortunately with injuries they have.”
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