The Sakho Conundrum

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The last few months have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for Liverpool’s #3, Mamadou Sakho.

Being accused (falsely) for taking an illegal substance, subsequently missing out on very important matches for Liverpool, to being acquitted of those charges a a few months later. Then he picked up an injury, got sent home from the preseason tour for his tardiness and apparent stubbornness on a few occasions, to eventually being out of favour at Liverpool Football Club.

The Sakho Conundrum

Mamadou Sakho is Liverpool’s best defender, and no one in that squad comes close to how important the Frenchman is to our defence. With him in that backline it makes our spine significantly tougher; and it also gives us some sort of relief to know we have a proven, reliable central defender. But the fact that he was waved around by the club to go on loan so close to the end of deadline day without bringing in a replacement remains proof of just how ruthless Jurgen Klopp is, something my colleague Rory Greenfield wrote about here. You either get with the program, or get out. A number of clubs were interested in taking him, namely Stoke City and West Brom, but none were of interest to Mama.

The reason he chose to stay at Liverpool could be due to various reasons. For one, he could have chosen to stay and buckle down; fight for his place. The other could be what I’ve previously said above. No club who were in for him in the final hour of the transfer window had appealed to him.

The arguments that ‘You’re only good enough based on the clubs that are after you’ are false. Because Premier League teams now have the financial capabilities to reach for players a tier or two above them, despite not being as attractive of a club in other areas. It was also so close to the end of the window that majority of these more attractive clubs have already completed their businesses.

Mamadou Sakho is an absolute Saint outside the world of football. He’s setting an example with the various donations be it his own time and/or financial contributions to charities is an example to footballers who’ve lost touch with their past and haven’t looked back. Inside however, we’ve seen several comparisons on social media regarding his attitude being quite similar during his time with his former employers PSG, But only the people who see him on a daily basis truly understand his attitude at work.

Despite the journalists saying he wouldn’t play for Liverpool this season should he not leave on loan (in which he did stay), there’s a high probability that we might end up needing his services anyway sooner rather later. With only the likes of Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, and a makeshift centre-back in Lucas Leiva, the odds would likely tilt in his favour, for as long as he does fix his act, if it were the case.

Of course all these remain speculation and my own personal opinion. Because I’d like to see that we play our best player in all positions across the field, especially in a flawed defence. But it’s not up to you or me; it’s down to the manager of the club, who has decades of experience in managing a football club, more than the whole Liverpool Twitter combined. We all know that Klopp is the ultimate chess player, and thinks miles ahead of us (who are worried only for the next game) but the manager has not spoken anything yet directly to the general public regarding Sakho post-transfer window, so it’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say other than reading the words of journalists, albeit very credible ones.

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  1. The only Sakho conundrum is how he has been at the club so long? He isn’t good enough, and never will be, he’s too often a mistake about to happen and the very thought that he might come back as an emergency LB is too preposterous for words. Our best defender? Good grief! Anybody looking at him as a good defender at LFC must only be doing that comparing him with the utter dross we have in that area but, comparing him to the Hansens and Lawrensons or Thompsons or Hyypias of this world should, in a fair and just world, either result in those great players taking legal action or recommending a good shrink for you!
    We now have more money than we started the now closed transfer window with and could have solved long-standing weaknesses at LB and DM quite comfortably during that time (Hector was only going to cost £15m) but, instead of sensible planning, we are now hearing rumours of Sakho and Lucas being brought back despite both having failed time, after time, after time.
    We need to overtake clubs who have spent hundreds of millions – from a starting point of them already being better than us if last year’s league table means anything – and we end up getting more back in sales than we spend!! Madness! We are trying to pretend to want to win the league on the cheap and, sorry, it won’t work with glaring weaknesses in the team and either poor players or no better than decent players playing out of position trying to fill those weak areas. Is right-winger Milner a LB? Is Henderson a DM? Is Sturridge a RW?
    Just going back to Sakho for a moment, his passion is obvious and good to see, but just look again at the Dortmund game (4-3) and notice HIS positioning for possibly every Dortmund goal! HE was the only defender playing them onside. His positional sense is not good and his heading even worse.
    Our relatively fragile defence is NOT getting the protection it needs with Henderson having an attacking mindset and not a defensive one. Not had a good DM since Alonso left! Why? Did it take about nine years to realise Lucas wasn’t good enough? I could have told you that after one!
    Does anybody plan not to cover their eyes when a new LB called Sakho is called into action? He should be known as Defibrillator Man because every time the ball goes near him I’m close to a cardiac arrest!

  2. I would rather keep my thought with myself on this one. All I would say is that our beloved Manager should stop all LOANING/SELLING, willy and dilly stuff. If he persist in this way there will be no player left. Empty shariot with nothing to bite.

  3. People in the comments so far are rather short sighted in reference to money and transfers. Sanchez was a Barcelona reject yet he was expensive for Arsenal and considered world class at his best in this league. Hazard was the best player in the league 2 years ago. But hasn’t lived up to a ronaldo or messi world class standard even though José was asking for 200 million from real Madrid when they enquired not long ago. And Leicester certain aren’t spending more than everyone else even though they are most likely a 1 off. Point being money being spent doesn’t equal success anymore than Klopps way does. Klopp didn’t spend 200 million a season at Dortmund. He picked up youth for cheap and trained them to the best of their abilities over years of developing them into winners. He is building a team. He is not buying a group of talented individuals. He is training everyone to work as a team and for self improvement of individual players so that they can work better for the team. He has made our good players better players. Kevin Stewart has only improved under Klopp. Who wouldn’t have been even considered for most cup games under Rodgers. Liverpool don’t need super expensive superstars to build a team Klopp can sustain. Sturridge being on the sidelines proves that. He needs people that all commit to the team and do their job well. People are far too impatient. They expect the next manager to come to Liverpool and start winning leagues and cups straight away. Ferguson was at man united even when he had a bad season or 2. They didn’t sack him. Because they knew in the long run he was going to be successful. The Fans need to stop being so negative. Klopp isn’t here to win a league and leave or create an invincible and perfect team and leave. He’s here to stay and create something special over a period of years not months.

  4. Big Phil or what the so call you bear. I don’t remember Lfc casting a spell on anyone to join us. You’ve moaned or whined on about every piece here as regards the club not signing a LB or DM and making more money than we spent. Well, if it doesn’t suit you, join the devils, citizens, pensioneers or even the gunners. We have a manager, whom we all trust and belief in. Your incessant whinning won’t change the feel so back off already and stop boring us with your failed belief system #YNWA

  5. We need a LB : DM & striker . If Sturrage doesn’t want to do Klopp way he will probably go , personally I hope not . Is Danny hits up to it .Not everything is Rosie in the garden but we will need big money players to keep up with top four .need to plant some Orcids .

  6. Who are you people? A football fans or the Wall Street pricks? Did all the joy about the game just ended on the 1st of September or is it a dawn of the new season and the new excitement? Does any of you actually still enjoy waching the games or is it more important to count Moreno’s mistakes to prove you right and pump up your ego’s? You’re poisoned with a spending culture. The fact is, a true fun lies far far away of your minds, spoiled by a money cult.

  7. I believe we require a combination of the two strategies.
    We need good players in place to hold the fort while we build a team.
    It is the lack of consistency that does my head in, we are losing games easily that we should be winning.

  8. It’s quite likely that Sakho is our best defender but i still don’t think he’s a good one. Even if he does patch things up with Klopp I’d hope we’d be looking for an upgrade. He’s simply not composed enough to be top class.


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