You gotta see this thread: Skills, amazing plays, etc.

Christopher Jee

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For pedagogical reasons.


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And this, all of it. The man is a King .
Watched the match. I've got my helmet on because I know you're gonna think I'm crazy, but they are almost all different permutations of the same goal. And a number of giveaways where his "do the obvious thing faster than you can react to it" mentality doesn't work. It's fine, he can probably add that string to his bow.
 
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Midas Mulligan

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Watched the match. I've got my helmet on because I know you're gonna think I'm crazy, but they are almost all different permutations of the same goal. And a number of giveaways where his "do the obvious thing faster than you can react to it" mentality doesn't work. It's fine, he can probably add that string to his bow.
I don't think you are crazy. I think you are watching to confirm.

If it's so obvious, why can't three players within 3 yards of him bottle him up? Why does he rarely ever have to do more than literally roll the ball past the keeper at medium pace?

Why isn't it brilliant that he regularly plays inch perfect balls while running at full pace? How can you objectively look at
1. the pass to Firmino where Firmino's shot is saved (perfect pass at full sprint)
2. the pick out for Firmino's goal
3. the perfect first time ball to Ings where Ings' shot is saved, and Mo gobbles it up before anyone can react

And come away with anything other than this guy is the closest thing going to Messi?

Here's a secret: every goal is a permutation of defender makes a mistake, defender(s) caught out of position, or defender gets done for pace or skill or both.

Think about what your argument sounds like here: he is so regularly beating 3 to 5 defenders who are fencing him in inside the penalty area, it shouldn't really be considered special.

So yes, the conclusions I'm drawing from your argument, I think are a little out there. The structure of your argument is one where you can't lose. If he doesn't pull it off every time, he is flawed. If he does succeed every time, he's still a one trick pony. That's the path it seems like you're on, although I won't even pretend to believe that's your intent and banish you off to some badarguments.io or whatever crap that was.

Without fail, attacking players give the ball away because they are trying to do things that are really hard against paid professionals who earn their living by stopping them. Luis Suarez would give the ball away 7 or 8 times on a good day. That's what happens when you're putting yourself in the crucible required to be a world class match winner.

To summarize, it's not that your argument is wrong. It's that as I understand it, it's an impossible standard that you're applying quite reallyTM selectively.
 
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Christopher Jee

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And come away with anything other than this guy is the closest thing going to Messi?
This I totally agree with. And it's a ridiculously high bar. He is as good at the close-quarter game as Messi ever was, maybe even better. But Messi has so much more to his game, and is probably just about the best at all of those things.

I'm not really that interested in BDO / GOAT kinds of conversations, although I think interesting arguments and learnings come up during the course of those discussions.

To summarize, it's not that your argument is wrong. It's that as I understand it, it's an impossible standard that you're applying quite reallyTM selectively.
Ultimately, comparisons are rhetorically useful, but the point I'm trying to make is that there are situations that I'd love to see him handle better. And I would like to think it's not impossible.

Salah is much more effective than Hazard but they both excel at similar aspects of the game. Hazard is getting shut down nowadays because people know they can't get close to him because his first step will destroy them. It doesn't seem like a lot of defenders have learned that with Salah. Britos has no business doing anything except for trying to contain. Part of it is that Firmino and Mane are so dynamic off the ball. But I'd still like to see Salah with a little more poise in the final third so that he can lean on another strength when people shut down these parts of his game.
 

Midas Mulligan

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I used the wrong “you’re” but it wasn’t actually a mistake there. The mistake was my editing “arguing” to “argument” and not re-reading the beginning of the sentence.

Still, embarrassed.
 

Midas Mulligan

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Thanks. Read it yesterday as part of daily thanks for Salah.

Here's a semi-interesting take:
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/liverpool-fc-news-mohamed-salah-player-of-the-year-de-bruyne-a8265061.html
I don't know that I agree with the rationale the author gets into in the last couple of paragraphs, even if I do agree with his conclusion that Salah should be POTY.
 
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Christopher Jee

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Thanks. Read it yesterday as part of daily thanks for Salah.

Here's a semi-interesting take:
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/liverpool-fc-news-mohamed-salah-player-of-the-year-de-bruyne-a8265061.html
I don't know that I agree with the rationale the author gets into in the last couple of paragraphs, even if I do agree with his conclusion that Salah should be POTY.
It's a strange one for sure. He argues both that Salah's performance will have more lasting impact yet is more of the moment. I think I know what he means (the ramifications of a briefer performance may last longer), but he doesn't make it crystal clear.

I happen to disagree with both the novelty and durability of the ramifications of his performance, but I'm undecided on the likelihood of its brevity. I hope he kicks on and becomes a more well-rounded player.
 

Midas Mulligan

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more well-rounded player.
This is where you lose me.

The guy is a winger who is leading Europe in scoring, joint 2nd in PL for assists.

You’re going to need to point to specifics of what he isn’t good at. Why the hell would he ping 40 yard passes or hit crosses? That’s not his game. I hope it never is.

I suppose you think Suarez isn’t well rounded either?

Who is? Messi? And per you, De Bruyne (who doesn’t score, btw)?

News: Messi doesn’t defend AT ALL, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE and goes wherever he wants during every match.

KDB Gives the ball away at an alarming rate.

Do they need to improve or get more well-rounded? Come on. You have a massive blind spot here.
 

Christopher Jee

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This is where you lose me.

The guy is a winger who is leading Europe in scoring, joint 2nd in PL for assists.

You’re going to need to point to specifics of what he isn’t good at.
I've tried to do this in text form: there are passages of play where I think Salah's decision-making and composure in situations where the defense is more established and in-position (vs. when he has separation from his defenders)

Like I said, I put "finding Salah mistakes on video" on my to-do list and my to-do list is sacred. But in the interests of saving myself some time, I made some simplifying shortcuts.

First, I took a look at his match history (https://www.whoscored.com/Players/108226/Fixtures/Mohamed-Salah) and isolated the matches where his WhoScored rating was < 7. I understand that WhoScored ratings are not perfect and that some of the mistakes I am referring to probably occurred in matches where he otherwise played well. Nevertheless, I figured my chances of finding these mistakes would be higher in matches where his overall performance was rated as "bad". Anyway, this yielded the following fixtures:
  • Aug 19, 2017 - Liverpool 1-0 Crystal Palace (6.78)
  • Sep 9, 2017 - Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool (6.4)
  • Sep 26, 2017 - Spartak Moscow 1-1 Liverpool (6.58)
  • Oct 1, 2017 - Newcastle United 1-1 Liverpool (6.49)
  • Dec 13, 2017 - Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion (6.84)
  • Jan 22, 2018 - Swansea 1-0 Liverpool (6.37)
  • Mar 6, 2018 - Liverpool 0-0 FC Porto (6.47) (off after 16 minutes)
  • Mar 10, 2018 - Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (5.74)
Unfortunately, it's always easier to find highlights than lowlights, so the only "all touches" video I could find was:
  • Jan 22, 2018 - Swansea 1-0 Liverpool (6.37) (
    )
There are several moments of the sort I'm referring to. But there were also moments of magic. Overall I felt the 6.37 was a little unfair. The other problem with these "all touches" videos is that you don't see all the plays where off-the-ball movements was good or bad.

The only other thing I might infer from this collection of matches is that he struggled against teams that are willing to park the bus (Newcastle, WBA, Swansea, Man U), which kind of supports the argument I'm trying to make.

I suppose the right next step would be to try and watch these matches in full, but I'm not sure I'll have time for that.

Overall, my reflection from this exercise is that the situations that I'm pointing out exist and are problematic, but I'm also not giving Salah due credit for what he does well. Which is something I know about myself, and probably something I should seek to remedy for generalized happiness.

Here's another (flawed) perspective:
  • Kevin De Bruyne had 6 sub-7 WhoScored ratings on his match history of 36 matches (16.7% of matches) for an average rating of 7.90
  • Lionel Messi had 3 sub-7 WhoScored ratings on his match history of 49 matches (6.1% of matches) for an average rating of 8.64
  • Salah had 7 sub-7 WhoScored ratings on his match history of 45 matches (15.6% of matches) for an average rating of 7.82
Which implies to me that both De Bruyne and Salah are easier to "shut down" than Messi.

Here's the other thing I've been reflecting upon - while no player (including Messi or De Bruyne) is perfect, I just find their imperfections less glaring. Both Messi and De Bruyne do things that I didn't even see from the privileged perspective of a high-altitude camera. Whereas that's not the case for me with Salah. It's easier for me to deconstruct his great moments as a series of non-brilliant but well-executed moves. And when he makes mistakes, I feel like I saw them coming. Not the case with Messi or De Bruyne at least for me.

Anyway, that's all the time I can spare on this for now. It has been didactic for me.
 

NYCFC_Dan

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Who is? Messi? And per you, De Bruyne (who doesn’t score, btw)?
De Bruyne doesn’t have to score. Let’s be honest, if you didn’t have Salah Liverpool is likely not top 4.
De Bruyne gives the ball away on occasion when attempting incredibly difficult passes. Which, many times result in assists or ‘second assists’ as they’re balls that split between LB/RB and the CB that play in Sane/Sterling for a cross into the box. When he does give the ball away people are still surprised but you always understand what it was that he tried to do and see the difficulty in it. I can’t recall a single time that he’s given it away and I thought ‘why would you make that pass!?’
Still, all that being said I agree that Salah has passed him in the POTY race. It’s just that criticizing De Bruyne for his passing is like criticizing Salah for his scoring. De Bruyne 82% and Salah 72% pass accuracy with Debruyne passing more than twice as much per game.

It’s really not fair to compare the two because it’s not an even comparison. Salah will always be ahead on goals whereas De Bruyne is rated on team contribution.
If Salah keeps scoring at this rate no one can pass him in the discussion but if there’s a drop off next year there’s nothing else he does better that could warrant him staying on top.
 

Midas Mulligan

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De Bruyne doesn’t have to score. Let’s be honest, if you didn’t have Salah Liverpool is likely not top 4.
De Bruyne gives the ball away on occasion when attempting incredibly difficult passes. Which, many times result in assists or ‘second assists’ as they’re balls that split between LB/RB and the CB that play in Sane/Sterling for a cross into the box. When he does give the ball away people are still surprised but you always understand what it was that he tried to do and see the difficulty in it. I can’t recall a single time that he’s given it away and I thought ‘why would you make that pass!?’
Still, all that being said I agree that Salah has passed him in the POTY race. It’s just that criticizing De Bruyne for his passing is like criticizing Salah for his scoring. De Bruyne 82% and Salah 72% pass accuracy with Debruyne passing more than twice as much per game.

It’s really not fair to compare the two because it’s not an even comparison. Salah will always be ahead on goals whereas De Bruyne is rated on team contribution.
If Salah keeps scoring at this rate no one can pass him in the discussion but if there’s a drop off next year there’s nothing else he does better that could warrant him staying on top.
This is completely sane and all true.

Which is why I’m infuriated at the way Christopher Jee Christopher Jee addresses the play of Salah. He is claiming that there are things he could do better. I am saying, yeah, maybe, but then he’s a Messi, not a man.

Btw, C.J., watch this past minute 4. Complete shift. This is what you call a goal scorer. And no way to shit on it.

 
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Ulrich

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Fundamentally this comes down to whether you believe that KDB's playmaking for City has been responsible for more of their points than Salah's goalscoring has for Liverpool's. I'd vote Salah.
MCFC still rolls without KDB by inserting another player from the bench. Without Salah, Liverpool is not scoring or winning anywhere near the matches they have. KDB has the freedom, and backup, to try crazy shit and not worry about failing. Salah has to (relatively) make a very touch count.
 

Christopher Jee

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This is completely sane and all true.

Which is why I’m infuriated at the way Christopher Jee Christopher Jee addresses the play of Salah. He is claiming that there are things he could do better. I am saying, yeah, maybe, but then he’s a Messi, not a man.

Btw, C.J., watch this past minute 4. Complete shift. This is what you call a goal scorer. And no way to shit on it.

Haha I'm at peace. I made a good faith effort to reconcile our opinions on Salah. I even made some clear concessions re: my disposition towards weakness rather than strength.

Salah's composure and execution are flawless. But none of these goals surprised me.
 
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Mario

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to contribute further to this conversation of salah, i will argue that salah is bad because he plays for liverpool. no other reason. he may be good once he leaves.
thank you for your time.