Mohamed Salah form at Liverpool not a concern for Jurgen Klopp
LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp has said he is completely relaxed about Mohamed Salah's start to the season despite the Liverpool forward appearing frustrated in recent weeks.
Salah has scored three goals in 10 appearances so far this term in the follow-up to his record-breaking 2017-18 campaign, when he netted 44 times in all competitions.
He failed to score in the midweek Champions League defeat to Napoli and was substituted 66 minutes into last weekend's 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
"Obviously expectation changed, that's normal," Klopp told a news conference on Friday. "He's set a completely new standard last year.
"From the rest, it's what he did last year. Nobody expected 10 goals after five, six, seven games. It was always a nice surprise.
"Each striker could write a book about these moments when you score without knowing how it exactly works, how you did it, hit each ball in a perfect way and stuff like that. That's so rare that it happens like that.
"Ninety-eight percent of a striker's career is hardest work and only two percent is kind of easy-going stuff. All good.
"The only thing that's massively changed is kind of the questions you ask. Last year, from the beginning, I don't think he was a big story to talk about. Then it started with a slightly positive story: 'Oh, wow. Not bad' and then: 'Oh, even better.' It all was a surprise.
"Now, that's the world out there. That's how it is in my job. If I win games, I know everything about football. But if I lose three in a row, people think I have no clue about football. Both is not true. The truth is always somewhere in between.
"Last time when somebody asked me what I think and how we deal... I'm completely relaxed. I didn't say: 'Mo, he should relax' because he has to work hard. But that's what he's doing. It's a completely normal situation, nothing to worry about and I'm relaxed about that."
Klopp was speaking to the media ahead of Sunday's game with Manchester City, who arrive at Anfield top of the table and, like Liverpool, unbeaten in the league so far this season.
He believes Liverpool losing at Napoli in midweek in the manner they did is the best preparation "mood-wise" to face the Premier League champions. Liverpool failed to record a single shot on target for the first time in the Champions League since 2006.
"Now I have had the chance to put my finger on everything, I can make the boys aware of what went wrong," Klopp said. "But that would mean I have to completely forget the way we played three days before that against Chelsea.
"We have to stay cool. It's not that you lose it overnight.
"We have to start it new, different game, different opponent, different challenge. Unfortunately an even bigger challenge, but that's all. My faith in this team is so big, and we want to show a reaction.
"I didn't want to lose at Napoli but if you ask me which is the best preparation, mood-wise, it's that we lose a game. We felt it, and we don't want to have that feeling again. So we will fight with all we have for a different result.
"I saw a lot of worse games in my life than that where I could get a point or whatever, but not on this night. I said afterwards it was a fair result because it was. But with a bit of luck we get a point, which could be very important at the end of the group.
"We know we can do better, and for the weekend we know we have to do better, that's all. Even if we get a point in Naples, we would have known we have to do much better. That's what we try now, against one of the strongest teams in world football.
"But in an outstanding stadium with fantastic stadium, against a really good football team -- which we are still -- let's try again."
Naby Keita still has a chance of appearing at the weekend, despite the midfielder being taken to hospital because of the back spasms he was suffering in Naples.
Meanwhile, Adam Lallana has returned to full training following his groin strain.
"He [Keita] will be in today; if he can do something on the training ground, I don't know," Klopp said. "I spoke to the [doctor] this morning but he didn't know.
"We have to see him again in a few minutes and then we will make a decision about that.
"We don't know in this moment as well if he can train tomorrow, we have to see. It didn't look too serious, so there's a chance but we don't know.
"[Lallana] is in training, we have to see. They are all in full training."