Mark Clattenburg gives his opinion on the Mo Salah debate after accusations of a dive vs Crystal Palace.
Mo Salah has come under scrutiny over the last few games for trying to win penalties. A few of those attempts, it has to be said, were successful.
The Egyptian has won penalties against Newcastle United, Arsenal, and Brighton in recent weeks. The one against Newcastle was soft, as anyone would admit.
The latter two, though, were penalties and few complaints came after the game.
But an attempt to win one against Palace was denied – and rightfully so.
Now, former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has weighed in Salah after the dive v Palace.
Clattenburg’s Salah theory
“Mo Salah went down with no contact from Mamadou Sakho,” he said in the Daily Mail.
“It’s irrelevant that he did not appeal for a penalty, because he was trying to deceive referee Jonathan Moss, who should have issued a yellow card.
“As he is Liverpool’s penalty taker, he will know winning a spot-kick means he has a free shot at goal. He is then likely to increase his chances of winning the Golden Boot.”
It’s a theory that may well be correct. It was Salah, after all, who consequently put the ball on the spot for all three penalties.
Salah has a tell for a dive, says Clattenburg
But Salah will have to change his ways. Clattenburg has also pointed out that Liverpool’s #11 has a blatant tell to his dives and it’s one that will catch him out.
“One thing I have noticed is that when Salah goes down to try to win penalties, his hands go above his head,” said Clattenburg.
“This is what officials look for when trying to see if a player has simulated. Usually, if you are knocked over, you put your hands straight out to break your fall.”
Looking back, Clattenburg is onto something there. Salah certainly does have a method to going down, whether he’s had genuine contact or not.
It’s undoubtedly something he needs to change. Liverpool can’t afford Salah struggling to get decisions with so much at stake.
No more going down easily or exaggerating. Referees know what to look out for now and that could cost him and the team dearly, even if the fall is genuine.