18 Sept 2016

Thommo raves: 'Electric' £125k-a-week Liverpool star is having a 'massive impact' at Anfield

Liverpool attacker Sadio Mane is the man of the moment right now, with fans, pundits, and ex-Reds falling over themselves to hype him up into some kind of Anfield saviour. Last week, Reds legend John Aldridge dubiously compared Mane to John Barnes (get real!), and it appears that European cup-winning captain Phil Thompson is also a massive fan.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Thommo raved:

“Sadio Mane has electric pace and a great football brain too. He’s had a massive impact on this team".

The hype over Mane is already skyrocketing, but I won't start drinking the Kool-Aid until he is consistently scoring/creating goal, and that includes regularly contributing in the second half of seasons (something with which Mane has struggled over the last three years).

In my view, Mane was one of Liverpool least effective players against Chelsea. He made the fewest passes (42) of all LFC's attacking players, and he lost the ball NINE times overall, which is far more than any other player on the pitch. Plus, for whatever reason, he constantly ran backwards and/or sideways with the ball, which I personally found frustrating (watch the game again, and you'll see what I mean).

Mane is a quality player, but the blanket hype needs to be tempered by some actual reality. The bottom line is that it took a ridiculous defensive mistake and a stunning once-in-a career goal from Henderson to beat Chelsea, and in an attacking sense, Mane contributed next to nothing in the game.

As for comparisons to John Barnes - give me a break. In my view, Barnes was in a totally different universe to Mane.

^ Reportedly on £125k-a-week.


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