Friday, 9 January 2015

The Sakho Myth

  Liverpool signed Sakho from Paris St German in September 2013 for a fee of 15 million pounds.  Sakho was already at the age of 23 a full international and highly rated on a world level and had captained his home town club Paris on many occasions.  He was well known as a leader and for his physical attributes mainly his strength but he is certainly no slouch and can show a turn of pace when he needs to.  His strength was certainly noted by his new manager as Brendan Rodgers described him as "a beast" following him breaking records in training during strength tests indeed it was reported that he actually broke machines not just records.


His first season with Liverpool was OK he did well and settled in showing quality especially for a player who is so young, he does have lots of experience but is still young especially for a centre half, I think sometimes we forget and it is probably a testament to his talent that everybody regularly forgets how young he is.
Now for the myth, towards the end of the season, through the summer and at the start of this season I was constantly been told by commentators, so called experts, the press and even our own supporters that Sakho couldn't pass and was terrible on the ball, this is the myth, it's simply not true, he looks awkward, gangly even but he can and does pass the ball well.  It seems to me that this is again a case of people simply listening and repeating what an idiot commentator says who doesn't watch the player properly, to many people just repeat what they hear rather than forming their own opinion and actually watching.  Sakho can and does pass the ball very well especially for a defender, he does play the ball forward, not just the easy cross field ball he can play short or long and he is accurate even when under pressure.  He is not perfect, nobody is, he has made occasional mistakes, there has been the occasion mis-placed pass but not enough to be classed as a problem in fact the opposite I think his passing is one of his strengths.
Now normally this would not be a problem, we are all used to commentators and journalists talking site and being lazy just reporting what they have heard others say rather than putting in any work, but in this case it seemed to gather momentum and then seemed to become a fact, Sakho can't pass.  This caused Liverpool to waste around £20 million pounds on Lovren whom plays as a left sided defender, Sakho's position, we probably did need cover, but twenty million pounds suggested replacement, twenty million pounds to solve a problem that didn't exist.  Of course Lovren was picked, Sakho was dropped and we saw over the first half of the season what a defender who can't pass looks like time and again, game after game he presented the ball to the opposition.  Lovren is not near the ability of Sakho in any attribute he is weaker, slower, worse in the air, worse positional, less of a leader, weaker in the tackle, less of a threat going forward, more prone to individual errors and definitely, without a doubt worse at passing the football.
When Lovren was injured and Sakho regained his place in the team recently, again we had to listen to commentators telling us he couldn't pass and this was a weakness whilst I was watching him play back heels, telling forward passes, pinging Gerrard like cross field diagonals all with perfect accuracy, again he does look awkward but his passing is almost always accurate, in the same game Gerrard mis placed easy ish passes five times leading to chances for the opposition and one directly to a goal whilst we were told how he is the best player on the ball in the squad and should be the first name on the team sheet because of his passing ability. Please don't just repeat the same old rubbish say what you see not what you think you will see. It is a myth that Sakho can't pass and it has cost him and the club hugely  that people believe it.


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