Friday 28 October 2016

Mamadou Sakho takes on Jurgen Klopp in stunning 3am Snapchat rant

Chris Bascombe

Published 24/09/2016 | 10:35

Mamadou Sakho faces an uncertain future at Liverpool
Mamadou Sakho faces an uncertain future at Liverpool

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has risked deepening the rift between himself and manager Jurgen Klopp by claiming fans are being denied ‘the truth’ behind his exile from the first team.

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Sakho has not played this season after a series of inflammatory incidents, and was urged to go on loan to regain the mental and physical focus needed to play for the club.

Since the transfer window closed, Klopp has made it clear the French defender is no closer to playing – particularly as a new centre-half pairing of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren have made such an excellent start to their partnership. Ragnar Klavan and Lucas Leiva will also be picked before Sakho.

But speaking on social media this morning, Sakho has expressed his frustration.

“I accept my situation but I can’t accept the lie,” Sakho has written.

“The fans deserve to know the truth. It is three weeks and I am fit to play games. I have finished all my rehabilitation. They don’t want me to play with the second team, lol. Why? I don’t know.”

Sakho’s problems began last March when he took a slimming pill before Liverpool’s Europa League tie with Manchester United. He was banned by Uefa for doping but later exonerated when it emerged he had not taken a banned drug, but Liverpool still took a dim view of the situation.

Players are under the strictest instructions not to take any substance without consulting medical staff and the player’s failure to follow club guidelines left Klopp short of a key defender for the Europa League Final.

Sakho earned some sympathy once it became clear he’d missed that game and the European championships in his home country because of Uefa’s error, but privately it was felt the situation should never have materialised in the first place.

In the meantime, Klopp spent the early part of the summer preparing to be without Sakho for a lengthy period as it was expected he’d be suspended, signing Matip and Klavan – players he knows and trust from the Bundesliga. Both have made impressive starts to their Anfield careers, oozing professionalism on and off the pitch.

Liverpool hoped Sakho would return to the club last summer realising he had to redeem himself for his indiscretion, albeit the breach proved to be one of foolishness rather than illegality.

Instead, the 26-year-old was in poor physical condition – partially because he was nursing an injury – but also demonstrating an attitude Klopp could not tolerate. He was sent home early from Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the USA, Klopp citing disciplinary issues with the player’s timekeeping an issue.

Since then, Klopp has told Sakho he needs to play football at a higher level before he can ever be considered for selection. Sakho did not consider the offers he received from Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland acceptable. Now, unless there is a serious injury crisis at Anfield, Sakho won’t play this season. It’s a long way back to play for Klopp again, and this morning remarks will hardly help build bridges.

Nevertheless, the player has always been popular with a large section of Liverpool’s support with his emotive references to the ‘Scouse country’ playing well to a social media gallery that only sees the strengths and none of the flaws in a complex but charismatic character.

“Still working hard like a scouse soldier,” Sakho has written this morning.

“Still not talking because I want to speak on the pitch. I will speak soon for the people who support me and don’t understand the situation. Still happy to live in my ‘Liverpool country’.”

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