Is Sakho worth the hassle?
Mamadou Sakho has endured a turbulent time at Liverpool F.C. since joining in September of 2013. He has been involved in everything from stadium walkouts to failed drugs tests and most recently, being sent home early from the pre-season schedule in the U.S.A. Many Liverpool fans view Sakho as a leader and rock in the heart of the back line, while others view him as nothing more than a liability. The truth is probably somewhere between the 2. He is undoubtedly talented, but are the on-field performances worth the off-field drama?
Mamadou’s first real act of controversy was during the Merseyside derby in 2014. After being left out of the matchday squad, he chose to leave the stadium instead of staying to support his teammates. He was duly spotted by supporters and many wrote him of as the type of player that is only concerned with what is best for himself. He subsequently apologized to supporters on Twitter.
In a more recent act of controversy, one that sparks fury from Reds supporters, Mama was investigated and suspended for doping; or more specifically taking a fat burning substance that was believed to be prohibited. While most of us don’t really know or understand the full story, it is fair to say that Sakho takes little or no blame for this as he has been cleared of all charges. While some may argue that he should have been more responsible with his intake of supplements, it has been suggested that Sakho did seek guidance and believed that he was not doing anything to jeopardize himself.
The most recent, and possible the most damning of all the off-field incidents is also the most recent. Sakho was sent away from the rest of the Liverpool squad during their preseason tour of the U.S.A. Klopp has moved to inform fans that the reason for Sakho’s early departure was due to him being late for the initial flight to the U.S.A. (which was seen in humourous fashion during Mamadou’s GoPro tour of Alcatraz), a training session and a meal. In the wake of suggestions that Sakho’s Liverpool career was over , Juergen Klopp has told the media that this is “just how football works” and that it is “not the biggest thing.” He suggested that that Sakho would not face any further punishment and that it would all the resolved with a “talk” between manager and player. This incident clear portrays Sakho’s apparent lack of discipline. It may be suggested that tardiness is not a serious offence, but it is certainly not one you would expect from a senior player, especially one so often looked at as a potential captain.
What about the good in Mamadou Sakho? While most superstars tend to spend their time and money on yachts and Lamborghinis, Sakho has shown that he has the welfare of people in his heart. He often spends time helping the less fortunate, and even spent most of his summer break in the Ivory Coast helping Juvenile Prisoners. He has come to have an affection for Liverpool and it’s people; referring to himself as a “Liverpool Soldier” and a “Scouser” in an interview with James Carroll. While all of his misdemeanors may paint a bad picture, the good that Sakho does convincingly proves otherwise. He is a truly spectacular human being.