Here’s Anthony (@anthonymarkmcav) back again with another experiment using Football Manager.
Mohamed Salah has lit up the Premier League this season with the Egyptian seemingly running away with the golden boot, but what if we didn’t have him? Here’s how FM thinks we’d have fared this season without the Egyptian King:
Somehow the Reds have managed to finish 4th in the first sim, whilst also reaching the round of 16 in the Champions League, falling to Bayern on away goals, losing out to United in the Carabao Cup final and dropping out of the FA Cup in the 5th round to West Brom.
Jurgen Klopp only made two signings with Ivan Perisic being brought in beside a returning Iago Aspas, who lives forever in infamy for his corner taking abilities during his first stint at Anfield.
Roberto Firmino finished as top scorer, with 18 in all competitions, not a bad return from the Brazilian but nowhere near what Salah has managed in real life this season.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool performed worse in the second of our three sims. With the Reds finishing 5th in the Premier League and only reaching quarter finals in the Champions League, despite beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate in the round of 16. Losses to City and United in the FA and Carabao Cups ensured a disappointing season for Klopp’s men.
Transfers are similar, with Ivan Perisic being a recurring theme for Jurgen Klopp to sign in FM. Bodgan’s gone and Luan being brought in from Gremio for a flat fee is a good deal too, but the two January signings weren’t enough to give the Reds a boost in the league. Firmino finished with 18 goals yet again, with 8 assists this time round. Sadio Mane under-performed and Danny Ings managed to score three goals, what is this world we live in?
Liverpool did slightly better in the third and final sim. They managed to once again qualify for Champions League football, ensuring their berth on the final day of the season with a win against Newcastle. The cup competitions were not kind here though, with the Reds losing out to Man City in the final of the Carabao Cup and Manchester United in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. I feel like I’m repeating myself a lot here but at least Football Manager is consistent in how it wants Liverpool to lose.
Firmino played even better this season and really is the MVP of this experiment. 20 goals and 9 assists for the Brazilian in the third and final attempt.
No trophies in three attempts for Liverpool without Salah, a few cup final losses and no sackings. It’s a good thing we’ve actually got Mo Salah and his 38 goals, eh?