Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he does not keep count of the goals his players score as he views their contribution in more rounded terms.
Klopp admitted he had no idea Sadio Mane’s goal against Crystal Palace last weekend was the Senegal international’s first in 10 matches.
That is because he sees the value of what else players like Mane offer, in much the same way as he defended Roberto Firmino’s paltry 2020 goalscoring record just as the Brazil forward scored three times in two matches.
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) December 24, 2020
When Mane’s recent record was put to him Klopp said: “I didn’t even know it.
“Honestly I would have lost everything if I had to bet on it how many goals Sadio Mane scored in the last 10 games.
“As one option to answer it would have been the last one I went for, he only scored once.
“A second ago we spoke about the brilliant goal difference and now I realise one of our best players, one of the best players in the world, didn’t score for a while. Who cares?
“He played exceptionally well, is in really good shape, he is unbelievably difficult to defend.
“If Sadio has the ball as an opponent you need to put three players on that side and it opens up a lot of things.
“I was not concerned but scoring is, for the boys, really important. Bobby obviously liked it when he scored two weeks ago and since then he scored three or four goals and if Sadio starts scoring I have no problem with it.
“It was not about his performances, they were really good.”
New West Brom boss Sam Allardyce is the next man who has to deal with Liverpool’s fearsome forward line.
The 66-year-old was the last manager to beat Klopp’s side in a league match at Anfield when he was in charge of Palace in April 2017.
Since then the Reds have put together a run of 66 Anfield games without defeat, which includes a remarkable 55 wins.
Klopp does not know exactly what to expect from the Baggies in Allardyce’s second match in charge but he has a fairly good idea.
“It’s a tricky one. We made the analysis. It is a mix of when Sam was at Everton and the last game – his first game against Aston Villa,” said Klopp.
“What I expect is a tough opponent, it is always tough against Sam Allardyce teams: well organised, don’t make a big fuss of possession and the situation West Brom are in any way it will be a proper fight and Sam is a proven specialist for organising teams for these kind of fights.
“We expect a tough game obviously.”