Egypt skipper jumps to defence of under-fire Salah

Karim Farouk, Thursday 18 Sep 2014

Mohamed Salah has been criticised lately for being in poor form and causing Egypt to lose their two opening games in the Africa Cup of Nations

Tunisia Vs Egypt
Mohamed Salah played in Egypt's defeat to Senegal and Tunisia during the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. (Photo: AP)

Egypt and Ahly skipper Hossam Ghaly has come out in support of teammate Mohamed Salah who has been struggling in form in recent weeks.

The Pharaohs lost their two opening games in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers to jeopardise their chances of returning to the continent's elites and Salah was a big upset as he was merely a shadow of himself.

"There is a big campaign against Salah and I don't know why. Some people are blaming him for Egypt's recent dip in form and what is weirder is that some others are even asking him to leave Chelsea," Ghaly told reporters on Thursday.

"Instead of backing him, people do these strange things. Salah became an icon of Egyptian football and we should all stand by him to succeed at Chelsea and in Europe.

"My last word for everybody: Have mercy on Salah," the 32-year old midfielder concluded.

The 22-year-old flamboyant winger joined Chelsea in January after a brilliant year with FC Basel, helping them to the local double.

He played 10 games last season, mostly as a substitute as Coach Jose Mourinho said he needs time to adapt and settle step-by-step.

However this season he fell out of favour and only played 10 minutes in Chelsea's 4-2 win against Swansea after four weeks.

Playing with Egypt against Senegal and Tunisia, Salah seemed to have lost his pace and accuracy as he squandered easy chances in both games and was unable to produce his spark.

He has been a subject of debate in local media and on TV shows which have questioned his decision to stay at Chelsea this summer and not seek a move in order to get regular play.

Salah has been linked with several Premier League clubs and Italian giants Inter Milan – but he apparently opted to stay and fight for his place at Chelsea.

Mourinho usually plays three attacking midfielders and Salah seems to have dropped down the pecking order behind Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Cesc Fabregas and Willian.

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