Mohamed Salah is one of the best players in the Premier League – a wonderfully gifted goalscorer whose efforts could well end up ending his club’s long wait for a title.
But there is a less savoury side to his football which is in danger of spoiling his reputation – the tendency to collapse to the ground at the slightest of contact in the penalty area.
There have been some close calls in recent weeks, with Salah earning penalties against Newcastle and Brighton, but against Crystal Palace on Saturday there was simply no doubt that he dived after Mamadou Sakho flicked out a leg in the box. Regardless of whether there was a tiny bit of contact, one of the factors in determining an act of simulation is the exaggeration used in the reaction, and nobody would dispute that Salah’s fall – and the delay which preceded it – was out of proportion to whatever contact there might have been.
He should have been booked for simulation, and I’m disappointed the referee, Jon Moss, failed to take action.
One of the important tasks a referee manager has is to raise the awareness of this type of offence.