“I think that must be bots.”
Ian Wright couldn’t wrap his head around the level of criticism that was aimed at Liverpool forward Sadio Mane for his performances in recent months.
Mane was the first to admit that this season was the worst of his career and while he received plenty of support through a difficult period, his decision to snub Jurgen Klopp after a 4-2 victory over Manchester United did him no favours.
The Senegal international became the subject of significant ridicule in the weeks leading up to the end of the season and he just about reached double figures for goals in the Premier League with his brace against Crystal Palace on the final day.
But Arsenal legend, Wright, was left in disbelief at how many fans turned on Mane, who has been one of Liverpool’s most important players since his 2016 switch from Southampton.
“Mane ended up getting them where they needed to be. I was reading stuff where fans were having a go at Mane, I couldn’t believe it, especially when you look at the amount of time it took [Roberto] Firmino to get going,” Wright said on Wrighty’s House podcast.
Ian Wright on Sadio Mane
“Mane for major parts of the season last season and the season before, where they only missed out [on the league] by one point.
“What that man has done for that club. For him to get the stick he was getting, I don’t believe it. I think that must be bots. There’s no way Liverpool fans would be having a go at that man.
“He came to the fore again when Liverpool needed him, scored a couple of goals to finish it off.”
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has previously suggested that the time has come to break up Liverpool’s forward trio of Mane, Firmino and Mohamed Salah but that claim has been disputed by Carragher’s Sky Sports colleague, Gary Neville.
“I am not a great believer in this fact that the front three are done. I still think their performances at a really high level,” Neville said.
“They have performed at such a high level for so many years. Sprinting a million miles that team.”