Vocal Mohamed Salah critic named as new Egypt manager

Mohamed Salah will be playing under a new manager during his next international break with Egypt - or at least we think he will.

Off the back of a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign, which saw Egypt crash out in the round of 16 after scraping their way out of the group without a win, Rui Vitoria was relieved of his duties as manager.

Vitoria was a man who Salah was said to be quite fond of in the dugout, with the winger taking to Instagram upon his departure to wish him well.

“Thanks for everything, coach. I wish you the best in the future," he said.

Whether he'll have the same sentiment towards Vitoria's successor is up for debate.

Replacing the Portuguese manager at the helm of the Egyptian setup is Hossan Hassam, the nation's all-time leading goalscorer.

Hassam, who is 15 goals ahead of Salah in the scoring records, was among the critics of the Pharaoh's skipper returning to Merseyside for treatment on his hamstring injury during AFCON.

“If Salah feels he wants to travel, he should travel and not return to the national team again because the injury is not severe; he needs physiotherapy which is available with the national team," he said working as a pundit during the tournament.

“A hamstring injury does not require extensive facilities in Liverpool. Big clubs always send doctors and physical therapists with top players to these tournaments, and in Liverpool, they know if Salah needs something, they will send doctors to him.

“Salah, with his great value, should continue with the national team both morally and psychologically. It affects other teams that he can participate at any time, but his departure will affect Egypt negatively and the opponents positively.”

While not hitting back at Hassam directly, Salah did address general criticism he received in a recent Instagram post, where he reaffirmed his intention to return to international duty as soon as he was fit again.

He wrote: "Yesterday I started the treatment and rehabilitation program and I will do everything possible to be ready as soon as possible and return to the national team as agreed from the beginning. I also love her [Egypt] and her people. Try harder."

It would be a polarising act if Hassam was to hold any ill-feeling against Salah, a deified Egyptian figure, for the foreseeable future - and keeping him out of the team is almost inconceivable.

Nevertheless, the relationship between manager and captain in the Egypt camp can't be as strong as it potentially could and should be.

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