Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho gave Mohamed Salah a chance to turn himself into an instant hero with Blues fans when he threw him on at half-time in the FA Cup game against Manchester City.
Unfortunately for the Egyptian he barely had any touches of the ball and looked a little lost against an experienced and solid side that completed a comfortable 2-0 win against Mourinho’s men.
The theory in throwing Salah on for the second 45 minutes was actually quite understandable.
The former FC Basel winger has plenty of pace and Mourinho seemingly wanted him to sit on the shoulder of the City defence, playing a very high line, ready to latch onto a ball in behind.
The first time he tried to catch out that high defensive line, he got caught offside.
It didn’t really get much better from there because Salah got drawn off from the front as he searched for the ball, which is exactly what his natural instincts as a midfielder told him to do.
That made it even easier for the City back four to contain Chelsea because literally all of the play was in front of them.
The Blues looked slightly better when Fernando Torres was introduced, which allowed Salah to drop off into a position where he was visibly more comfortable.
Torres tried to push the defence back, with Salah roaming spaces that were few and far between across the midfield.
He’s certainly not a bad investment but playing in the top flight of the Swiss league is completely different to playing against the biggest sides in England.
Salah will adapt and he will improve but on this occasion he looked out of his depth against a side that brushed him off the ball any time he was fortunate enough to pick up possession.
Here’s what Chelsea fans made of his performance via social media site Twitter.
Salah been quiet, but like most our players tonight. Unbelievable to see people judging him after 45 minutes, ridiculous.— Matt (@MidfieldMatt) February 15, 2014
Morinho let go of Mata and bought Salah..wtf is wrong with that man— Raymond Boly (@bolyraymond) February 15, 2014
Ramires abysmal, Willian and Hazard need rest, Salah needs time and Mikel ... #CFC— Uriah Tehoda (@uriateho_CFC) February 15, 2014
Salah is capable of more than that and mourinho knows it ! #salah— Tarek H Salama (@t_h_salama) February 15, 2014
Salah having some quality, but he needs some time to show.. #GiveHimChance— Allen Bert (@allen_bert) February 15, 2014
Salah needs time to settle in anyone judging him now has obviously never watched football— Matty Berry (@MattyBerry4) February 15, 2014
Schürrle and Salah needs to start next time. Come on Jose!— Utsav (@unevenblue) February 15, 2014
and I don't have an idea as to why Mourinho doesn't play Schurrle much, definitely can do better than what Salah/Eto'o did today— Siddharth S (@sid99417) February 15, 2014
I genuinely think Salah's transfer is done for only one reason : to annoy Liverpool fans.— Mark Anthony (@marktony88) February 15, 2014
Cech was disgusting today, so was Salah— Steve (@stephenrjthomas) February 15, 2014
Salah didnt get enough ball to show us what he can do, he isn't used to play in that weather,Man City controlled of everything at the game— BoDe (@Bodesam) February 15, 2014
Too many mistakes today! Mikel doesn't give us enough! Salah should never have been on! They won the 2nd ball to easy! No gears to go up!— Rob Littlejohn (@roblj23) February 15, 2014
image: © bensutherland