Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been blasted by Egypt coach Shawky Gharib for contributing towards his team's 2-0 defeat against Senegal on Friday.
Southampton new-boy Saido Mane and Stoke's Mame Biram Diouf consigned the Pharaohs to defeat in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Dakar, however Gharib was quick to lay the blame at somebody else's door.
Star man Mohamed Salah is yet to play a game for Chelsea this season and the Egyptian coach believes the winger's lack of match practice, coupled with the fact that the domestic league season in Egypt is yet to start, put them on the back foot.
'We had many mistakes in passing the ball and we failed to put the required pressure on our opponents but the defenders are not the only ones to be blamed,' Gharib said.
'The poor fitness of the players, especially Chelsea’s Mohamed Salah, is also a reason for the loss. The Egyptian league hasn't started yet and also Salah didn’t play regularly with Chelsea. If Salah is off-form, Egypt's performance is always affected.'
Salah joined the Blues from Basel in an £11 million deal in January, making 10 league appearances and scoring two goals last term. However this season he is yet to make it on to the pitch in a competitive fixture. The 22-year-old is said to have fallen out with Jose Mourinho last season, with the Chelsea boss reportedly questioning his commitment and telling him to turn up for the new campaign "ready to be a footballer".
Despite Gharib's complaints, Salah, who is expected back in training after Egypt's second AFCON qualifier against Tunisia in Cairo on Wedensday, is unlikely to feature for Chelsea when the Premier League returns following the international break. They take on Swansea at Stamford Bridge on September 13 as they look to maintain their perfect start to the season.
Another Chelsea player pushing for first team opportunities is Loic Remy, a deadline day signing from QPR. The French forward, arrived for a fee of around £8 million, is aware that he has some work to do in order to dislodge Diego Costa as first-choice striker, but insists he's up for the challenge.
They are one of the best clubs in the world,” Remy is quoted in the Mirror. “I know I won’t start out as first-choice striker at Chelsea, but nothing is set in stone. I have my aims.
“I didn’t sign for them in order to sit on the bench. I will try to improve as much as I can alongside their great players, and the rest will happen naturally.”