CHECK MATE Liverpool star Mo Salah loves playing chess on Egypt duty – and Wigan star Sam Morsy can’t wait for a rematch

SAM MORSY is working on a strategy so he can learn again from grandmaster Mo Salah.


Posted Saturday, December 14, 2019 by Thesun.co.uk

Wigan skipper Morsy fell out of favour under previous Egypt chief Javier Aguirre and was not selected for the Africa Cup of Nations squad in the summer.

CHECK MATE Liverpool star Mo Salah loves playing chess on Egypt duty – and Wigan star Sam Morsy can’t wait for a rematch

That meant he missed out on working with Salah — as well as taking on the Liverpool superstar at chess!

Playing the 1,500-year-old game was one of the ways the pair switched off while on international duty.

And now Aguirre has left, Morsy is hoping to earn a recall so he can add to his seven caps and link up with his inspirational mate — or should that be check-mate — once again.

The Latics ace, 28, said: “The conversations I’ve had with Salah about his training regime are phenomenal.

"The way football goes at any level means you have to sacrifice a lot for your trade.

"But the guys at the top level have to give everything. It’s their whole lives, they are 24-hour-a-day athletes.

"Salah is relentless. The top boys are. They work harder than everyone else. I remember seeing him and thinking to myself, 'Wow, you’re miles off it’.

"This guy is a superstar and works that hard. That’s what you have to do at that level. Being around these  players, it is inspiring.

"He’s a really nice, friendly guy. He’s always laughing and joking, always playing games. He’s very relaxed, there’s no ego. He absolutely loves his profession and Liverpool.

"He’s very competitive. Ping-pong, pool, chess — he’s one of those people who want to be the best at everything.

"We’ve played a few games of chess. I beat him the first game and he  battered me all the rest!”

Morsy had been in Aguirre’s thoughts but missed out on one training camp prior to the AFCON and paid the price for it.

The tough-tackling midfielder is now hoping to impress successor Hossam El Badry to prove he deserves a spot back in the Pharaohs squad.

Morsy, whose Muslim faith is hugely important to him, added: “I had been in other camps bar one where Aguirre chose a lot of new players.

"In that period where I wasn’t there, he gave other players a chance to impress and I ended up not going.

"There’s now a new manager who I believe has been watching me, so it’s up to me to grasp any opportunity.”

CHECK MATE Liverpool star Mo Salah loves playing chess on Egypt duty – and Wigan star Sam Morsy can’t wait for a rematch
Mohamed Salah played chess with the Wigan skipper while on international duty Credit: Reuters

Of course the best way for Morsy to win over his international boss is to shine for club gaffer Paul Cook and help turn around Wigan’s fortunes.

The Latics are stuck in the  relegation zone having gone down to two late goals at fellow strugglers Luton last week but they did pick up a point against high-flying West Brom on Wednesday.

Today Wigan host Huddersfield in another big bottom-of-the-table encounter.

They have lost key players like Reece James, who returned to Chelsea after a brilliant loan spell, and Nick Powell to Stoke.

But Morsy reckons the summer’s arrivals are more than good enough to keep the club up and that their performances have not been rewarded with good results.

The only match where he feels Wigan were well beaten was the 3-0 home loss to Brentford.

He insists the togetherness is strong among  Cook’s squad, boosted by some team-bonding in the Lake District during the October international break.

And having survived a relegation battle last season, Morsy is confident Cook’s side will repeat the feat.

The ex-Chesterfield and Port Vale man added: “It’s about not panicking.

"Taking it game by game, not looking too far forward. Learning, improving, getting on the training ground and trying to be better.

"You only improve through adversity. When you’re winning, you don’t think about it, everything’s great.  It can be painful but you have to stay positive.

"Purely on performances, as a group we feel we should be a lot higher.

"We’ve been conceding so many goals last minute.

"But if there’s a good time for that to happen, you’d rather it was at the start of the season where you can work on it rather than at the end when it’s too late.

"It’s no exaggeration to say we could be at least ten to 15 points better off.

"There are a lot of things we need to address but if we do that, we should climb up the table. We’re working really hard. I’m  confident  it will come together.”



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