Richard Buxton: No need for Salah to sacrifice European dream
Striker says Reds fans' EPL aspiration trumps his Champions League ambition
Success is threatening to again become a binary choice for the modern Liverpool.
A club which Bill Shankly claimed existed to win trophies finds itself making a Sophie's Choice ahead of the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Sacrificing one dream for another has entered the equation in the build-up to their trip to Bavaria, with Mohamed Salah pledging to forsake personal ambitions for a greater good.
The Egyptian clearly needs to read up on Anfield history.
Of the eight times they have won European titles, five of those seasons included domestic silverware as well.
Calm heads will be required at the Allianz Arena to see through a delicately poised Round-of-16 tie which requires either an away win or score draw for Juergen Klopp's side to progress.
Instead, Salah appears to have wavered with his selfless sentiments.
His view is that whatever the Anfield faithful craves should take precedence - an end to the near three-decade wait for the English Premier League title.
But Klopp openly baulks at half-measures.
He pulled rank on Jordan Henderson for simply failing to shake his hand after leaving the pitch in last month's draw at Manchester United.
He takes a similar view of suggestions that his side cannot fight on multiple fronts this season.
The Liverpool manager knows more about winning at the highest level than his free-scoring talisman.
Borussia Dortmund not only captured back-to-back Bundesliga titles under his tutelage, but also did the Double by winning the German Cup in 2011/12.
Justifiably, he sees no reason why Liverpool cannot challenge for both the EPL and Champions League.
There is also no guarantee that focusing their efforts on overhauling Manchester City during the final eight games of the season will deliver an overdue happy ending.
A cursory glance across the league's higher reaches offers living proof.
OVERDUE EPL TITLE WAITS
In 2016, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were urged to sacrifice continental endeavour to end overdue waits for a title.
Leicester City's unlikely stint as champions saw the Gunners finish 10 points adrift of them, while Spurs were a further point worse off.
Salah may be a lone voice in the dressing room for advocating imbalanced priorities as Liverpool's season enters its final furlong.
Gary Neville has regularly echoed the assertion that Liverpool would be better suited solely pursuing domestic matters.
However, the legendary Manchester United defender turned TV pundit knows first-hand just how detrimental and reckless acts of single-mindedness can be for his former nemesis.
More often than not, he was on the right side of history as countless teams tried and failed to take down Sir Alex Ferguson's ensembles.
Newcastle's "Entertainers" and Liverpool's "Spice Boys" were just two of the great pretenders that could not match Old Trafford's might.
Neville believes that a "clear run" in the final stretch will afford Klopp a competitive edge to deny Manchester City a place in EPL history by becoming the first side to retain the title since 2009.
Yet, a lack of competitive diversity did little for Liverpool's chances in previous title races.
Premature exits from European football and even season-long absences failed to prevent familiar failings of dropped points resurfacing, without fail, during the moment of truth.
That pattern could repeat if their Champions League campaign hits a bum note in Bavaria.