What does the future hold for an alien goaltender like Erling Braut Haaland? Alexandros Lothano is wondering and… scared at the same time, waiting to see Pep Guardiola lift the Champions League on June 10 in the City, with the Norwegian phenomenon at his side.
When at the beginning of May 2022 Manchester City were completing the transfer of the year, as it turns out – confirmed ten months later, you had read in this corner of the internet by the signatory a blog titled Why Haaland will make City almost invincible .
In this text, we analyzed the reasons why Erling Braut Haaland gave Manchester City the extra click they needed to finally take the extra step in the Champions League , the burning desire of its Arab owners and not so much Pep Guardiola .
The Catalan coach himself, of course, admitted on the eve of the rematch with Leipzig that “my performances with City in the Champions League will also determine my overall presence at the club”, although in seven years of Pep’s presence, the Citizens have baller, they have won four leagues breaking various scoring and goalscoring records and are in contention for a fifth, although the excellent Arsenal are resisting mightily for now.
Apart, of course, from the footballing wisdom that Guardiola has imparted to his players, this launch was also made possible by the rough investment of hundreds of millions of euros in transfers, with Haaland’s latest one being thought to be the most successful, along with of course that of artist Kevin De Bruyne .
Unlocks the machine
In the historic 7-0 against Leipzig , where he scored five times and could have made it 2-3 more if his coach had not changed him (the detractors said so as not to break the record of his beloved Lionel Messi !), Haaland clearly made the difference, but top-flight City looked capable of qualifying against Leipzig with another striker at the top of the attack line.
The Norwegian who was born in Leeds, however, is from another… anecdote. Almost everything that shoots inside the area towards the goal ends up in its depth, with numbers that are no longer scary, because it is about to make them routine!
In the most difficult and demanding league in the world, the Premier League , Erling has scored 28 goals in 26 appearances (!) and in the top club competition on the planet, the Champions League , he now has ten goals in six matches!
In total, in 36 appearances in all competitions, Haaland has 39 goals. And he’s not even 23 years old! His greatest contribution, of course, is not the hat-tricks in wide victories, but the… half, one or two goals in the forced victories.
In the league, if Haaland didn’t exist, City would have twenty points less! And in the Champions League, without the Norwegian, he wouldn’t have gotten a valuable victory over… ex- Borussia Dortmund , on the way to the top of their group/
Haaland doesn’t thresh the entire attacking line like Kylian Mbappe , he doesn’t have the pass-diabetes or the deadly vertical movement of Lionel Messi . But, inside the area, he makes even the huge Thierry Henry bow before him, as happened after the end of yesterday’s (14/03) match, when he went to make statements on BT Sport (the blog opens with this particular, shocking according to my photo).
Pep Guardiola ‘s City is a well-tuned football machine, but it sometimes gets stuck. And Haaland is there to unblock her and help her out of difficult situations. Not always, of course.
With Haaland in the starting line-up, the Citizens failed to beat Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton and Nottingham Forest , while losing to Liverpool , Brentford , Manchester United and Tottenham .
Hence the “almost invincible” of last May’s blog. Because football, the sport we love, is (also) mathematical in many areas of it, but in its result, the mathematics is not always so precise.
Pep, it’s now or never
The title of today’s (15/03) blog, of course, is a bit of an exaggeration (but also catchy, can’t you tell!). However, it is also a reality. If this pro team that blew our eyes out with their football can’t even win the Champions League now, having such a goal producing machine, then when will they?
Bayern Munich , Real Madrid (unless there is a “bang” of epic proportions tonight), even Chelsea or Napoli , of course, are not Leipzig, who so naively tried to tackle Haaland, despite knowing him well .
In the continuation of the Champions League (the draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals the day after tomorrow), the 22-year-old Norwegian in particular and City in general will find in front of them much more well-rounded and well-read teams, able to find a thousand and one ways to make it (very) difficult for them .
If you don’t rain k@@@, though, you don’t eat fish. And Guardiola, who in twelve years of the “curse” (or whatever you want to call it) in the Champions League has been excluded or lost the trophy in all possible and improbable ways, will have to find the medicine for the wounds that will try to be inflicted on him by his opponents.
Unlike in previous years, after all, he knows that in the final effort he has a gifted predator, a player born to score, who it is true that… he squinted a little when his coach substituted him and, as he admitted, told him that moment that he would love to have the chance to score… a double hat-trick.
As Pep himself explained, however, “I did it because if he achieves such a record at 22, life will become very boring. He must have an extra motivation.” And this motivation that he undoubtedly has at the moment is to lead Manchester City to the Land of the Champions Gospel on June 10 in Istanbul, conquering a trophy that still does not have its (informal) alter ego for the throne of the new king of world football . Kylian (Bappe), what do you say, will he make it?