Born in Leeds to a Manchester City player, basically, the anti Man United, infamous ABU. Beastly, freaky, deadly, ice-cold. The Vikingesque Scandinavian possesses brute and an eye of the needle clinicality that would make The Yamaguchi Gumi wince.
A literal cheat code and to make it even more unfair, he’s casting his exploits for the most complete team in the country. The FA should step in and make it so that you are not allowed such an elite make up in the team.
This is a player that has more goals than matches played in senior football, and no, its not in just a handful of games, he has amassed over 100 appearances in his still so, so young career. Imagine Shaqueele O’Neil with the shooting ability of The Chef Steph Curry.
That’s how devastatingly good he is. But every generational mystery have their flaws, right? Right? Well, he does have his and they are more on the side of aesthetics than efficacy. His huge frame means he is not Jay Jay Okocha with his dribling, and his ball and close control don’t evoke memories of Dimitar Berbatov.
But do these supposed weaknesses count? Well, some will say it does to some extent, and these individuals are what Mourinho would call “football Einsteins”, leaning more to the side of condescension than description.
That being said, Pep Guardiola is probably the biggest purist in world football, so, is the idea of the perfect football player a farce? Maybe, maybe not. To these managers, the end justifies the means and they almost always select the elements that will give them the utmost advantage in actual football games.
I have absolutely zero experience in football management but even I could tell you that I don’t think there’s a single football manager that would confidently bench Erling Haaland so I think we can concur that its the output that dictates football squads and not aesthetics, no matter how much nerdy, baldy Pep will have you believe with his beautiful football sermon.
Given these takes thus far, would it be right to assume that every other position on the pitch should be subjected to their efficacy on their primary roles rather than some hipster definition of new-day roles? For example, David De Gea with his world class build up play from the back, Trent Alexander with his in perfect defensive display, Jorginho with his aggression and agility in screening the defense and Harry Maguire with his overall footballing genius.
I think, when it comes to the modern day expectations of footballers, a fine balance is needed between the pragmatism and tradition of old and the invention and innovations of the present day hipster managers. Pep Guardiola has a fine balance of both, so does Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta.
Its still early days for the likes of Erik Ten Hag so we will let that simmer for a minute first.
Haaland is now of benchmark status. The signings of Haaland and Darwin Nunez indicates that the biggest managerial talents in England know that it’ll take a little bit of the old brawny, physical units of strikers’ stardust to set them apart. Others will follow suit soon because the hipster buzz of false nines has been sued, Siuuu.