Sports

Erling Haaland is breaking football after latest heroics for Man City in Champions League – The Warm-Up

Thursday’s Big Stories

silly silly soccer player

It’s October. It’s early October. However, Erling Braut Haaland has scored 19 goals for this season, 14 in the Premier League and five in Europe. He’s scored those 19 goals in 12 games, by the way, which means he leads just over 1.5 goals per game. Keep it up over the course of a season and we’re talking about Messi’s numbers. Dixie Dean Numbers. Actual score of cricket.

The golden ball

Ballon d’Or predictions: No De Bruyne or Haaland in our top five – this year, anyway

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This poses a number of problems. For defenders, first and foremost. Against Copenhagen last night, Haaland scored from the first touch, then scored again half an hour later. He was denied another hat-trick, except for Pep Guardiola’s decision to banish him between the two halves, and because Davit Khocholava hit his net. Of course, it is impossible for us to say with any confidence what was going through Khocholava’s head when the ball veered to him, and then moved away from him, but we bet it went something like: “Oh no, oh no, oh no, he’s behind me.

But it also poses problems for everyone. For a start, there’s a very real danger that we’ll have exhausted all our regular superlatives — amazing, awesome, silly — by the end of the month. At this point we’ll all be able to make a round of Halloween jokes – oh no, Guardiola was the world; That’s Guardiola’s beast – but then, we have a serious problem. It poses an existential threat, not just to record books, but to the dictionary.

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Consider Jack Grealish. After the match, he told BT Sport: “It’s unbelievable, honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life. For the first and second goals, I was just laughing because I was like, ‘How?'” “Because he’s always there, he’s always finishing it up, and yes, it’s a pleasure to play with him at the moment.” We don’t disagree, but we are concerned. We are already at “Unbelievable”. There is nothing beyond that, but numbness.

This is exacerbated by Haaland’s superior nature, which is not really suitable for hair. As a neutral, compelling Halland, in the same way, a video of a tree falling from above is compelling. Crash, thump hooray! But as a footballer, he goes against the basic aesthetic principles of his position. The big man upstairs isn’t supposed to be that precise or productive. There must always be an element of incoherence about their efforts, the panic to King Kong of planes buzzing. Haaland captures a skyscraper and expels it from the sky before continuing his day.

We were thinking about this slight wrong feeling when Opta tweeted the graphic below, and suddenly it all made sense. What we’re dealing with here is two players in one. It contains both parts of a strikingly perfect partnership: the shaky presence of the big guy and the sexy sense of purpose of the little guy. It’s as if Miroslav Klose, facing a terrible apocalypse threat, strapped himself into one of those mechanical suits from the Pacific Ocean and set off to punch Godzilla in the face. Except here Godzilla is some poor innocent defender who is just trying to get past the day.

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That urge was slightly undermined when we looked at Klose’s height. Six feet! But we are happy to deal with it, on the grounds that he had very little human energy. (We will not deal with questions about what this means.) Anyway, this proves our broader view. A falling tree, King Kong, a mechanical suit… We’re in deep trouble. The descriptions are already out of control, and the hours aren’t back yet.

Meanwhile, Rhys James…

We’ll say this to Graham Potter, he knows how to play it great. If the warm-up team had suddenly and unexpectedly been appointed in charge of Chelsea, we would have spent all day yesterday running around and shouting “It’s AC Milan! It’s AC Milan! Football Italy! Paolo Maldini! Aarag! Van Basten!!

Just one of the many reasons we dumped Todd Buhle. But we appreciate the call.

Of course, Milan now is not the full celestial experience it was before: rather, this is a team built on potential, on the margins of youth and intelligence. But they are a dangerous team, which makes last night’s Chelsea win very good for all kinds of reasons. In practical terms, it stabilizes their European drive, propelling them into second place halfway.

James is “the best in the world” in his position, Aubameyang claims

More broadly, this win had the feeling that the team was beginning to integrate into something bigger than its parts. Chelsea moved the ball quickly, menacingly from all angles, and over the course of the evening they basically beat Milan. Sometimes, the final pass would have gone to the wrong place, or the runners would get in each other’s way: it would all be settled in time. But here, in Potter’s third game in charge, we may have seen the first glimpses of what Chelsea are aiming for.

What is the main point of this scheme? Involve Reese James. Obviously, since this is the year of the World Cup and England is England, everything James does over the next few months will involve the ongoing debate over England right-back and Trent Alexander-Arnold. But if he continues to play like this, it won’t be much of an argument. Breaking free from Chelsea’s turn to three defense, he clearly and completely took possession of the entire right wing, managed to score one goal, set up another, and kept Rafael Leao calm almost throughout the match.

Pet Theory: It’s easier to look impressive as a winger than at any other position on the football field. By design, there is always plenty of room to roam in, and there should always be defensive cover. We don’t mention this to belittle James at all; Quite the opposite. It looked great even to us, and we don’t take wings too seriously. And of all the accolades and awards coming his way, none will compare to this.

in other news

Far from the actual results, last night’s Champions League edition has turned into a stand-alone Goal of the Week competition. Lightning seed braid. Here’s Jude Bellingham adding another €10m to his transfer fee.

This is Lionel Messi, who is adjusting to his best in time for the World Cup.

And here is Real Madrid, vacillating between Shakhtar’s defense. Obviously a nice goal, but really, there was another pass at the end there. Chance to raise the multiplier even higher. Benzema had it all done running outside, and he’s starting a bit.

tip of the hat

Head over to Daniel Story VI today, as he does his best to satiate our craving for news of the Danish Premier League. Tell us about FC Nordsjaelland, we’re crying. We hear they’re totally redefining what a football club should be! Tell us about it! And that’s what he does.

He tells us that this is a young team. “The numbers are almost unbelievable. The average age of the first 11 players in the league last season was 20.7 and 33-year-old Kian Hansen made 25 appearances. The 16 players who were used in a league game last month were six native-born players. Denmark. 21 or younger, one from Sweden and Finland, three from Côte d’Ivoire and one Ghanaian. All of these 12 are between the ages of 18 and 21.”

He tells us that this team is built on an extraordinary collective sense, even to the point where players are free – and actively encouraged – to tell their manager where he goes wrong. “[Flemming] Pedersen explains that the best compliment a player can give him is to criticize him in front of the group because he thinks it shows the courage to convince and trust him to take that criticism on board. It would not be advantageous for every manager to regularly subject his authority, but then Pedersen would not work under normal circumstances.”

This extends to the club’s architecture. “One of the unique elements of Nordsjaelland is that literally everything is put under one roof. The young players live in their accommodations here. Men’s and women’s teams of all ages train on the first team field and they are all permanently stationed on the field. Every member of the staff is off the field. , from data analysts to coaches to media and accountants, works here. In the evening, the CEO is often seen in the restaurant by greeting him eating with his family while other parents eat with their children at the next table. Again, it’s intentional.”

retro corner

Want another questionable comparison between Haaland? Well, you will get one. It’s as if someone put Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips in the same body. This young and big combination scored more than 40 goals in the 1998-99 season, as Sunderland reached the Premier League, then reached another 40 goals the following season as they kept fit. Haaland will obviously score his 40th goal before Christmas, but the point is still there.

Anyway, it’s Quinn’s birthday. Here he and Phillips take Chelsea to the cleaners in 1999.

coming

Anderlecht vs West Ham! Omonia Nicosia vs Manchester United! Arsenal vs Bodo / Glimt! Bless the Europa (Conference) League(s): Football is good, clips are great. Braces are, yes, a bit awkward.

Assuming he can walk away from Erling Haaland Comparison Laboratories, Andi Thomas will be here again tomorrow.

Champions League

‘He has never seen anything like this’ – Grealish surprised by ‘amazing’ Haaland

15 hours ago

Transfers

Real Madrid weighs 174 million pounds to swoop in Haaland’s release clause – circular paper

16 hours ago

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