RObin Zentner, the goalkeeper of Mainz 05, blamed the trembling and chattering of teeth for the 3-1 at Borussia Dortmund: “We were afraid.” Too impressed by the scenery, says Zentner. Stadium full. Pants full.
The game should have been three weeks ago, then Mainz would have got along better. It would have been a different game, in front of fewer spectators, the more empty seat shells would have yawned through the stadium. Now all of a sudden 60,000 were there again.
But above all this one.
Erling Haaland. The Dortmund sniper was indisposed for three weeks. The thigh, big bruise. There are strikers who come back from such a break with a jam, no longer score and are ready for the couch and hypnosis. And what does Haaland do? As the BVB gang leader, he immediately takes the game back into his hands and the opponent under fire so that the reporter from “Aftenposten” wired the sentence to his Norwegian homeland, fascinated by his compatriot: “He raised his right finger and put his left finger to his ear. Then he jumped up and roared. “
Haaland, the “Urviech”
Haaland scored two goals again straight away. “You can tell right away,” revealed co-player Marco Reus, “that he’s back.” Reus noticed it immediately after three minutes. The ball fell in front of his foot in the Mainz penalty area, he was able to unfold his left leg to the launch pad without being pushed, then he took a short measure and slammed the ball under the bar, one zero. “When Haaland is there, he always ties two to three opponents,” says Reus. Had Haaland not been there, at least two of them would have prevented Reus from shooting, and it might still be 0-0.
49 goals in the first 49 games, nobody in the Bundesliga has ever achieved that. “Haaland”, says “Sky” expert Didi Hamann, “is a primeval creature.”
One can be frightened of him. The Mainz team has a real hundredweight in the goal that won’t blow it over so quickly, but when this Norwegian quintal is heading towards him, as it is now with the penalty, he also takes a step to the side. In the past, the goalkeeper was often the stronger.
Killers and artists
You spontaneously think of the TV commercial in which a penalty taker, when he sees Olli Kahn in the box in front of him as the rabbit freezes in front of the queue, turns around in the middle of the run and escapes. When Haaland ran up to use brute force in the middle of the goal, Hundreds jumped to the right with a lightning-fast jump and pulled his hand away at the last moment, otherwise he would be missing three weeks because he had two fingers again would have to be sewn on.
But it is not just this sheer violence that terrifies opponents. Tomorrow evening, in the Champions League, Dortmund is visiting the Netherlands in Amsterdam, and if we interpret Ajax coach Erik ten Hag correctly, he could easily live with it if Haaland bruises a little again in the final training. The Dutchman recently described the BVB leader like an alien in “Sport Bild”, as someone who can win games with his strength and speed, not just in the opponent’s penalty area, but as a centipede and all-rounder.
There are good and very good strikers in football, and then there are very few like Erling Haaland. As a rule, each of the great goal scorers has their own special strength. Some are two meters high, weigh two hundred pounds and have their middle name Sturmtank or head ball monster like Horst Hrubesch, Oliver Bierhoff and Dieter Hoeneß, about whom a teammate (the editor’s name is known) once credibly claimed: “If you have one-two If you want to play with him, you have to shoot him. ”Others are ice-cold dusters or have a merciless killer instinct, only Haaland is everything, killer and artist. You can trust him to carry out any air raid, but just as well at the height of the sward also some aesthetically high-quality witchcraft.
The Norwegian calls up what he needs right now, for every situation he has a solution and probably a button – it may be the twirled bun on the back of the head that he simply presses at lightning speed, and the next moment he starts with the ball on the left Foot supple to the sprint and executed with a merciless act of violence. There are already nine goals this season, that was the fourth double strike on Saturday, while his coach Marco Rose (“He actually had less than 90 minutes in the tank”) wanted to take him out towards the end and spare him. But Rose knows: “He’ll still score a goal. And at the back we need him for the opposing standards. ”And anyway, all of Dortmund needs him.
Ajax is already trembling in front of Haaland
Haaland is more than just a great striker. He’s for the coach, the teammates, the club and the fans like the injection for the vaccinated, they feel safer. Luck was great on Saturday, even a speedster ran onto the pitch after the final whistle to conduct the La Ola wave with Haaland in front of the south stand. This feeling of relief can be great, do you know the anecdote with Rudi Brunnenmaier?
He was the top scorer in the Bundesliga at TSV 1860 Munich in 1965, and the story is about a father and his son. The two of them go to the Lions’ game on Saturday and notice at the stadium that they have forgotten their tickets. So the boy quickly runs home again – and then comes back completely upset. “Babba, the br …”, he stutters, “Babba, the br …” – until he finally gets it out: “Babba, the postman is in bed with his mom!”
Whereupon Babba laughs with relief: “And I was afraid that Brunnenmeier wasn’t playing.”
It is the same when Haaland net plays in Dortmund. But the terrible weeks are over, ask the people of Mainz. Or the Ajax trainer. “It is extremely difficult to take out Erling Haaland,” suspects Erik ten Hag.
He too would have preferred to play three weeks ago.