Transitional Erling Braut Haaland is protected from the press – and meets with the understanding of both teammate Sander Berge and former national team star Morten Gamst Pedersen.
– I talk to him a lot. I understand that he is in a privileged position and no one else has experienced what he does to this degree. I understand that Erling and the team want peace. The most important thing is that he performs on the field. The rest of us on the team can’t understand the situation, Sander Berg says at a press conference on Wednesday.
On Monday, national team manager Ståle Solbakken said Erling Braut Haaland would be shielded from the press, at a time when Jærbuen is expected to decide the future and possibly make the biggest Norwegian transfer ever.
Haaland himself arrived on a private plane – and refused to answer VG’s questions:
Along with Martin Ødegaard, Berge and Haaland are the trio who call themselves “The Lying Guys,” and Berge says he “expects” the Inner Circle to be among the first to learn of the news of the transformation when the time comes.
We talk a lot together, and “Løgne gutta” is probably at the top of who knows her list. We talk a little differently about the different scenarios about everything in life, says Berg, but this is a special situation that Erling is in, so it’s interesting to talk to him.
Former national team profile and in his time among Norway’s biggest football stars, Morten James Pedersen also realized that the Dortmund star wanted time off from the press given the prevailing circumstances.
It’s okay not to be around 24/7. He’s a world star, and going to the airport, as I do now, would be tough on him. I understand the choices he makes, and support him one hundred percent, he tells VG.
From his own experience as a longtime Premier League star, he made it clear that players’ biggest desire during periods of great media pressure is to focus on football – not journalism.
– If one word is incorrectly stressed, it is predicted from here to the moon. If he gets a question and waits, say, a little while before he says yes or no, stay The Pull it forward as something. So it is.
– Do you mean it’s completely protected inside?
– OK. Sure, there will be questions, but you don’t have to be the main attraction at all the press conferences. It should be nice to relax too. And there’s not much he has to say anyway. I think I can stand on his behalf and answer much the same, so to speak, as Gambstein says.
On the other hand, former elite league coach Tor Thodesen was stunned by Haaland’s special treatment – both when it came to arriving on a private jet, getting a new suit number and not speaking to the media.
He details his Twitter message to VG:
For a 21-year-old still developing as a person and as a footballer, there is reason to wonder if this could also have a downside, this way of moving forward. Then I think it could put more pressure on the boy, because what they’re saying is they’re special. Then it is also characteristic, and for their part it may well be normal.
But the father must know the son well, and they may well have calculated that. It’s also possible that I’m wrong, because if there’s one man I trust in this role, it’s Ståle Solbakken, he adds.
However, Thodessen believes it was easier for Haaland to answer only the questions that arose about a possible move to a new club.
– My first thought is that it can’t be that dangerous. Here, first of all, the Norwegian press is present at such a session, and it had no choice but to understand if the answer was “I can’t talk about it”.
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