Not every football stars who had the opportunity to play the game at the highest level can claim to have revolutionized their position or brought about a new way to turn around or understand the game better, but some great football stars do comes to mind who surely revolutionized their positions like, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and all.
Therefore, we can say the German’s career so far since he moved to the Bavarians side justifies placing him into the same bracket with the aforementioned players even though they ain’t playing the same position, Manuel Neuer is one goalkeeper between the stick who has changed the face of goalkeeping.
Managers often talked about what they wanted in a goalkeeper and how much the art of goalkeeping has evolved over the years, gone are the days when the likes of Fabian Barthez, Peter Schmeichel and Oliver Kahn of Germany fit perfectly into their respective teams during their playing days. However the question remains, can the aforementioned legends fit into today’s fast, more technical, and well-grounded role of goalkeeping in terms of how they build up from the back today? the answer is debatable.
Just like we know how important distributing the ball is nowadays to all managers and their teams, it’s important that when the keeper has the ball, they must be close to be a genius in between the stick for the team and be able to pass and distribute the ball as swift as possible, even better than their teammates who play from the midfield.
Manuel Neuer came to limelight with the Schalke 04 team where he won the DFB Pokal and the DFB LigaPokal, having impressed many in the league, he caught the eyes of Bayern Munich and he moved to the Allianz Arena in 2011 where he has been since joining the Bavarians winning 18 trophies, including seven Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Champions League.
Since the German joined Bayern from Schalke, he has redefined the role of goalkeeping and the No 1 position, the 34-year-old has always single-handedly turned from manning the goal-post into been an outfield player as much as a sweeper.
Neuer has instigated a revolution with solid techniques and has always been among the world’s elite when it comes to goalkeeping, who dominates his area, as such Germany goalkeeping coach Andreas Kopke at some point said “he’s never seen a better sweeper than Neuer“, and the Bayern shot-stopper has shown is sweeper prowess in many matches till date.
The former Schalke 04 shot-stopper has a unique natural athleticism which helps him in making good saves and dominating his box, as well as throwing opponents attackers off guard, he also confirmed his prowess in making good saves in 2014 when he said: “A lot of players didn’t want to go into the one on one situation with him because he’s big”.
One unique thing about great goalkeeper is that they rarely make mistakes, although they surely have their off days too, in the case of Neuer he rarely makes mistakes because he’s excellent grounding in the goalkeeping art has made him immune to mistakes on his day, but that can’t be said of his early days back in Schalke.
Some other areas the German has improved greatly is on his positioning, concentration, and shot-stopping both on the field of play and the training ground, another area in which he performed excellently is in saving penalties, which is somewhat important for every goalkeeper to be good in that art, however not every goalkeeper can boost of the intricacy of saving a penalty.
Over the years, Neuer quality has made him command respect from teammates and opponents alike, and that isn’t a surprise because what he has achieved for the national team and his club is worth celebrating, no wonder he said in a statement that “He’s a little bit risky, but he offers security and protection to his team” with that kind of mindset it won’t be out of place if he keeps getting the respect.
What also makes Neuer’s intelligence afford the national team and Bayern to play the high line and press high in their respective matches is the fact that he has the confidence of receiving the ball and use it to completely change the opponent effective plans in attacking his team, and rendered them useless feeling like they’re a man down.
The conservative pattern within football sees the reliance on a sweeper-keeper as a sign of weakness. The high defensive line and the involvement of the goalkeeper appear to be the last move of a desperate manager with nothing left to throw at the opposition. Perhaps the tactic has this reputation as it is only used in the dying moments of matches.
If anything, the use of the goalkeeper in the sweeper-keeper role is the opposite of desperation. Utilizing the shot-stopper is a tactically intelligent innovation that is becoming more and more popular in the beautiful game of football, such as Barcelona goalkeeper Andre Ter Stegen is following the footsteps
His intelligence isn’t synonymous with many goalkeepers, even when they tried to be like him but always find it difficult which shows the German is one great modern goalkeeper who has revolutionized modern goalkeeping with his talent which only a few shot-stoppers has been successful in emulating his artistry in between the stick.
The German shot-stopper was so good that he could play in the midfield, due to his brilliant passing prowess, such quality can be traced back to the days of Lahm who also did well in the mid of the pack when he was moved into the midfield by Pep Guardiola because of his awareness and intelligence.
In other words, converting a goalkeeper into an outfield player rarely happened in football, but when such happened it is not a defensive move but the beginning of an attack only with a team that has the knack for pressing up high the field to make their opponent lose shape.
The football goalkeeping position arguably represents a unique role in a team, despite its highly complex skill demands in always providing a top-notch performance, Manuel Neuer has been able to turn around goalkeeping position in a way that every manager now wants their goalkeeper to be proactive in intercepting, ball playing, ball distribution, sweeping up, aggressive positioning and great athleticism.
Erling Haaland: The Story Behind His Striking Rise
Erling Haaland was always going to become the ultimate striker and probably the best number 9 on the planet. Also, there’s every possibility that one day, he may become a Ballon D’or winner. But, there’s still one mystery, how did he become the cyborg that he is today?
Haaland continues to be a goal machine, becoming the quickest player in history to reach 20 Champions League goals. His goal from the spot in the UCL round-16 second leg tie against Sevilla was his 20th goal in just 14 appearances in the competition, which broke Harry Kane’s previous record of 24 games.
“Of course he’s fast, powerful, good around the goal and he’s got real soccer sense. But it’s more of his energy, it’s his infectious personality that I think is like a magnet; it draws people to him, it makes people want to be around him.” Those are the words of Red Bull Salzburg manager, Jesse Marsch.
Grab a handful of popcorn and sit back as we unfold the story behind the rise of this Norwegian beast, goal machine, and keeper’s nightmare, Erling Braut Haaland.
Haaland’s Salzburg Breakthrough
As at when Jesse Marsch was appointed as Salzburg manager, Haaland had been at the club for about six months and had only played one game. And then he went to the U-20 World Cup where he scored nine goals in one game.
From his Salzburg debut, Haaland, who had already impressed at the Norwegian league with Bryne and Molde left observers with no doubt about the quality he possesses.
He would become one of the best strikers on the planet because the talent in him was very obvious. In a chat with oh-my-goal, Jesse Marsch revealed that Haaland’s personality was the first thing he fell in love with about Haaland.
“The first couple of days I worked with him, what impressed me more than anything else was his personality on the pitch. He was just relentless! He worked harder than anyone.”
But beyond his raw talent in Salzburg, Erling Haaland left his mark on the locker room with his personality. He had a smile on his face and got along incredibly well with his teammates. Therefore, it wasn’t just his talent, it was his overall energy.
Erling in person had a really positive influence on his teammates. Erling the player, was a selfish assassin who scored 29 goals in 27 appearances for the Austrian club.
Meanwhile, he also always talked about making his teammates happy. “The best memory I Had of him was when we were getting penalties in just about every game, and he was giving them to all the other attacking players.“
“And then, after a player missed a penalty, I said Ok, Erling has to take the penalties and I told him he would be taking the penalties”
“It’s incredible to have such a talented player who loves to score goals, be the one that is giving the penalty responsibilities to the others because he wants them to feel the power of success, the power of scoring goals, and the power of confidence. That says a lot to me about the character of Erling.” Marsch revealed.
At 19, when most people think about personal glory, Haaland was already a perfect teammate and a future leader which was unprecedented for a player as good as he was and in his age range.
Without a doubt, Haaland’s personality was great enthusiastic and it did really have a big effect on a lot of people at Salzburg.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Influence
Erling Haaland may owe his incredible rise to his immense talent and his positive leadership qualities. But that’s not all, Cristiano Ronaldo also played a huge role in Haaland’s evolution.
People often say that Erling Haaland is the next Cristiano Ronaldo but is the CR7 comparison justified?
Certainly, Erling is more of a pure striker than Cristiano but from a power football perspective, his ability in the transition to affect games like the Portuguese ace makes the comparison justifiable.
Haaland himself admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his role model but if like Cristiano, Erling broke all the goalscoring records, it’s not really the part of football that CR7 has influenced.
Haaland is following in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps in terms of leadership and he even is now a role model to many players just like Ronaldo was to him.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had positive effects on his teammates and in every team, he’s played in which really helped him overtime right from his days at Manchester United and Real Madrid. But for Erling, one could really see that right from his young age that it’s a natural quality he has.
It will be up to Haaland to continue to modify that aspect of himself and mold that in a way that he can become a really strong leader within his teams as he continues to grow older.
Above all, Haaland took inspiration from Cristiano Ronaldo in one essential area, work ethic. Like CR7, he’s always hungry to improve. “He really worked hard a lot. After training, he would stick around to finish, to hit some crosses, to work on his heading.” – Jesse Marsch, RB Salzburg Coach.
Like CR7, Erling Haaland thinks every little detail counts. He would wear special glasses because he felt like when you look at your computer all day long or your cell phone, that your eyes would start to fade and so he had that special glasses he always wears.
And while he has his own personality, Erling is directly inspired by Cristiano Ronaldo especially when it comes to nutrition and work ethic by picking the most hardworking professional football player in history as his role model.
Perfect With BVB
Borussia Dortmund activated his €20 million (£17m/$22m) release clause, beating United and Leipzig to his signature after all three clubs held meetings with the player, his father, and agent Mino Raiola.
Borussia Dortmund already had forward Paco Alcacer on the books, but saw Haaland as such a generational talent, that they were willing to offload the Spain international to give the Norwegian teen an even better chance of success.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says that they had been looking for someone with Haaland’s particular skill set for a long time and could not pass up the opportunity to sign him.
“We always wanted to have a center-forward who has a different way of playing football,” Watzke told Goal and DAZN. “But this guy also had to come onto the market first.
There are not many who are 1.94 meters (6 ft 4 in) tall and that fast. Actually, nobody else comes to mind. It was just an opportunity that you don’t get very often. – Goal.com
Dortmund offered the striker the best chance of regular game time as they promised to make him their first-choice striker, something Alf-Inge Haaland admits is crucial to his development.
Haaland’s Dortmund story got off to the perfect start with the most incredible debut against Augsburg. Trailing 3-1, Lucien Favre sent on the teenager from the bench and was rewarded with a 22-minute hat-trick to help secure a 5-3 win.
Having revealed all the secrets that make Haaland an outstanding striker, in all honesty, the Norwegian striker has no limit because he keeps getting better at Dortmund.
He was incredible at Salzburg. “We were obviously so sad to lose him so quickly because we had a lot of fun and success with him, but we’re also very proud of him and we’re really excited to see him continue to push himself and move forward and show everybody in the world how good he is.”
And today, he’s showing just how good he is in Germany. He used to only be seen as a superpowered and superfast goalscorer. But at Dortmund? He’s also shown his technical advances and his in-game intelligence and influence.
He’s more and more capable of keeping the ball, playing in different positions, taking part in the game, in short, he’s become the ultimate striker.
Giving his unique skill-set and amazing personality, he will definitely sign for a bigger club in years to come. Yes, he may experience some difficulties, but his quality will help him manage whatever challenge that comes his way and in-turn become the best number 9 of not only his generation but in football history.
Top Sure Predictions For This Weekend : Tips, Stats And Analysis
Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea didn’t quite go as he would have hoped, and the German coach cut a frustrated figure on the sideline as the Blues limped to a largely uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to a determined Wolves team on Wednesday evening.
Tuchel had overseen just one training session with his new charges before their date with Wanderers however, and it will take time for his ideas and tactical philosophy to take hold.
Teething problems are to be expected as Tuchel finds his feet at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea could endure another nervous moment or two against Burnley on Sunday.
Burnley meanwhile, warmed up for their trip to London with a smash and grab victory at home to Aston Villa in midweek.
The dogged Clarets twice overturned a deficit at Turf Moor to beat the Villains, and the manner of their triumph should add another dollop of self-belief to the confidence they would have gained from beating Liverpool at Anfield last week.
Chelsea ambled to a 3-0 win at Burnley in the teams’ reverse fixture back in October, though we don’t expect it to be similarly smooth sailing when the sides reconvene on Sunday.
Buoyed by excellent results against Liverpool and Aston Villa, Burnley will arrive at Stamford Bridge ready to throw their weight about, and we see them notching against their nervous hosts.
Chelsea has beaten the Clarets in five of their last six league encounters, however, and with eager players hoping to impress their new, notoriously demanding coach, and Tuchel’s compatriots Werner and Havertz keen to make full use of their clean slates, we expect the Blues to eventually force a win.
Predictions: Chelsea Wins
Brighton – Tottenham
Tottenham will be licking their wounds following their midweek chasing by Liverpool, and with Harry Kane out injured, they will have to work hard to bounce back with a win at Brighton on Sunday.
Spurs had been gearing up to launch a title challenge this season, though the manner of their 3-1 reverse at home to current champions Liverpool on Thursday would have been a real wake up call for their supporters.
Jose Mourinho’s troops were thoroughly outclassed in the capital, and their 0.10 xG (Expected Goals) figure for the evening highlights just how ineffective they were.
Brighton meanwhile, missed a huge chance to establish a buffer between themselves and the drop zone when they were held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham on Wednesday.
That was the third time in six Premier League assignments where a toothless Albion failed to score, and following their stalemate against the Cottagers, Brighton remain the only team in the division yet to win a home game in 2020/21.
Harry Kane has provided an incredible 23 goal contributions (12 goals, 11 assists) in 19 Premier League starts for Tottenham this season, and his absence through injury makes Spurs a less-lethal outfit ahead of their trip to Brighton.
With Tottenham’s talisman missing and Brighton’s general lack of thrust in the final third also a factor, we expect goalmouth action to be sparse on Sunday, and the under 2.5 goals market is favoured as a result.
Westham – Liverpool
West Ham are trying to upset the established order in the Premier League this season, and the high-flying Hammers look capable of giving champions Liverpool are real run for their money in London on Sunday.
A four game-winning surge saw West Ham briefly move into the top four last week, before their weekend opponents Liverpool replace them following the Reds’ superb 3-1 win at Tottenham on Thursday.
David Moyes’s in-form Irons have only been beaten twice in 13 Premier League assignments since early November however, and with Tomas Soucek’s aerial prowess, Declan Rice’s bite in midfield and Michail Antionio’s pace up top, they can cause Liverpool a headache or two in the capital.
Liverpool reminded their Premier League counterparts and challengers just how formidable an outfit they can be in midweek when the Reds ragdolled a strong Spurs side on Thursday.
Goals from Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Sadio Mane allowed the reigning champions to stamp their authority on their hosts, and Liverpool’s dominant display felt like statement of intent and a return to their ominous best.
Injuries pre-game to Fabinho and in-game to Joel Matip took the edge off Liverpool’s high spirits in mid-week, and with options already thin on the ground, Jurgen Klopp could be forced to pair Nat Phillips and Jordan Henderson at center-half on Sunday.
Predictions: Liverpool Wins
Barcelona- Atlethic Bilbao
Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao have served up two five-goal thrillers already this month and the entertainment looks set to continue when the pair renew their rivalry at Camp Nou.
A Lionel Messi-inspired Barca ran out 3-2 winners in the Basque country in La Liga earlier this month before Bilbao exacted their revenge by prevailing by the same scoreline to win the Spanish Super Cup in extra-time in Seville.
Barca, ten points adrift of Atletico Madrid in La Liga having played one game more, can ill afford any more slip-ups and they may take some stopping in their pursuit of a fifth straight win.
But with Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto still sidelined, Barcelona are weakened defensively and that offers hope to a Bilbao side that thrashed Getafe 5-1 at home last weekend.
Both teams have scored in six of Barcelona’s last eight home league matches, with their only two clean sheets coming against lowly pair Levante and Osasuna.
Ronald Koeman’s men have been held to consecutive score draws at Camp Nou by Valencia and Levante and Bilbao are another team with the attacking quality to give them a scare.
Despite their inconsistencies in La Liga this season, Bilbao have failed to score in only one of their last nine games and both teams have scored in each of their last five away league trips which include on their visit to Real Madrid.
Predictions: Barca Wins
Napoli – Parma
Parma are in terrible form having fallen to second-bottom in Serie A. The visitors have lost six of their last seven league games, while they’re rank outsiders for the points in Naples.
Napoli won 4-2 against Spezia in a comfortable night in midweek, with that win making it three victories on the bounce at home. However. Napoli have seen both teams score in five of their last six in Serie A.
With Parma scoring in all but two of their games on the road, they should find the net here. We’re backing Napoli to win and both teams to score, while we’re going with a 3-1 win for the hosts, given they’ve scored 13 across their last three at home.
Predictions: Napoli Wins
Roma – Hellas Verona
A 3-1 victory over Napoli last weekend took Verona into eighth, which is bad news for Roma. The hosts have won all 11 meetings with sides from 10th and below, but they’ve won none against the top nine.
Verona have already avoided defeat at Lazio, Atalanta, Juventus and Milan this season. They were also awarded a 3-0 win over Roma after the Giallorossi played an unregistered player in a 0-0 draw earlier this term.
We expect Verona to cause more headaches for Roma, especially considering how the hosts have struggled against any half-decent side so far.
Prediction: Home Wins Or Draw & U 4.5
Lorient – PSG
Lorient ended their winless run in midweek, beating fellow strugglers Dijon 3-2. PSG hit Montpellier for four last time out, making it three clean sheets on the run in Ligue 1. Lorient remains in the relegation places despite that win, while PSG held onto the top spot, but Lille are on the same points tally and continues to breathe down the necks of the title-favorites.
Lorient have not played well against PSG for a long time now, losing each of the pair’s last 12 matches. Lorient have also failed to score in four of their last five games against PSG and will need the visitors to have an off day if they are to claim even a point on Sunday.
PSG are in great form right now, winning five of their last six matches, and have looked really strong at the back. The visitors have kept clean sheets in four of their last six fixtures and Lorient have failed to score in two of their last six matches, one of which was against PSG in December.
Prediction: PSG & O 1.5
AZ Alkmaar – Ajax
AZ Alkmaar pulled off a remarkable Eredivisie double over Ajax last season but Pascal Jansen’s men have their work cut out to topple the table-toppers this time around.
Ajax are unbeaten in ten games in all competitions, winning eight of those fixtures which includes a 1-0 away victory at Alkmaar in the KNVB Beker just 11 days ago.
Four consecutive league wins have seen Ajax move four points clear of PSV at the Eredivisie summit and they have in a formidable form on their travels, dropping just two points across their last seven away games.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been scoring goals freely and we predict them to net at least twice on their trip to the Alkmaar.
Ajax have scored 63 goals in 19 league games, an average of 3.3 per game, and they have failed to score only once this season.
AZ Alkmaar have conceded in each of their last 14 matches in all competitions and, despite sitting fourth in the Eredivisie, their defense has been breached more than any other side in the division’s top-half with them leaking 28 goals across their 19 games.
Predictions: Ajax Wins Either Half
Lille – Dijon
A solitary goal proved enough for Lille to secure all 3pts away at fellow European hopefuls Rennes last week. Dijon played out a 5-goal thriller against Lorient in midweek but ended up coming out on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline. Those results mean that the gap between these two clubs has increased to 30pts and is expected to grow again on Sunday.
Lille have a great record against Dijon, winning nine, drawing one and losing just two of the pair’s last 12 encounters in all competitions. Lille’s last three wins against Dijon have all arrived in Ligue 1 and have been accompanied by clean sheets.
The hosts not only have the home advantage, but they are also the form favourites heading into this weekend’s clash. Lille have won four of their last six league games, while Dijon have only managed to win once during that same period of matches. The fact that Lille have kept three clean sheets in their last six attempts and that Dijon have failed to score in three of their last six outings points towards a clean sheet for the home side this weekend.
Predictions: Lille Wins
Cadiz- Athletico Madrid
It’s impossible to oppose leaders Atletico Madrid this weekend as they bid to rack up an eighth consecutive league victory, although hosts Cadiz could get themselves on the scoresheet to boost the returns for an away win.
Just three sides have taken points from Atleti this season, and despite their shock 2-1 success over Barcelona here in early December, we don’t envisage Cadiz causing Diego Simeone’s men too many problems here.
The hosts have won just one of their last eight league matches (D3, L4), and their 3-0 hammering at Sevilla last time out epitomized the limitations of Alvaro Cervera’s side.
Nonetheless, the Yellow Submarine netted six goals in their three previous league games including five in their last two starts at Estadio Ramon de Carranza, so it’s quite possible that the hosts can register again this Sunday against an Atleti backline that has conceded in four of their last five outings in all competitions.
Backing Cadiz to net markedly increases the odds about another Atleti victory and while the 4/9 for an away win is perfectly reasonable for the weekend multiples, this looks the best value option for single wagers.
Predictions: Home To Score