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Finton’s Frolic: Arsenal youngsters should emulate Erling Haaland’s robotically pithy persona

By Daniel Finton (Deputy Editor)

Engage Cyborg Mode: Why Arsenal youngsters should look to emulate Erling Haaland’s robotically pithy persona

What up, pimps?

Welcome one and all to the tenth addition of the Finton’s Frolic extravaganza. It’s crazy to think that I’ve already reached double digits chatting utter rubbish every week since these have started, and for some reason people actually read this shit. Well, to those that do, thanks (hyperlinked in my appreciation is a link to psychiatric help, I need it for writing this, but you definitely need it more for reading it).

Anyways, on today’s expedition I will be discussing Erling Haaland’s pithily robotic tone in post-match interviews that have become a topic of discussion on various social media outlets. Moreover, I will be describing why it will be beneficial to the current Arsenal youngsters to adopt a similar manner of speaking to the press as well.

Since the Bundesliga has returned prior to any other top division in Europe, people who so frequently “did not have time” for the German top flight now all of a sudden do. Alongside a crop of impressive youngsters in the division, Haaland has emphasized his skillset since football has started back up again. The Bundesliga is known for their phenomenal youngsters and that of Kai Havertz also portrayed his stupendousness during the weekend too. For Haaland though, a goal and an assist against Schalke earned him the already slightly present attention from those who did not watch the Bundesliga before.

With the Norwegian it is not just his on-field presence that makes him such a spectacle but also his off-field doings as well. We, as a football fandom are so used to players all speaking to the press in the same monotonous, bullshit way every single time we see an interview. They do so because of the crap questions, to be fair, but nonetheless, it is still annoyingly boring. It usually goes something like this.

Reporter: Hello, Daniel. You had a great performance today, scoring a resounding five goals against Tottenham in their new home stadium. How do you feel?

Far more boring, but actually talented me: Uhhh… yeah (forced chuckle) This is obviously a good moment for me, but also more importantly the team. We have to move on to the next game and work hard in training leading up to it.

Haaland will simply not stand for boring exchanges like the one above. When a reporter asked him why he and his team went over to the infamous, yet currently vacated, Dortmund yellow wall he did not simply reply with a bone dry, diplomatic answer like, “The fans mean the world to us. Whether or not they’re there does not matter. We still appreciate our great support!”

The mercurial Norwegian instead replied with an almost confrontational, “why not?” This took the entirety of football aback. Footballers are not allowed to go against the grain, Haaland! What the hell are you doing?

In all seriousness, it is refreshing and actually quite clever the way Haaland is so dismissively brief with the media. The mass media outlets generally do nothing but cause youngsters trouble, especially when they are at the level of the 19-year-old, or even some of the big name ankle biters we have in our infrastructure. Papers, websites, blogs, and all other news avenues are waiting for these raw, and inexperienced perceived “jocks” to slip up so they can expose them and be awarded a bigger check than they would from a typical news day.

Thinking back just even a couple days ago, the second instalment of Alexandre Lacazette’s balloon fiasco was made public. Like frozen two, this was a sequel literally no one wanted or needed, apart from scoundrels (Tottenham fans and five-year-olds respectively). Somehow, the tabloids got access to a photo of the Arsenal striker huffing a balloon and exposed him publicly for it. While, it is worth noting this was not down to Lacazette opening up too much for a post-match discussion, if he was a bit more sneaky and coy with his doings like Haaland seems to be to the press, Lacazette would not be enduring the onslaught which he currently is.

Moving in stealth is sadly the most intelligent way for footballers going forward. And as we can see Haaland is equipped with “stealth mode” in his programming, so the Arsenal youngsters should make sure to install that application whenever they decide to engage cyborg mode.

If Arsenal youngsters Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, especially, spoke to the media with “Haalandesque” brevity, odds are the likelihood of a slip up would decrease significantly. Furthermore, while they may not care about this aspect necessarily, it does actually add some seasoning to typically bland post-match interviews as well. I, and I’m sure many others, get completely sick of hearing the same questions, followed by the same answers week in and week out. Frankly, I find it baffling how poor some of these professional journalists’ questions are.

Reporter: It was a great win; how do you feel?

What the hell is the player supposed to say to that, “I’m miserable, I hate winning”? You paid thousands of dollars and spent at least four-years in college/university to ask a professional athlete after a game how he “feels”. He has a therapist for that, asking him about some ongoings during the game, his future, something else, or just give the job to someone who will actually make tricky and moreover, insightful inquiries.

Though I am an aspiring sports journalist who would love nothing more but to interview players after a match, I would understand if every player- young and old- took a moment to alter their persona with the media. Consequently, even if a journalist asked a good question, they would be left with a drab and brain dead answer if the players did enter cyborg mode. This could actually be crippling for the industry, because the fact is if the players do not talk, there is nothing the outlets could use as a headline.

But, it is fair to say people in the field which I aspire to be in, forget the fact that these top class players do not actually have to talk to them, ever. The fact that they do is something to be gracious for because if they didn’t, guys and girls like me would not have a job to go into in the future, and the people in the industry now wouldn’t either. The media are growing more and more complacent with the fact that they have ready access to almost every player in the world, and along with players being exposed for every mistake they make, the quality of journalism is also rapidly diminishing as well.

The disgusting habits of journalists publicly humiliating players so they earn a few hundred more quid on their next pay check must stop, or an individual like Haaland may make it do so in a forceful manner.

Just imagine an individual like Martinelli (because Saka is too nice, and I could not imagine him doing this) replying to a hackneyed question like, “how do you feel?” with a cold and distant, “fine.” It would leave the Brazilian with the upper hand in the interview, while also providing entertainment for supporters, and forcing journalists to actually ask relevant questions. They probably won’t do so, but in my opinion it would be beneficial to all parties if they did.

Anyways, apologies for the rambly rant, but I just found Haaland’s approach to interviews refreshingly fascinating. Maybe in the future all the players will be cyborgs like the Norwegian too. I guess one thing I did fail to mention was the fact that Haaland’s programming may not allow him to speak in, in depth conversations. So maybe he’s not clever and he is actually just a robot programmed by a man passionate about journalism who wants to see it’s quality improved. I guess we’ll never know.

With that ladies and gentlemen, I bid thee a sincere *beep boop bop beep*...!


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