With 19 goals already this season, teams have been left scrambling to find a way to stop Manchester City striker Erling Haaland.
Bournemouth are the only team to have prevented him from finding the back of the net so far this season. But one Manchester United fan has come up with a novel way to save teams from having to play against the Norwegian international.
An account named ‘Ten Hag’s Reds!’ has set up a petition on website Change in a bid to get Haaland banned from playing football altogether. It comes after Haaland bagged a hat-trick against the Red Devils on Sunday as City humiliated their rivals in the Manchester derby.
The petition has been named “Petition to get Erling Haaland banned from Association Football because it’s just not fair”. The organiser has also explained why they set up the petition, branding Haaland a “robot”.
The description of the petition reads: “It’s just simply not fair. We can make a change. Now is the time for us people to act. This robot should not be allowed to carry on in our country.”
It was started on Wednesday, before Haaland scored two goals in City’s hammering of Copenhagen in the Champions League. At the time of writing, 47 people have signed their names to the petition, which has an initial target of 100 signatures.
While the petition has no hope of actually banning Haaland from playing, it does show the level to which opposition fans are fearful of the striker. City boss Pep Guardiola could not have dreamed of a better start for his star signing of the summer and the Spaniard hailed the 21-year-old after his hat-trick against United.
“I say it many times and I will say again – what Erling is doing he did in Norway, Austria and Germany. The quality we have alongside him helps him score, but what he is doing I didn’t teach him,” he said.
“He has incredible instincts. It comes from his mum and dad. He was born with that. I have had incredible centre-forwards in my career. What I like was in the last period of the game, he was involved. I want him to be involved
“He became a player to score goals, but I want him in contact with the ball. I like him being part of those situations. But of course, he has to put the ball in the net, and he is a fantastic striker.
“He will take a break. There will be games he is not going to play. We are lucky, last season he could not play many games in a row – here we have incredible physios and thanks to them, he can play every 90 minutes.”
Haaland’s next victims could be Southampton,who City host on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium. The Saints may be hoping that the petition has a few more signatories before the time they travel north to Manchester, or they’ll be adding their own names to it.