Alfie Haaland can be City chef if lasagne is behind Erling form – Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has joked he wants Erling Haaland’s father to cook lasagne for his entire squad if that is the secret of his son’s success.
Haaland junior has made a sensational impact at Guardiola’s Manchester City, scoring 19 goals in just 12 appearances – including three hat-tricks – since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund.
The Norwegian quipped this week that his dad Alf-Inge must have been putting “something special” in the pre-match lasagnes he has been preparing for him.
Now Guardiola has joined in the fun by inviting Alf-Inge, who played for City from 2000 to 2003, to return to the club in the kitchen.
The City manager said: “We can make an offer so Erling’s father comes to cook for us. If this is the secret of Erling’s goals I’m going to convince (chairman) Khaldoon (Al Mubarak) to bring him here!
“But I think there’s not only one secret.”
Guardiola has been impressed by how Haaland, 22, has handled both the hype that accompanied his move to City and all the headlines and attention that he has subsequently attracted.
Alf-Inge has undoubtedly played an important role in this regard, but Guardiola feels a lot of the credit is due to Haaland himself.
“He is comfortable with the pressure on his shoulders and the expectations, he’s such a normal person,” said Guardiola, whose side host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday. “I think he can handle it.
“I’m pretty sure it was good advice, from father to son. All fathers want the best for their sons, but in the end it’s Erling’s own life and experiences. He has to take decisions for himself.
“What impresses me the most is how lovely a guy he is and that helps us to live our lives much, much better.”
In other culinary-related City matters, Sara Gundogan, the wife of club captain Ilkay Gundogan, has caused a stir this week by claiming she has not been able to find a good-quality restaurant in Manchester.
“I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but… horrible food everywhere,” she wrote on Instagram.
This is despite Guardiola himself being a co-owner of the tapas restaurant Tast.
Guardiola said: “I am disappointed it still didn’t prove (itself), my restaurant. That is what is annoying me! Gundo is not going to play one more minute!
“I’m going to invite her and Gundo as well. Of course they are going to eat properly.”
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