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Two tackle Roy Keane’s criticism of Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland

Two people disagreed with Roy Keane’s criticism of Manchester City’s Erling Haaland following City’s match against Arsenal.


Roy Keane had said, ‘The levels of his general play is so poor, and not just today. His general play for such a player, it is so poor, I think he has to improve that, he’s almost like a League Two player.’

But City coach Pep Guardiola disagreed with the retired player.

‘He’s the best striker in the world,’ Guardiola replied saying he thought differently.

‘He helped us win last season and the reason why we didn’t create many answers from Erling is we need more presence in the final third with more people.

‘We played an exceptional game, I reviewed the game against Arsenal but we just missed more people in the final third. The quality and different skillset we have, Haaland is exceptional.’

Another person that did not swallow Keane’s observation was ex-Premier League player Chris Sutton who reacted as follows:

‘When [Manchester City goalkeeper Stefan] Ortega was clipping balls into Haaland, they’re probably the best at working off a centre-forward’s touch, being really clever with their defending.

‘Could Haaland have been a bit stronger, could he have been a bit cuter, could his brain have worked better in those moments? Of course. But at times you come up against brilliant defenders, which [Saliba and Gabriel] were on Sunday.

‘He wasn’t brought into Manchester City to play a creative role, he was brought in to occupy the centre-halves and for others to create for him because he’s the monster finisher.

‘He was never going to hit the heights he hit last season. He’s still an outstanding striker, he’s just off it.’

Guardiola later added, ‘Some actions he missed, sometimes it’s the managers, sometimes the opponent is really good, there are many many reasons.

‘In football there is not just one reason, sometimes where you have success or you don’t have success, there are many reasons, it’s football, it’s a team sport.’

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