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Guardiola Fires Back at Keane - Irish Pundit Slammed Haaland

Last updated: 03 Apr 2024
John Eastwood 03 Apr 2024
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  • Roy Keane described Erling Haaland’s general play as being League Two level
  • Pep Guardiola has jumped to the Norwegian striker’s defence
  • Haaland has scored just one goal in six matches vs the top five sides this season
guardiola haaland
Man City coach Pep Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland from criticism by Roy Keane (Getty Images).

Roy Keane’s Criticism of Haaland

Despite scoring 29 goals this season, Roy Keane was highly critical of the forward on Sky Sports. After a 0-0 draw vs Arsenal, the Irish pundit said: "The levels of his general play are so poor. And not just today but in general.
  • Roy Keane’s Criticism of Haaland
  • Guardiola Fires Hard at Keane
  • Pep Explains Haaland’s Big Game Struggles

"In terms of front of goal he's best in the world, but his general play is so poor.

"He's almost like a League Two player. That is the way I look at him. His general play has to improve.

"It will do, over the next few years. Being this brilliant striker is fantastic but he has to improve his all-round game."

Guardiola Fires Hard at Keane

Pep Guardiola did not hold back in his response to Roy Keane. He fired an individual attack at the former Man Utd midfielder before defending his striker. 

Guardiola said: "I do not agree with him, absolutely not. He's a manager for the second or third league? I don't think so.

"He's the best striker in the world and he helped us win what we won last season. 

“The reason why we didn't create many chances was not Erling, it's that we need more presence in the final third with more people.”

Pep Explains Haaland’s Big Game Struggles

In six matches this season against the top five clubs, Haaland has only scored once. Against Arsenal, as in the reverse fixture, he did not have a shot on target. Former Man City defender Micah Richards said of Haaland on Sky Sports: "Haaland needed to do more. Saliba and Gabriel had him in their pockets."

Pep Guardiola also weighed in on the situation by backing his player publicly: "Sometimes he misses, sometimes lack of supply, sometimes instructions from the managers, sometimes the opponent is really good.

"In football, there is not just one reason, there are many. Football is a team sport, it's not individual like golf or tennis."

Man City face Aston Villa tonight in the English Premier League at the Etihad Stadium. Haaland has 10 goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions. However, five of those goals came in one match vs Luton Town in the FA Cup. 

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