Pep Guardiola defends ‘best striker in the world’ Erling Haaland following Roy Keane criticism

Erling Haaland’s rise to the summit of global football does not surprise many, at least those who have followed his career since he was a teenager. Joining Manchester City last summer has further propelled his career, making him one of the world’s best players, with Haaland making the shortlist for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award, which Lionel Messi ultimately won.

However, he hasn’t been as prolific this season, drawing criticism from Roy Keane, who urged the young Norweigan to improve his overall game. Pep Guardiola has since leapt in his striker’s defense.

Pep Guardiola responds to recent Erling Haaland criticism

Pep Guardiola didn’t take Roy Keane’s assessment of his star striker too well. It didn’t take long for him to hit back at the former Manchester United captain, who had earlier compared Erling Haaland to a ‘League Two’ player after his lacklustre performance against Arsenal, where he failed to make an impact throughout the game.

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Source: Bavarian Football Works

“I don’t agree with him, absolutely not,” the two-time treble-winning manager said. “It’s like if I said he’s a manager for the second or third league. He’s [Haaland], the best striker in the world, and he helped us win what he won last season. The reason we didn’t create many chances was not Erling; it’s that we need more presence in the final third with more people,” he added.

“We played an exception game, and I reviewed the game against Arsenal, but we missed more people in the final third, maybe for our quality and skills. I’m surprised this came from a former player. From journalists, I can understand, never been on the pitch, but former players is always a surprise. It’s like the referees when they retire, they criticize other referees,” Guardiola concluded.

Roy Keane gave a scathing assessment of Erling Haaland’s performance against Arsenal, who has been accused several times of going missing in big games.

Erling Haaland to face highflying Aston Villa in PL clash

Erling Haaland drawing blanks against Arsenal won’t stop Pep Guardiola from naming him in the starting lineup against Aston Villa today. Guardiola will be hoping to get a win against Aston Villa, who have also been more than incredible this season, vying for a spot in Europe’s most important tournament for next season.

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Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Aston Villa are fourth, just one spot below Manchester City and a win for them today will further strengthen their grip in top four. However, this means more for Manchester City, as they’ll be hoping to get a win that will put them on the same points as league leaders Liverpool, although the Cityzens would have played a game more than their bitter rivals from Merseyside.

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Source: Evening Standard

Pep Guardiola will hope Haaland can bring his scoring boots to the pitch today and add to his goal tally of 18 goals in 24 games this season. Despite not being in his best form, Haaland remains the top scorer in the Premier League and will have the chance to boost his numbers against Aston Villa tonight.


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