Guardiola makes Messi comparison for Haaland then says ‘I must understand’ him
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted Erling Haaland “needs the team” to score goals, unlike Lionel Messi.
Haaland has enjoyed a prolific first campaign in the Premier League, helping himself to 27 goals and contributing four assists in 23 league appearances. He has already surpassed the 23 goals joint-golden boot winners Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min fired last season.
However, with City trailing Arsenal in the title race, the likes of Thierry Henry believe the team have become worse since his arrival, while Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher said the Norwegian “joined the wrong team”. Despite these opinions, Guardiola has launched a firm defence of the imperious forward.
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“He needs the team to score the goals,” Guardiola said to Football Daily. “He’s not like Messi, like he can go and get the ball, dribble past three or four [players].
“He can decide the game for himself. Erling needs the team. It’s not all about him. We have to find, I have to find, the way, to the players, ‘guys, in this type of situations, he’s there’.”
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Guardiola then added, “He will score goals when we understand him a little bit better… I don’t have doubts about that.” The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager was also pressed with questions about Henry’s opinion on City’s performances with Haaland at the tip of their frontline.
"Being less predictable does not depend on Haaland, it depends on the way we can make the process to arrive in different channels to the final third, not just with Erling," Guardiola told reporters.
“But if you arrive here, here and fire the crosses or just pass to Erling that will be predictable." He added: "Come on, we scored 60 goals, we are the team that scored more goals in the Premier League.
“Always we can do good things and with Erling as well." Haaland joined the Citizens last summer, after the reigning Premier League champions met his £51m release clause at Borussia Dortmund.
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