Despite Erling Haaland squandering major opportunities, Pep Guardiola defends his choice to never “criticize” Manchester City’s No. 9

Manchester City made one of their best decisions in July 2022 when they decided to bring in Erling Haaland from Bundesliga’s club Borussia Dortmund. The Norwegian striker turned out to be the last piece of the puzzle that City was missing, and with him by their side, they reached new heights.

The Sky Blues not only won their first Champions League title but also won the treble for the first time with Erling Haaland. The striker’s performance last season was incredible, but it seems like he is having some trouble on the field this year. Manager Pep Guardiola is still by his side, and the 52-year-old is defending his star player.

Pep Guardiola on Erling Haaland missing big chances

Pep Guardiola is a manager that every player dreams to have. He not only possesses knowledge and technical skills but also cares about his team. The Spanish man may criticize his players in private, but he is always there to defend them in front of the media. He has done the same for Erling Haaland saying that he could have scored more goals this season but does not obsess over the missed chances.

He said that the team is providing the striker with chances which means that they are playing well. The treble winner also advised the media not to criticize Haaland as they will have to apologize to him once he gets back in form.

“My advice is don’t criticise Erling too much. Criticise the full-back, the central defender or the manager, but never the striker who scores goals because he will and then you will be in a position where you have to apologise to him,” he said. 

Erling Haaland’s abysmal goal conversion rate this season

Erling Haaland was a goal-scoring machine in the last season. He scored a total of 55 goals across all competitions and became the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League top scorer. His stats this season are nowhere near last season’s, which has caused an issue of concern among the citizens.

Erling Haaland
Credits-Sky Sports

The deep-lying center-forward has scored 7 goals in 8 games this season. Though this number does not look so bad from the top, things get worse as we go deeper. Haaland scored 7 goals but he should have scored way more considering the chances he was given.

Pep Guardiola himself said that the Norwegian could have scored 15 goals this season. The 23-year-old’s goal conversion rate this season was only 29%. The number is very small when compared to last year’s which was recorded at 60%.

Hopefully, Haaland will soon regain his form and become a better version of himself.


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