Manchester City

Haaland Shows His Sarcastic Streak After Recent Criticism

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As Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side continue their preparations for Wednesday evening’s Champions League second leg Round of 16 clash with FC Copenhagen, star striker Erling Haaland has been out in front of the press, and the 23 year old hotshot is adamant that he can improve further and continue to fire City to even further success.

The Norwegian international striker has a fantastic goalscoring record at his former clubs, and with 62 goals in 59 starts for Borussia Dortmund, City paid £51.2 million for his services back in the summer of 2022, and to put it quite simply, they grabbed themselves an absolute bargain and most on the Punters Page would have predicted that for themselves.

54 Premier League starts have produced 54 goals, and that is backed up by eight goals in five FA Cup appearances, one goal in one EFL Cup start and 17 goals in 20 Champions League games.

The lad is clearly a phenomenon, but quite bizarrely some talking heads in the media had recently decided to criticise him for missing some very easy recent chances (namely the Chelsea draw back in February) as he had gone on a run of only scoring two goals in seven matches.

The media might have wanted to string him up for what is otherwise at Premier League level, a very competent goal v game return, and even Pep Guardiola barbed he was the last person to tell Haaland how to score.

Quite naturally, the media had ignored his injury and the fact that he was working himself back up to full match fitness, and definitely full match sharpness. He understandably shut quite a few up by scoring in the very next game after the Chelsea headlines, and whilst he did not find the net against Bournemouth, he hit a magnificent five against Luton, and added another one in the Manchester derby against Erik ten Hag’s United side.

35 games (including internationals) has returned 31 goals. Who in their right mind can criticise his talent? Not least when you factor in that despite having missed almost two months of the 2023/24 campaign with his injury, he is still on target to regain his PL Golden Boot and he remains two goals above his nearest challenger – Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins who is on 16.

City and Norwegian international fans will be hoping that his words in his recent interview are genuine as it pertains to him improving his skills even further, but I cannot help but wonder if there is maybe a bit of sarcasm built in there given the utterly ridiculous criticism he has recently received.

Stating that ‘there’s a lot of things I can become better at’ makes perfect sense, but he followed that by discussing the Manchester derby and he quickly identified his incredible miss where he managed to put the ball wide even though the goal was empty and he was only three odd yards out.

“People say I’m good at scoring goals but I missed the biggest chance in the world ever two days ago. I can also become better at that.”

He went on to admit that when he was younger and developing, misses did play on his mind, but he is now clearly developing a mindset where he knows it does not matter as another chance will come. That is proven in some ways by his phenomenal scoring tally, but also the fact that he is top of the ‘self invented’ PL big chances missed table – because as we all know, strikers never miss do they and the world is supposed to revolve around ‘expected goals’ (which is also not a thing).

His record will continue to speak for itself, but so does his humour and potential sarcasm.

With Danish side FC Copenhagen up next, Haaland went on to recall the time he was on trial with them, and even though there was interest, there was not enough interest for a deal to be done.

“It didn’t happen – sad for them.”

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