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SportsQuick to forget - Pep hits back at Roy Keane over 'League...

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Quick to forget – Pep hits back at Roy Keane over ‘League Two player’ jibe at Haaland

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has responded to Roy Keane’s criticism of Erling Haaland by defending the young striker.

Keane had commented after Manchester City’s draw with Arsenal that while Haaland excels at scoring goals, his overall performance is reminiscent of a player from a lower division.

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This remark has stirred discussions among football fans and analysts.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports, Manchester United legend Keane said: “The levels of his general play are so poor, and not just today. His general play for such a player is so poor, I think he has to improve that he’s almost like a League Two player.”

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Guardiola, however, vehemently opposed Keane’s assessment and told reporters: “I do not agree with him, absolutely not. It’s like [if] I said 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 and the reason why we don’t create many chances [against Arsenal] is not from Erling. He is exceptional. We need more presence in the final third with more people and we played an exceptional game against Arsenal. I reviewed it.”

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Guardiola expressed surprise at the criticism directed towards Haaland, particularly coming from a former player like Keane. He believes that ex-players, having experienced the rigours of professional football first-hand, should demonstrate a deeper understanding and empathy towards current players.

“I am surprised when it comes from former players. It’s like referees when they retire, they always criticise the refs,” he said.

“That always surprises me. The memory disappears quickly. The problems players have now, they had too. They missed it a thousand, million times and were hurt when they were criticised by former players. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I am not a guy who is going to criticise my colleagues when I retire.”

Haaland’s remarkable goal-scoring record further bolstered Guardiola’s defence of the player. With 52 goals in 53 games last season and 29 goals in 35 games this term, Haaland’s prowess in front of goal is undeniable, cementing his status as one of the most prolific strikers in modern football.
As City continue their pursuit of the Premier League title, Guardiola’s spirited defence of Haaland shows his unwavering faith in the striker’s abilities.

Nonetheless, the Spaniard admitted that modern superstars should get used to the criticism. “It’s their job, accept it,” he said.
“If you can’t accept it as a footballer, you have to dedicate to another job, like reading books or . . . .”


Haaland will have an opportunity to silence his critics when he takes to the pitch against Aston Villa on Wednesday evening.

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