Published On: Wed, Apr 10th, 2024

Erling Haaland torn to bits after Man City rescue draw against Real Madrid | Football | Sport


Haaland’s maiden season in England yielded a remarkable 52 goals in all competitions, landing him both the Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe awards. But despite striking again 30 times so far in the 2023/24 campaign, his display in the 3-3 draw in Spain reinforced the growing perception that he’s currently under-performing in a City shirt.

And he’s since been savaged by Ziggo Sport pundit and former Madrid man Rafael van der Vaart. The ex-midfield maestro said: “Erling Haaland was very bad. If he doesn’t score he’s useless. I find him very average on the ball.“

Despite his apparent lack of form, the 23-year-old has scored six times in Europe’s top competition this season. Only Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane, whose penalty against Arsenal last night took him to seven, has scored more.

Watch all the Premier League and Champions League drama unfold on TNT Sports

He also again leads the Premier League goalscoring charts on 19, scoring in City’s 4-2 win at Crystal Palace on the weekend. But Van der Vaart is far from the only pundit to take aim at the star of late, with Roy Keane also vociferously critical after City’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Easter Sunday.

“His general play is so poor, and not just today,” the ex-United captain told Sky Sports. “I think he has to improve that, he’s almost like a League Two player.”

But that prompted an angry defence from his manager Pep Guardiola, who has notably kept faith with the £51.2million man despite regularly rotating selection amid a frenzied fixture schedule. “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 fired back.

“He’s the best striker in the world and he helped us to win what we won last season and the reason why we didn’t create many chances (against Arsenal) is not from Erling. He is exceptional. “

“He’s the best striker in the world and he helped us to win what we won last season and the reason why we didn’t create many chances (against Arsenal) is not from Erling. He is exceptional. “

Haaland was sidelined for nearly two months of the campaign after picking up a bone stress fracture in his foot in December. But he returned in February with the sole goal of a home win over Brentford, joining Kane as the only players to have scored against every Premier League team they had faced.



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