On the back of Manchester City’s defeat to Arsenal, ESPN pundit Shaka Hislop believes Pep Guardiola is to blame for Erling Haaland’s ineffective performance. Haaland struggled to get into the game against Mikel Arteta’s side. The game was a defensive battle, which was ultimately decided by a fortunate deflection for Gabriel Martinelli’s late winner.
Shaka Hislop has laid the blame for Haaland’s performance on the City manager. Speaking on ESPN FC Hislop said: “I don’t think he’s to blame at all, in all honesty. There were periods last season when he wasn’t getting much service or much of the ball. He was having to drop deep and get on the ball. Guardiola came out and said ‘I want Haaland to play on the shoulder of the defenders’. If he does that and he’s not getting on the ball you can’t then turn around and say well it’s not his fault for dropping deep. I put this on City and their lack of service and more to the point, Pep Guardiola.”
Haaland was a non-factor against Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners set up well defensively and cut off the supply to City’s number 9. The treble winners didn’t create any chances outside of the opening minutes of the game so it turned into a long afternoon for Haaland.
City’s number 9 has scored 8 goals in 12 appearances this season. He has also had games like the two against West Ham and Sheffield United where he squandered relatively easy chances before scoring against both sides.
To lay the blame on Erling Haaland’s performance on Pep Guardiola seems an odd call to make. Manchester City were met with a determined Arsenal defence, and Haaland suffered from a poor showing from the Manchester City midfield in Sunday’s defeat.