The criticism of Erling Haaland has reached a new level but he will bounce back

Following Manchester City’s nil-all draw with Arsenal last weekend, there has been a new level of criticism levelled at Erling Haaland. City’s number 9 was well contained by a stubborn Arsenal defence, which saw the strikers’ performance come in for heavy criticism post game. At some point this season, Haaland will bounce back it’s just a matter of when. For Manchester City, they hope it begins this Wednesday night against Aston Villa.

Speaking on SkySports post game Manchester United legend Roy Keane compared Haaland’s out field play to that of a League Two player. When speaking about Haaland’s display, Keane said: “The levels of his general play is so poor. In terms of front of goal, he’s best in the world, but his general play is so poor. He’s almost like a League Two player.” The full clip from SkySports Premier League X account can be seen below.

Erling Haaland will be the first to admit he wasn’t at his best on Sunday. He was starved of service as Arsenal sat deep with a low block, which successfully frustrated the world champions. It also successfully neutralized Haaland, and Arsenal does deserve credit for that. But to see Haaland’s general play compared to that of a lower level player seems a bit of a stretch given how tightly he was marked on Sunday.

WATCH: Steven Mcinerney reacts to Manchester City’s frustrating draw with Arsenal.

The striker was double teamed every time he went near the ball on Sunday. Arsenal were determined not to give Haaland any space to thrive and they succeeded in their goal. Mikel Arteta’s side was physical with Haaland throughout Sunday’s match, which can be seen in the clip below. They successfully neutralized City’s number 9 by double teaming him and being physical with the star striker. This, coupled with City’s inability to create any chances of note, successfully stifled the game of Haaland.

But Haaland’s overall game has developed this season. His performance against Luton Town in the FA Cup when he scored 5 and was a feature in City’s build-up play shows this. In fact, this season, it has been common to see the striker more involved in the play as his game continues to develop. Given that he is only 23 years of age, there is plenty of scope for improvement in his game.

This season has seen Erling Haaland fail to reach the lofty heights of last season. He dominated English and European football last season with 52 goals in 53 games as Manchester City claimed the treble. This season, he has scored 29 in 35 appearances, which is hardly a poor campaign by any metric. But the striker has missed a host of clear-cut chances he would’ve buried a season ago. As per the official Premier League website Haaland has missed 27 big chances this season. A stat that wouldn’t have appeared believable a season ago.

But one thing is certain that the striker will bounce back. Players with Haaland’s standing in the game are rarely kept down for long. This season has been a learning experience for the striker as teams have focused on stopping Haaland from dominating games, and his finishing has dipped below his usual lofty standards. It is likely that City’s wrecking ball will come out a better player after facing a level of adversity this season.

Erling Haaland will come out of this test a better player. The hope for Manchester City is that he can begin that process this Wednesday against Aston Villa. Their treble defence may depend on it given how precarious the situation has become following Sunday’s draw with Arsenal.

Tags Arsenal English Premier League Erling Haaland Luton Town Manchester City Roy Keane SkySports Treble treble defence