Carragher, Henry round on Man City star Erling Haaland as Liverpool, Tottenham centre-back target dominates striker
Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher were both proven right as they raised certain constructive criticisms of Erling Haaland prior to Manchester City’s Champions League draw with RB Leipzig on Wednesday evening.
City signed the Norway international as the final piece in the jigsaw in the club’s elusive search for Champions League glory, and it’s hard to argue against Haaland’s goals output so far.
However, there remains criticism of Haaland’s all-round game and City’s inability to sometimes play to his true strengths.
Haaland has so far scored 32 goals in 31 games in all competitions for City, yet criticism still remains.
That criticism has really come about in recent weeks, following the recent defeats to Manchester United and Tottenham and the draw at Nottingham Forest.
And prior to the match, pundits Henry and Carragher both had some constructive things to say about his play.
Indeed, it was only last week that Carragher said he thought Haaland may have picked the wrong side.
He said: “It seems a silly thing to say considering how many goals he has scored. But I don’t think we are seeing the full repertoire of the strengths of Erling Haaland.
“His goalscoring numbers are absolutely fantastic. But I actually think any centre forward playing for this Manchester City team would have great numbers in front of goal.
“This is the big problem for me, Erling Haaland drags his centre back out of position, Rico Lewis now on the ball has to play that ball into the space and you actually see the reaction of Erling Haaland and I’ve seen this numerous times – at times I feel he gets frustrated in this Manchester City team because he doesn’t get the ball early enough.”
Haaland bossed by Leipzig ace Gvardiol
Henry appeared to agree with his CBS Sports co-pundit, using Karim Benzema and Harry Kane as examples to follow.
The legendary Arsenal frontman stated that Haaland appears “uncomfortable” when trying to back up defenders and hold the ball up.
And all those issues were evidenced again during the draw in Germany on Wednesday evening.
Haaland often looked isolated in the match. And the runs he was making in behind in City’s search for a late winner were being ignored.
Indeed, at one point Haaland went crazy when Ilkay Gundogan did not play him in.
In all fairness, City were missing their assist king in Kevin de Bruyne. However, Haaland was kept quiet for most of the game by a player on the radars of Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol was outstanding throughout and hardly gave the prolific forward a sniff.
Any Premier League scouts in attendance will have been hugely impressed with the Croatia star’s display. Add in the fact that he also scored Leipzig’s equaliser with a towering header and it was a superb night for the Leipzig defender.
The second leg of the tie takes place on March 14. Meanwhile, City are back in action on Saturday evening when they head to Bournemouth.
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