Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Roy Keane destroys Erling Haaland with brutal put-down, as Micah Richards reveals major red flag after Man City, Arsenal draw

Pundit Roy Keane, Man City striker Erling Haaland

Roy Keane claimed Erling Haaland is League Two standard

Pundit Roy Keane branded Manchester City striker “almost like a League Two player” when tearing down the Norwegian’s all-round game, while fellow pundit Micah Richards highlighted a major red flag he’s seen.

Man City and Arsenal played out a competitive 0-0 draw on Sunday to put the fate of the title back in Liverpool’s hands. Pep Guardiola’s side were kept scoreless for the first time in 57 homes matches across all competitions. A major reason why was the sub-standard display produced by Erling Haaland.

The City striker has scored for fun since arriving from Borussia Dortmund and fired his side to a historic treble last season.

His goalscoring exploits cannot be questioned, though the wider elements to his game have come in for stinging criticism.

Haaland was largely kept in check by the impressive William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes. The pair matched up physically with the frontman and barely gave him a sniff on the ground.

When running the rule over the contest and Haaland in particular, pundit Roy Keane – who has well-documented history with Erling’s father, Alf-Inge – savaged the striker.

“He’s almost like a League Two player” – Keane

“The levels of his general play are so poor. And not just today but in general,” said Keane.

“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. That is the way I look at him. His general play has to improve.

“It will do, over the next few years. Being this brilliant striker is fantastic but he has to improve his all-round game, has to.”

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‘Haaland hold-up play needs work, for sure’ – Richards

Fellow pundit and former Man City right-back, Micah Richards, added to the criticism when highlighting Haaland’s lack of hold-up play.

The Norwegian is unquestionably one of the strongest players in the Premier League, though Richards believes he does not utilise his physicality as he should.

“If you look at the tactics of the game, when Man City had a goal-kick Arsenal would put five or six players [up the pitch] almost like man-to-man,” began Richards.

“So Ortega’s looking for an out-ball, the ball came over and he’s not using his size and his strength or his hold-up play to bring people into play.”

When asked by host Dave Jones whether he was concerned for Man City because of Haaland’s display, Richards responded: “It’s never a concern because you’ve always got quality players, Foden, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva… he will get fed.

“We’ve seen it last season and we’ve seen it this season, he’s still scored a lot of goals. But we’re always looking at how can players develop and I just think his hold-up play can do with a little bit bit of work, for sure.”

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