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“Absolutely not…” Pep Guardiola sends fiery message to Roy Keane following Erling Haaland comment



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Credit: YouTube / CityXtra

Pep Guardiola has responded to Roy Keane’s statement that Erling Haaland’s general football play is the standard of a League Two player.

Erling Haaland has set the Premier League and European football alight since he joined Manchester City last summer, having scored 81 goals in 88 appearances for the club since August 2022.

However, Manchester United legend Roy Keane was incredibly critical of the Norweigan international following City’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Sunday, claiming that the striker looks like a League Two player with his general football player.

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“The levels of his general play is so poor and not just today,” Keane told Sky Sports on Sunday evening.

“I think laying stuff off, headers, whatever it might be. In terms of in front of goal, he’s the best in the world.

“But his general play for such a player is so poor. Not just today, he has to improve. He’s almost like a League Two player, that’s how I look at him. His general play, it has to improve and it will do over the next few years.”

Speaking in his most recent press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Guardiola replied to Keane’s comments.

“I’m not agreeing with him, absolutely not. It’s like he said, ‘he’s a manager for the second or third league’, I don’t think so,” the Spaniard said.

“He is 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 enough chances is not from Erling. We need more presence in the final third with more people.

“We played an exceptional game. I reviewed the game against Arsenal, but we missed more people in the final third.

“Maybe for the quality and different skillset we have, but Erling is exceptional.

Speaking further, Guardiola addressed the fact that Haaland only has one goal in six games against the top six, which was against Manchester United.

“[It’s] football. It happens. Some actions he misses, sometimes a lack of supply, sometimes it’s on the manager, sometimes the opponent is really good, sometimes for many, many reasons.

“Sometimes, when you have success or you don’t have success, there are many reasons. In football, there is not just one reason. There are many. It’s a team of sport, it’s not individual like Golf or Tennis or the other ones.”