Pep Guardiola has disregarded claims that he should be concerned about the number of big chances Erling Haaland has missed for Manchester City this season. The Manchester City manager claims anyone who says the prolific Norwegian has become wasteful will be proved wrong – and forced to apologize – soon enough.
“I will not sleep tonight,” Guardiola joked when asked about Haaland’s conversion rate. “He has had incredible chances and he could have scored 14-15 goals and it would be the same debate, but what is important is what he always said: ‘I have the chance, I have the chance, I have the chance. The problem is when I do not have chances, or I do not get balls or I am in the wrong position.”
🔵 Guardiola: “My advice on Erling Haaland is: not to criticise him much”.
“Criticise full-backs, central defenders, the manager, but never ever the striker who is scoring all the goals”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 23, 2023
Guardiola has emphasized the fact that the media should not criticize Erling too much. He is not worried if the media criticizes the full-backs, the central defender, or the manager himself. But criticizing the striker, who has scored all those goals is intolerable for him because the striker would surely go on to score and then the media will have to apologize.
Erling Haaland for #ManCity in all competitions:
👕 Games 62
⚽️ Goals 60
🅰️ Assists 11
Directly involved in 71 goals in 62 appearances! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Jd2CuqxJz6
— City Chief (@City_Chief) September 23, 2023
Guardiola conceded Haaland was not fully fit at the start of the season, but that is not unexpected after last year’s exertions. “No, he was not fully fit. It is quite simple but in the pre-season, I cannot expect him to be fully fit,” he said.
Pep Guardiola’s advice on handling a prolific striker like Erling Haaland is spot on. Recognizing the importance of supporting and encouraging goal-scorers rather than criticizing them is essential for maintaining their confidence and motivation. It has been hailed as a great perspective for a successful team dynamic
Erling Haaland’s conversion rate drops
Haaland scored 52 goals in an extraordinary debut campaign last season as City powered to the treble. Haaland’s unreal goal-scoring and aerial abilities led him to be compared with a ‘robot’. The Norwegian striker has already netted eight times in six appearances this Premier League.
Erling Haaland already has eight Premier League goals this season 👑 pic.twitter.com/M9InJkcy7q
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 23, 2023
Yet analysis shows he has missed 12 ‘big chances’ this term, nine of them being in his last two outings against West Ham and Red Star Belgrade. After eight games last season, he had scored 12 goals, with eight ‘big chances’ missed.
Haaland’s conversion rate has dropped significantly compared with the same point last season. In his first eight games for the club, he took 60% of his big chances, scoring 12 goals, whereas this season the statistic has dropped to 29%. Before the start of this season, Haaland’s 44 Premier League goals have come from 154 shots. That’s a shot conversion rate of 28.6%.
⚽ Goals in the Premier League since the start of last season:
🇳🇴 Erling Haaland: 44
🔵 Chelsea: 43
🍒 Bournemouth: 42
🔵 Everton: 36
🐺 Wolves: 36 pic.twitter.com/otnXwTg0wh
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) September 23, 2023
The main reason behind Haaland’s drop in conversion rate could be the injury of Kevin De Bruyne. In last year’s Treble-winning Manchester City setup, Haaland was the target man and De Bruyne used to feast him with goal-scoring passes. But with his injury, it was speculated that Haaland would face problems scoring goals and it came out true.