Pep Guardiola commented that Erling Haaland’s demeanor during the first half of Manchester City’s victory against Everton was “unfavorable.” The manager believes that even when not scoring, the No 9 should maintain a positive attitude.
Haaland did not score in the first half on Saturday, but in the 71st and 85th minutes, he scored the decisive goals for his team. This was his first time scoring in his third game back after being sidelined for two months due to a foot injury.
Guardiola stated that these two objectives will greatly aid the player in clearing his mind. He noted that the player’s body language in the first half was not positive, but improved significantly in the second half. The player’s mood also changes when he scores a goal, resulting in better performance and more movement.
It is important for him to understand that if he does not score, he needs to display appropriate body language. He must maintain a positive attitude and remind himself that the goals will eventually come.
Haaland, who is anticipated to begin in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 against Copenhagen on Tuesday, has scored 21 goals in 25 games across all competitions so far this season. Guardiola is not worried about the long-term performance of the Norwegian.
“It may seem like I am specifically criticizing Erling, but my comments were intended for the team as a whole. Can you tell me how many games Erling has played and how many goals he has scored? His body language is not a concern. As a young player, Erling is facing challenging circumstances on the field, often with very little space due to being surrounded by four or five opponents. In the first half, we did not have players with the exceptional ability to supply him with passes, such as Kevin De Bruyne who came on later.”
Due to his young age, he must maintain a positive attitude in the moment. Even though he celebrated when he scored a goal, it’s not necessary for him to score because he contributes in many other ways. He is a strong competitor who is determined to score goals, but he should also try to remain calm. It’s alright if we don’t score today or if he doesn’t score within the next 10 minutes, but he should always strive to push the team forward despite any challenges they may face.
Copenhagen have not played for two months due to the Danish winter break yet Guardiola still expects a difficult night. “There will be moments when we suffer. In these moments will we be sad and depressed or will we react?” he said. “We have to understand that [for] the opponents every player has a mama and a papa so they deserve to play good.”