Guardiola Compares Haaland's Hunger to Messi After Man City Debut Double

Guardiola Compares Haaland's Hunger to Messi After Man City Debut Double
Head coach Pep Guardiola of Manchester City watches his players competing — Photo by ChinaImages

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Erling Haaland after his two-goal starring display in Sunday’s 2-0 win at West Ham United but says he won’t solve all their problems.

The English champions were criticized last season for lacking a genuine out-and-out striker but Haaland ticks that box, having arrived from Borussia Dortmund in the off-season.

The Norwegian didn’t overly impress in last weekend’s Community Shield defeat to Liverpool but he put that behind him against the Hammers.

Haaland won and netted a 36th minute spotkick, before getting in behind the West Ham defence to slot home on his left in trademark fashion in the 65th minute.

“Erling scoring the two goals, it’s important for him and the team and for us and it’s another weapon we have now,” Guardiola told reporters

“But at the same time he’s not going to solve all our problems, he’s going to add something to us as a team. That’s what we are looking for.

“Today, the two goals they were balls in front the centre of defence and we had the feeling we could find him more.

“In the past we didn’t have a reference like him and now have it again but at the same time the guys have to put the ball there, especially in transitions.”

The Spaniard was full of praise for Haaland’s hunger and determination, which he compared to Lionel Messi.

“That’s good, I like it,” he said. “I was fortunate as manager to be with Messi and when he scored two, he wanted three, and when scored three he wants four.

“The top goal scorers are never satisfied, they are always hungry and starving and want more.”

He added: “I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week. He was really calm, he trained really well but the way he took the ball for the penalty I said ‘I like it’.

“So direct and I think if someone is taking the ball, he would punch them in the face even though they are his mates! And that is a pretty good sign. To be so confident, I like it.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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