‘It’s like if I said he’s a manager for the second or third league’: Pep Guardiola hits back at Roy Keane – and his ‘quickly disappearing memory’ – after his ‘League Two’ jibes at Erling Haaland’s ability

  • Keane claimed Haaland’s overall play was no better than League Two standard
  • The City striker endured a frustrating afternoon in his side’s 0-0 draw against Arsenal
  • Have a day off, Pep! Guardiola’s lecture to Grealish at Etihad pitch was unnecessary, says Ian Ladyman – It all starts

Pep Guardiola singled Roy Keane on Tuesday after the former Manchester United captain described Erling Haaland’s all-round play as reminiscent of a League Two striker.

Manchester City’s top scorer was criticized after Sunday’s goalless draw against Arsenal, with Keane claiming the Norwegian has nothing to offer apart from finishing.

Guardiola defended Haaland by insisting City’s lack of firepower was not his fault.

“I’m surprised it’s coming from former players,” he said.

‘I don’t agree with him, absolutely not. It’s like saying he’s a second- or third-tier manager.

Erling Haaland failed to leave his mark on the match as Man City drew 0-0 against Arsenal

Haaland was taken out of Sunday's match due to Arsenal's aggressive defensive plan

Haaland was taken out of Sunday’s match due to Arsenal’s aggressive defensive plan

Roy Keane (left) slammed the 23-year-old's overall play and demanded he improve

Roy Keane (left) slammed the 23-year-old’s overall play and demanded he improve

‘The memory disappears quickly. The problems the players are having now were experienced by the experts.

‘Missing opportunities, they have missed them billions of times and they are hurt when they are criticized by former players.’

Guardiola, whose side host Aston Villa tonight, said of Haaland: ‘He is the best striker in the world and he helped us win what we won last season.

‘The reason we don’t create many chances is not because of Erling. We need more presence in the last third with more people. Erling is exceptional.’

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