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Roy Keane doubles down on Erling Haaland League Two criticism and he hasn't held back

Roy Keane doubles down on Erling Haaland League Two criticism and he hasn't held back

The former Manchester United midfielder previously said Haaland is 'almost like a League Two player'.

Roy Keane has described Erling Haaland's general play as being similar to "that of a League Two player" in a scathing assessment of the Manchester City forward.

Last month, after he struggled to make an impact against Premier League title contenders Arsenal, Haaland was criticised after City recorded just one attempt on goal.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the full-time whistle, former Manchester United captain Roy Keane quickly turned his attention to the Norway international's unusually quiet performance.

"The levels of his general play are so poor," he said. "Not just today - I think his laying stuff off, headers, whatever it might be. In front of goal, he's the best in the world.

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

Keane's comments sparked plenty of reaction. Pep Guardiola hit back, describing Haaland as "the best striker in the world" who played a pivotal role in their treble-winning campaign.

“I am not agreeing with him," Guardiola said. "It’s like I said: ‘He’s a manager for the second or third league – I don’t think so.’ He’s the best striker in the world and helped us to win what we won last season."

Now, almost two weeks after Arsenal and City's 0-0 draw, and Keane has doubled down on his views.

Speaking on the Stick To Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, the former Republic of Ireland midfielder went on to "guarantee" that Guardiola has discussed Haaland's form with his staff.

“I don’t know what the big deal is, I give Erling Haaland praise every week, I give Manchester City praise, and I think he’s an amazing striker. But his general play is that of a League Two player. And I’m glad you are not agreeing with me, I don’t expect people to agree with me," he said.

“His general play, week in, week out is nowhere near good enough. As a goal scorer and a striker, [he is] the best – and I said that. His link-up play, the way he lays the ball off, sometimes the options he gives his teammates or the options he doesn’t give them – as a striker and a goal scorer the best in the world, but his other play is that of a League Two player.

"The game against Arsenal was tough because they did well to contain the whole game, but in general, I don’t think what I said was a big deal."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Keane added: "He’s a young player and he will improve, and I guarantee you that Pep Guardiola sits with his staff on everything and say that he needs to do more, specifically when he’s not getting of chances or loads of goals."

Jamie Carragher, another regular on the podcast, agreed with Keane in some regard.

“Erling Haaland is a great goal scorer, but he’s not a great player and sometimes there is a difference between the two," he said.

“I mean the thing with Haaland is that I don’t think he cares about the other stuff to his game. There was a spell last season where Pep Guardiola was asking him to actually come deeper and get involved in midfield, and he looked a bit awkward, it just doesn’t suit him, and I don’t think he’s interested.

“I think the way Manchester City plays, they’ve got so many players who can do the link up play in Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva, so he doesn’t care about it.

"I remember his performance at Anfield last season where he didn’t get much action in the game, and I think if he doesn’t score, you don’t know if he’s right.”

Featured Image Credit: The Overlap/YouTube - Getty Images

Topics: Roy Keane, Erling Haaland, League Two, Premier League, Manchester City