'We'll never see Erling Haaland at his best' - Jamie Carragher doubles down on 'wrong club' claim by saying striker will never be a perfect fit under Pep Guardiola
- Carragher doubles down on Haaland claim
- Says striker will never thrive under Guardiola
- City set to face Arsenal in vital match
WHAT HAPPENED? Haaland has dominated the Premier League this season, giving Man City the fearsome goalscorer that they had lacked since Sergio Aguero's departure. However, Carragher said on Sky Sports that he believes that the Norwegian may have made the wrong decision by joining the Citizens, a club that may not provide the best fit stylistically.
The ex-Liverpool star's claim was quickly rubbished by City star Ilkay Gundogan, but Carragher has explained his logic, even if he understands it may be an unpopular opinion.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I'll be honest, when he first went to Manchester City, I thought this would happen, that it wasn't the perfect fit," Carragher told GOAL. "I think it's the way Pep Guardiola plays football, and Thierry Henry on our show speaks about this a lot, but you have to adapt to him, and he always says how difficult he found his first season when he was playing left wing.
"I've watched him and Haaland, especially away from home, probably four or five times now for Manchester City when I've been commentating and, when you're in that position, you can see the whole pitch and you can how frustrated he's getting at times when he's not getting the ball delivered, and I don't think that was ever going to be delivered because that's not the way Pep Guardiola plays football. He speaks a lot about passing, building up the pitch, getting his whole team towards the opposition, but I think Haaland wants the ball quicker."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Carragher understands that his viewpoint opens him up for criticism, especially considering Haaland's goal record. The Norway star has already scored 31 goals in just 29 games for Manchester City, with 25 of those goals coming in 21 Premier League matches.
Carragher, though, says it's about a lot more than goals as he would like to see Haaland unleashed stylistically, not just statistically.
"People will look at his goal record and send that to me but I think any striker would get 30 goals a season, any decent good striker," said Carragher, who is working as an analyst for CBS Sports/Paramount+ as part of their coverage for the UEFA Champions League.
"Haaland is obviously a special striker so he may get 40, but I think any striker worth his salt would get 30-plus goals for Manchester City because of the way they play. The ball comes across the six-yard box and you put the ball in but I've always felt there's so much more to Haaland's game than that.
"Even when we used to watch him at Dortmund and the Bundesliga, it is a different league and they played more on a counter-attack and run end to end and you see him in full flow and the speed of it is just absolutely frightening but we don't get to see that because of the team he is playing for. I don't think it's really a criticism of Man City or Haaland. It's just not the perfect fit. I don't think we'll ever see Haaland that is his 100% best showing every attribute he's got in a Manchester City team just because of the way Pep Guardiola plays football."
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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY? Haaland and Co. face Arsenal on Wednesday in a clash of the Premier League's two frontrunners, with City able to leapfrog the Gunners in top spot with a win. However, the Golden Boot shoo-in's fitness remains up in the air after being forced off at half time during his side's win over Aston Villa.