Keane slammed for ‘ridiculous’ Haaland claim

Roy Keane has been blasted for branding Erling Haaland a ‘League Two player’ following Manchester City’s draw with Arsenal.

Haaland is once again the Premier League’s leading scorer, having won the Golden Boot last season. But he was kept quiet by Gunners centre-backs Gabriel and William Saliba at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Norwegian’s performance drew fierce criticism from Keane, who took aim at the striker’s all-round game. But former Premier League title winner Chris Sutton has hit back at the Manchester United legend.

He insisted that the Irishman was being ‘ridiculous’ by being so negative about Haaland. Instead, Sutton urged City’s other attacking players to step up and offer their star striker more support.

“I thought some of the criticism of Manchester City striker Erling Haaland after Sunday’s draw with Arsenal was well over the top. It is not Haaland’s fault City did not create enough opportunities for him,” Sutton told BBC Sport.

“It is down to players such as Kevin de Bruyne, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva to make those chances. To compare Haaland to a League Two player, which is how Roy Keane described him on Sky, is just ridiculous.

“It doesn’t matter who gets the goals against Aston Villa, but City cannot allow the gap to leaders Liverpool to get any bigger than three points.”

Keane was scathing in his criticism of the City star, who failed to have a shot on target against Arsenal. The Irishman insisted that Haaland’s struggles were not just a one-off and had been a long-term trend.

“The level of his general play is so poor – not just today. He’s laying stuff off, headers or whatever it might be. In front of goal he’s the best in the world but for his general play for such a player, it is so poor,” he told Sky Sports.

“Not just today. He has to improve that. He’s almost like a League Two player — that’s the way I look at him. His general play has to improve. It will do over the next few years. Brilliant striker but he has to prove his overall game. Has to.

“City are used to these challenges — that’s not what we saw today. When you’re coming up against teams that sit in, that’s when you need that quality. The easiest part of football sometimes is defending, you’re just sliding across and filling spaces.

“That’s when you need your precise moments and quality. People like Foden, De Bruyne, Haaland, who were just off it. Yes, we give credit to Arsenal, but watching City at the start of the game you could tell these top players, they’re not quite at it.” — Mirror.

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