After scoring twice in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Leeds United, star striker Erling Haaland wanted more.
“I was at home and a little bit upset not to play in the World Cup,” the tall Norwegian told TV reporters after the game.
“Seeing other people scoring goals to win games at the World Cup triggers, motivates and irritates me. i am ready.”
It wasn’t just his missing out on action in Qatar as his national team failed to qualify that infuriated the forward – his performance in his first match back in the Premier League made him It irritated me.
“I could have scored five, that’s the truth,” he added. […] But for me as a striker, I could have scored a few more points. That’s life, you have to practice more.”
His manager, Pep Guardiola, has agreed Haaland can improve after sustaining a minor injury during the World Cup break.
“He’s not at his best yet, like he was at the beginning of the season,” said the Manchester City manager.
“It’s not going to be easy for him to work his huge body, but the more time he can play, the better he’ll get,” he added. [the chance he had and missed] 1 minute into the Liverpool game [in the previous game]And today’s match against Leeds, 2 minutes, it’s a goal.
“These details are a little [less] Sharp,” Coach added.
Having already ruined many Premier League records, the prospect of Haaland getting even more sober is terrifying.
Brace against Leeds United took his domestic goals tally to 20 this season in just 14 appearances.
This is the fastest record reached by any player in the history of the division, seven games faster than previous record holder Kevin Phillips and 12 faster than Ruud van Nistelrooy and Diego Costa. .
If Haaland stays in shape and improves as Pep Guardiola wants, he feels inevitable claiming many records.
This begs the question – is the Premier League all it’s cracking down on?
Few expected Haaland to score like he did in Norway, Austria and Germany when he moved into the self-proclaimed ‘best league in the world’, but he easily replicated his incredible stats. .
It would be wrong to suggest that Haaland arrived in Manchester without being one of the most talented strikers in world football.
Chased by almost every elite club, from Real Madrid and Barcelona to Liverpool and Chelsea, his signing was a huge success for Pep Guardiola’s men.
But as soon as he donned the sky-blue jersey, there were suspicions that his immense physical prowess and lightning-like pace would immediately click.
Former Arsenal midfielder-turned-critic Paul Merson was one of several who suggested he would not be given space in the Premier League.
“When you look at Haaland’s goal, there’s a lot of grip. There’s a lot of grass and the pace running on it,” Merson said.
“He’s a very good finisher, but when you go to Manchester City, it’s a completely different game. When you kick off, all 10 players have to stand on the edge of the box to break them down and show your courage. Hmm.”
Media commentators compared Haaland to two other impressive number nines, arguing that City would have been better off taking the risk and pushing again for last summer’s top target Harry Kane. .
“this [was] Lukaku problem. He tore it up at Everton and he tore it up at West Brom. Where teams come and go, he’s a handful. When on the edge of the box, Lukaku has nowhere to go. He wants to fly into space,” he continued, “I would have had Harry Kane with me all day.
Merson’s prediction was wrong, is it because Haaland is so good, or is it because the league isn’t what people say it is?
Exception or uncomfortable truth?
“Farmer’s League” is an insult tossed online against the records of players from divisions outside the traditional Big 3. Spain, Italy and Great Britain are displayed.
Most commonly used to describe French Ligue 1, the phrase derisively refers to the semi-pro division where players are not all full-time professionals and warns of any achievement.
But in most respects Haaland has made the Premier League look like the Farmers League.
Not only has he scored many goals, he has done so against all types of opponents, elite teams and underdogs.
A goals-per-game ratio of 0.5 was considered prolific at the top of English football, but the Norwegian striker made anything below 1.0 look poor.
But before people get too depressed about lowering the Premier League’s standards, it’s important to remember who he’s playing for.
As pointed out earlier, Manchester City are one of the most productive teams on the continent when it comes to creating chances and scoring goals.
Before Haaland joined the club, he played well over 100 in a season with 50-60 appearances.
Even in the games they didn’t score, their expected goals (a metric that quantifies the quality of the chances a team creates) was 2 or more per game.
It would have been difficult for the average striker not to be in at least double figures for the Citizens, and Haaland’s chance conversion stats were among the best in Europe.
A testament to Premier League standards is that his incredible goalscoring doesn’t set Manchester City apart from the rest.
Arsenal, who last won the title 20 years ago, are now five points ahead of City.
Whether this proves the standard’s legitimacy is debatable, but it certainly shows its competitiveness.