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Pep Guardiola defends Erling Haaland after Roy Keane criticism

Pep Guardiola defends Erling Haaland after Roy Keane criticism

Pep Guardiola has defended Erling Haaland after Roy Keane criticised the striker.

The Sky Sports pundit slammed the forward's "general play" following Manchester City's goalless draw with Arsenal last weekend and said it was at the level of a "League Two player" but Guardiola still considers his marksman to be the best centre forward on the planet.

Guardiola said of Keane's remarks: "I don't agree with him, absolutely not. He's the best striker in the world.

"He helped us win last season and the reason why we didn't create many answers from Erling is we need more presence in the final third with more people.

"We played an exceptional game, I reviewed the game against Arsenal but we just missed more people in the final third. The quality and different skillset we have, Haaland is exceptional."

The City boss added: "Some actions he missed, sometimes it's the managers, sometimes the opponent is really good, there are many many reasons.

"In football there is not just one reason, sometimes where you have success or you don't have success, there are many reasons, it's football, it's a team sport."

Guardiola admits that he was shocked by Keane's comments, particularly as they came from a former Premier League player.

He said: "I'm surprised this came from a former player. From journalists, I can understand, never been on the pitch but former players is always a surprise. It's like the referees when they retire they criticise the referees.

"How difficult is that business for the players? It always surprises me. Their memory disappears quickly. The problems the players have, they had. They missed a thousand, million times and they were hurt when they were criticised by the former players."

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