David Moyes set to take on ‘super coach’ Guardiola and ‘machine’ Erling Haaland
David Moyes compared Erling Haaland to a machine as West Ham prepare to keep Manchester City’s record-levelling striker at bay on Wednesday in the Premier League.
Haaland’s opener in City’s win over Fulham on Sunday marked his 50th goal in all competitions – a record-equalling 34 of them have come in the Premier League.
Moyes talked up the striker’s explosive debut top-flight season and admitted his physical and technical attributes make him unplayable for defenders.
“It has taken them time to get used to Haaland just like we are with a few of our players…they have needed to get used to his goals because he provides those like a machine,” Moyes said.
“You are maybe hoping he has a weakness, that he cannot run or he is not good in the air, or his touch is not good but, he is all-round, and surrounded by team-mates who can provide him with balls in the air, balls through the middle, cut-backs for finishes, he can finish with his left, right.”
“He’s the icing on the cake for them. I think they’ve got so many good players who can create chances, he’s such a good finisher and if you get him in those right positions he’s capable of scoring.”
The West Ham boss attributed parts of Haaland’s success to City manager Pep Guardiola, who has lost just once to Moyes in 13 meetings during his career.
A win on Wednesday would keep the prospect of a historic treble-winning season alive – City play Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League before taking a trip to Wembley in the FA Cup final against rivals Manchester United.
“I think he’s a super coach (Guardiola) who has got really good players, but I think he’s also made those players better and when you make players better that says something about him,” Moyes added.
“Wherever he’s been, he’s been incredibly successful and managed all the big clubs. You don’t get the big jobs if you’re not good, he’s very, very good.
“Pep, tactically, is fantastic. They have also had an awful lot of money to get the best players. You cannot take that away, but the praise could be big enough because of the way he is changing football.”
Moyes insisted pressure has mounted on both clubs with City leading the title race and West Ham four points clear of danger. He believes City’s ‘cannot afford to drop points’ mentality will make them more potent than usual.
The Scot explained: “It makes them a difficult opponent (City having the title to play for), there’s a lot of pressure for the teams at the bottom of the league but there’s incredible pressure for the teams at the top of the league.
“When you’re one of the top clubs your job is to win all the games and when you have got so much at stake, every game you’re needing to win so that’s pressure, pressure for Manchester City as well.”