Guardiola tempers Haaland expectations despite record-breaking start

·2-min read

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down the rising expectations on Erling Haaland, citing the post-match reaction to the forward's scoreless debut in the Community Shield against Liverpool.

All eyes were upon the Norwegian in the season opener against Jurgen Klopp's side but Haaland struck a blank, missing a number of opportunities, and it was instead Liverpool's big-money recruit Darwin Nunez who stole the headlines.

The situation has shifted significantly since the start of the Premier League campaign though, with Haaland setting a record by hitting nine goals in his first five appearances in England's top-tier league.

That includes back-to-back hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, allowing City to keep up the chase with early pacesetters Arsenal at the summit of the table.

Expectation upon Haaland has risen as a result, with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher backing him to be one of the best players the Premier League has ever seen despite just being a month into the season.

Asked about those predictions, Guardiola stated he was not able to peer into the future and spoke about his delight at how quickly his new additions have settled.

"I admire all the people that can anticipate what is going to happen in the future, I'm not able to do it," he said in Friday's press conference.

"One month ago it was a disaster because of the Community Shield, now he's going to break absolutely everything. I'm not able to anticipate absolutely everything that is going to happen.

"I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, so to imagine what is going to happen in one, two, three years? We are delighted because he has settled well, not just Erling but all the new players.

"First and foremost, the backroom staff especially, it's so important how they help to adapt, to settle quickly with the new players. It's really good and that's why it is easy, that's why it is the most important thing."

Haaland is not the only new face in City's attack to catch the eye, with Julian Alvarez also impressing in his early appearances, netting a brace in the midweek demolition of Forest, and Guardiola heaped praise upon the Argentine.

"We are more than delighted that the club bought these two fantastic strikers, we're very pleased with Julian," he added.

"He scored one with his right, one with his left foot, both finishes were amazing. The work ethic, it's really good, really good that we have the two of them and in many games they will play together, that's for sure."