Pep Guardiola insists Man City striker Erling Haaland has ‘most difficult job in world’

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Pep Guardiola said Erling Haaland has the hardest job in the world after Manchester City’s new striker had just eight touches of the ball on his home debut.

The Norwegian got an assist on his first appearance for City at the Etihad Stadium as he set up the opening goal in City’s 4-0 win over Bournemouth, which was scored by Ilkay Gundogan, but only completed one other pass, and that was from a kick-off.

Bournemouth played a 5-4-1 formation, with two defensive midfielders also helping to crowd around Haaland, and Guardiola said his side struggled to pick out the summer signing – though he is confident they will in time.

He said: “The most difficult job in the world is when you are in a striker and defenders defend in areas like Bournemouth; they have three central defenders and two players in front and everyone in the middle. How can you survive like that? It’s so difficult.

“We will find many of these situations, but it is a question of time: the right moment, the right tempo, the right movement. But the quality of players we have behind him, to assist him, we will find him. I have no doubt about that.”

 (David Blunsden/Action Plus/Shutterstock)
(David Blunsden/Action Plus/Shutterstock)

Kevin de Bruyne scored City’s second goal and created the third, for Phil Foden, after having the most prolific season of his career last year and Guardiola believes he is savouring a change in his role.

He added: “Kevin before last season was just assist, assist and now he is enjoying scoring goals. It is important for us [that] not just Julian [Alvarez] and Erling get the goals.”

Guardiola deflected praise for De Bruyne’s performance, explaining: “When I was in Munich he played in Wolfsburg and I think he was the best player in the Bundesliga. Kevin was a really good player before our arrival, was good with us and will be after us.”