Unique Erling Haaland is Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney & Ronaldo combined. Gary Neville believes that Manchester City center-forward Erling Haaland is a mix of Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, and Ronaldo in their pomp, calling him “truly unique.” Haaland’s second season at Manchester City could be even better than his first, according to Pep Guardiola. Haaland is near the precarious edge of setting another single-season Chief Association goalscoring record after a hair-raising first mission at the Etihad Arena. In Sunday’s victory over Fulham, the prolific Norwegian scored his 50th goal overall and 34th goal of the champions’ 2022-23 league season.
Unique Erling Haaland is Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney & Ronaldo combined
That brought him into line with Andy Cole and Alan Shearer, who hold the record in the same competition. With six games remaining, beginning with West Ham’s visit on Wednesday, the 22-year-old appears certain to set a formidable new record.
“We have become accustomed to watching Manchester City over the last few years and talking about the passing, possession, the brilliance of it”.
“But if you ever asked me who I would rather watch out of the two teams, I would rather have watched Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.
“But I love this version of Manchester City more than any other of the Pep Guardiola teams over the last four or five years. And that’s because of Haaland.
“He is a battering ram of a center-forward with a brilliant finish and is something really special. If you are watching him play, you are watching something unique. It’s the same with Kevin De Bruyne, he is unique. But Haaland is truly unique.
“He’s a player that very rarely graces this league, they are normally at Barcelona or Real Madrid. In time gone by, maybe they would be at PSG. But very rarely do we have a player who would be considered in the top couple in the world as they arrive.
“We normally have players who emerge into that after signing in this league. It is usually that those players would then go into those aforementioned clubs. But Haaland is a world star, who has come as a world star and is performing like a world star.
“Haaland has got the finishing of Harry Kane, the power of Wayne Rooney, he is unbelievable. Even the Brazilian Ronaldo, the power that he had when he ran, the explosion off the mark. Haaland is like four players in one.
“During the season, many questioned and I was one of them: Does Pep actually like having a player like that? At times it has looked a little bit dysfunctional from how Pep likes to play.
“But it looks like that harmony is coming at the right point in the season where those moments where he delivers contribute so much more than when they had the perfection of everybody else that played.”
At the point when City beat Stockpile at the Emirates Arena in February, everyone anticipated that Guardiola’s group should take off with the title from that point.
But City immediately drew with Nottingham Forest to give Arsenal the initiative back. Neville believes that the 1-1 draw at the City Ground three months ago was a wake-up call for City, but the reigning champions avoided such a defeat on Sunday against Fulham.
“I saw Ilkay Gundogan’s interview over the weekend and it really resonated with me,” he said. “He said the Nottingham Forest game woke them up and I get that.
“There’s a game where you go: ‘That’s enough now, enough of that rubbish. Conceding against one of the bottom teams in the league with two minutes to go?’ Well done to Nottingham Forest but that’s not what you do if you’re at the top of the league.
“That was the last game where Pep Guardiola was rotating and fidgeting around with his back four. Instead, it’s got really serious and they’ve had to switch on.
“That resonates with me. Sir Alex Ferguson was a rotator and would trust the squad but then he’d say: ‘Right this is it, we want seriousness and concentration’. And you’d really start to get serious. That’s what they’ve done: Manchester City have gotten serious about their work and Arsenal have wobbled.”
Mikel Arteta insisted that he would not let his players’ heads drop after his Arsenal team’s victory over Chelsea brought them back to the top of the Premier League table. Last month, the Gunners led Manchester City by eight points, but they fell behind Manchester City after a four-game losing streak that ended with a convincing 3-1 victory over the beleaguered Blues.