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Guardiola responds to Carragher’s Haaland ‘wrong club’ claim

Guardiola responds to Carragher’s Haaland ‘wrong club’ claim

Pep Guardiola considers himself fortunate to have Erling Haaland, a prolific goal scorer, on his team.

The Manchester City manager is not only grateful for the number of goals Haaland has scored but also that the Norwegian decided to join the Premier League champions.

Haaland, who scored his 26th Premier League goal of the season in the crucial win against title rivals Arsenal, has equaled Sergio Aguero’s club record.

Recently, football pundit Jamie Carragher’s comment that Haaland “wasn’t the perfect fit” for City raised eyebrows.

Pep Guardiola acknowledges that Jamie Carragher is entitled to his opinion, but he insists that everyone at Manchester City is satisfied with Erling Haaland’s performance up to this point.

“I understand it,” he said. “I am open to all opinions. He has his argument but it is important that he feels so happy here.

“His commitment – not because he’s scored 26 goals – is incredibly well respected. It was a surprise for all of us – a really big surprise.

“We didn’t know him. We knew his stats, his numbers when he played in Dortmund, but we are – all of us – really surprised.

“We are delighted to have him and we are delighted he chose us because he had all the world in his hands to choose where he was going to play – to stay in Dortmund or go to Madrid or Barcelona or other teams in England, but he chose us and that is why we are more than happy.”

Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal has put them back on top of the Premier League table, albeit on goal difference.

Momentum appears to be shifting towards City, particularly as Arsenal, who led by eight points last month, have failed to win any of their last three games.

However, the London club still has a game in hand, and Guardiola, who is preparing to take his team to face Nottingham Forest on Saturday, anticipates that they will recover.

He said: “Right now we could be 10 or 12 points behind. We are a bit lucky.

“We won but we felt how strong they are. We cannot be confused. Just because in the last games they didn’t win, I don’t have the feeling they don’t follow (manager) Mikel (Arteta) or are disappointed at the lack of results.

“Still they are alive and will be alive until the end of the season.”

Pep Guardiola has tried to clarify that he was not dissatisfied with Bernardo Silva’s performance at left-back during the match against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The Portuguese midfielder was playing in an unfamiliar position in the first half before Guardiola made changes to what he later described as “horrible” tactics.

Guardiola asserts that he was referring to his formation selection, not his team selection, and that he did not have any issues with Silva’s performance.

He said: “I said the general aspect of how to figure out the game didn’t work, not because Bernardo played at left-back. I didn’t say that.”

Ilkay Gundogan, the midfielder who notably scored twice in Manchester City’s victory over Aston Villa on the last day of the previous season to secure the title, is out of contract this summer.

Guardiola responds to Carragher’s Haaland ‘wrong club’ claim

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