Guardiola insists Haaland is not to blame for lack of touches

‘It’s OUR fault. Erling has been impressive all season’: Pep Guardiola insists Haaland is not to blame for his lack of involvement in Man City’s attack – with the striker averaging just TWENTY touches per game this term

  • Erling Haaland has struggled to keep up his impressive goal scoring form of late
  • The Norwegian has averaged approximately 20 touches per game this season
  • Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has urged that the issue is a collective one 

Pep Guardiola urged that Erling Haaland is not to blame for the lack of touches he’s getting in a Manchester City shirt, insisting that the squad must work collectively to solve the issue.

The Norwegian striker is averaging around 20 touches per game in the Premier League this season – and struggled to make an impact during his side’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest last week.

Haaland, who has netted an astonishing 26 league goals since arriving from Borussia Dortmund last summer, has seen his tally dry up by comparison in recent weeks, prompting pundits to question his suitability in a free-flowing Guardiola system. 

But City’s Spanish boss was quick exonerate Haaland of any blame ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.

‘It’s our fault. Not Erling. Erling has been impressive all season,’ he said during his press conference on Friday.

Erling Haaland has struggled to keep up his impressive goal scoring form for Man City of late

Pep Guardiola urged that Haaland’s lack of involvement is a collective issue and not his fault

And when asked whether he had studied Haaland’s statistical performance after drawing in Nottingham, the Spaniard added: ‘It’s nothing to do with metrics. I don’t need metrics (to see how many touches he has). 

‘When I finish the game, one second later I know if he was involved or not and who should be more involved or not. I don’t need numbers and metrics, I know exactly.’

Despite netting a scintillating hat-trick against Wolves in January, Haaland has only struck once during his last four league games, which marks his least fruitful spell at the club since joining for £51million last year.

He also failed to find the target away at Red Bull Leipzig during Manchester City’s 1-1 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday. 

Manchester City have now fallen two points behind Arsenal in the Premier League title race

When asked whether his lack of involvement is an issue, Guardiola responded: ‘Yes, of course. But it depends on us, not on him. He moves well.’

Guardiola will want the Norwegian back firing on all cylinders as soon as possible, as the reigning champions chase down a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

City could find themselves five points behind league leaders Arsenal before they play Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, with Mikel Arteta’s side set to face Leicester at the King Power earlier that day.

However, should the Gunners slip up and suffer defeat against Brendan Rodgers’ side, City could reclaim their place at the Premier League’s summit with victory on the south coast. 

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