THE SHARPE END: Call this a slow start for Erling Haaland? Man City’s talisman may be a little more human than machine this year but he is still on course to better last season’s goal haul
- Erling Haaland had 17 goals by this point last season – now he has netted 11
- But he has racked up a similar number of big chances and Expected Goals
- He was a machine last season but this campaign, he is a little more human
No goals in three of his past five Premier League games. Did not have a shot against Arsenal. Fantasy Football managers dumping him from their teams. Pep Guardiola losing sleep not so long ago over his form.
And yet there sits Erling Haaland at the top of the scoring charts with 11 goals from 11 games ahead of a game at Chelsea.
So, why the narrative? The Norwegian is a prisoner of his own achievements in his scintillating first season – but even more from his ridiculously fast start then.
Haaland had 17 goals by this point. Now he has 11.
Yet across the start of both campaigns, he has racked up a similar number of big chances and Expected Goals.
Erling Haaland had 17 goals by this point last season but this campaign, he has netted 11
The striker has become a prisoner of his own achievements from his first year with Man City
In fact, this season his xG is a smidge higher at this stage, even if he has had far fewer touches in the box.
Last season, especially at the start, he was a machine. This season, he is a bit more human.
Yet even though he has missed chances and could easily have been closing in on 20 goals already, his overall conversion rate is not too much lower than his average across the whole of last season.
So, yes, he has been quieter. But, no, it is not a problem.
And, yes, everyone else should still be afraid. Very afraid.
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