Roy Keane pans ‘delicate’ Man City after Haaland criticism backlash | Football

The pundit was criticised by Pep Guardiola over his comments (Pictures: The Overlap / Getty)

Roy Keane has accused Manchester City and Pep Guardiola of being ‘delicate’ over the response to his criticism of Erling Haaland, in which he likened the forward to a ‘League Two player’.

The Norwegian striker, who leads the Premier League’s goal charts, had a difficult afternoon in Sunday’s title clash against Arsenal and was marked out of the match by William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Keane was extremely unforgiving afterwards, saying: ‘In front of goal he is the best in the world but his general play for such a player is so poor.

‘He is almost like a League Two player. He’s a brilliant striker but he has to improve his all-round game.’

But Guardiola was not willing to accept the criticism aimed at Haaland and even took a swipe back at Keane, saying: ‘It’s like if I said he is a manager for the second or third league.

‘The memory disappears quick. The problems the players have now, the pundits had. The missing of chances, they missed them one thousand million times and they were hurt when they were criticised by former players.’

Keane, though, does not agree with Guardiola’s logic and feels Haaland and City need to swallow their medicine.

Asked about Guardiola responding on Sky Bet’s Stick to Football show, Keane replied: ‘I’d hope so yeah, but that doesn’t mean Pep’s right.

Manchester City forward Erling Haaland

Haaland was an unused sub against Aston Villa on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)

‘Everyone thinks Pep’s right all the time.

‘I’ve watched Man City for the last 10 years I don’t think I’ve ever criticised them once, or any of the players.

‘And then they all get a bit upset, all a bit delicate aren’t they.

‘As if we never got criticised. Did we not get criticised when we were players? And what did we do? [We got on with it].’

He added: ‘When we were playing, we got heavily criticised by people. We wouldn’t have gotten people to ring him up [the press], your agent going, “You’ve been a bit harsh”.

‘You have to get the balance right, you can take the criticism, you don’t have to be pals with somebody.

‘It’s happened to some of us here when you have been critical of a player, clubs get in touch to say, “Can you go easy” or “Give the lad a bit of praise”. You try and be fair to everybody.’

City secured a 4-1 victory against Aston Villa on Wednesday evening with Haaland left on the bench for the match, with the former Dortmund striker likely to come back in for Saturday’s trip to Selhurst Park.

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