Erling Haaland’s recent scoring slump has been acknowledged by Pep Guardiola, who is eager to tackle the issue of putting both the striker and his Manchester City team back on track.
Haaland has gone three games without scoring, which is the longest scoring drought he has experienced since moving to City from Borussia Dortmund before the 2022–23 season.
He broke numerous records while scoring 27 goals in his first 21 games, but he was unable to register a shot against Chelsea, Southampton, or Manchester United.
Guardiola claims it is his responsibility to make sure the talented striker is being supported by his teammates rather than focusing on what Haaland is doing incorrectly all of a sudden.
“We have our game, we have our principles but the way we played in last two games didn’t help Erling to score,” Guardiola said.
“In the build-up you can be wider, but in the final third you have to have players in the middle. If Erling is not there, we are not going to score goals.
“In the past we have always had incredible movements in the final third, in the small spaces. Now, in the last two games, we haven’t had it.
“I would say it was my fault. I didn’t make them understand the way we have to attack. We need runners, not just Erling.
“If we had just Erling he would be controlled by two or three central defenders. We need more players in those positions, definitely. We have done it. We have to do it more often.”
In three years with Dortmund and City, Haaland has only ever gone more than three league games without scoring—a stretch of five games in March and April of last season.
The 22-year-small old’s decline in form has occurred at the same time as City has had a difficult stretch, losing two straight games before playing Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday.
Arsenal is eight points ahead of City, who must win to avoid going three home league games without a victory for the first time since December 2016.
“I prefer to be eight points in front but I like to handle this situation, I love it,” Guardiola added. “I have to find something to make the team better. I’m the man responsible.
“When the players don’t play good, if they don’t have the desire to do it, it is because something is wrong in my decisions. We have to find it.
“People don’t think about the memories, how good we were. When I die, people will talk about how good Pep was. That’s for sure.
“But since we are here, people expect us to perform well, win the games and try to find the way. Otherwise – Pep out.
“This is how our jobs work – and I want Pep in! I want to stay here, this is what I want, and for that we have to win games and be there in all the competitions