Norwegian striker has scored incredible 27 goals already, but Blues are struggling compared to previous seasons
Manchester City is struggling. Pep Guardiola already checked off the championship halfway through the season. Are the Skyblues in a crisis of form? And what part does Erling Haaland play in this? Dietmar Hamann believes Man City are worse with the Norwegian - no matter how many goals he scores. Stupid thesis or has Hamann hit a sore spot?
Not even half of the Premier League season has been played - and Pep Guardiola has already written off defending the title.
"The Premier League and the Carabao Cup don't interest me. We can't win it. We've won it many times, so it's not a problem," said the star coach after the 2-1 defeat in the Manchester derby against Man United, at which sportsbetting fans could take part with special promotions like a 888sport sign up offer.
Since Pep Guardiola took over the Skyblues in 2016, Man City have won the league and cup four times. After 18 games this season, the Cityzens are already eight points behind leaders Arsenal. Guardiola has therefore – at least he says so publicly – ticked off the championship. In any case, the greater focus in the blue part of Manchester seems to be on the premier class. Winning the Champions League has been the club's biggest dream for years. And would make Guardiola's term complete.
Erling Haaland should help with this. When Man City lost the Norwegian from Dortmund in the summer, many saw the goal scorer as the missing piece of the puzzle on the way to winning the handle pot. And Haaland has not disappointed the hopes so far: In 24 competitive games for the Skyblues, the 22-year-old scored an incredible 27 goals and three assists.
However, part of the truth is that City stumbled a bit after the World Cup break. In the league, in addition to the bankruptcy at Old Trafford, there was also a draw against Everton, in the League Cup they were eliminated by Southampton. City didn't fire a single shot on goal against the Saints - only for the second time under Guardiola.
Hamann's steep thesis: is Man City better off without Haaland?
Because the championship is already a long way off. And probably because the Norwegian has been waiting for a goal for three games while City have lost their offensive power, Didi Hamann allowed himself to be carried away to a steep thesis:
"Man City was a better team without Haaland, even if he scores 40 goals this season," tweeted the former City professional and today's TV expert on Sunday.
It should be the same for almost all football fans: With the first impulse, this Hamann thesis will be dismissed as complete nonsense. But isn't there a grain of truth behind it?
City won the English championship last year without Haaland. The Skyblues acted without a classic center forward and were therefore very variable and difficult to attack. City scored 99 goals in 38 games, which is an average of 2.6 goals per game. With Haaland, this goal average has decreased slightly this season. There are 46 goals after 18 games (2.55 goals per game).