The Great Haaland Mystery: Defence Prove Resilient As Man City Striker Goes Six Games Without Scoring
Despite his impressive scoring record, Erling Haaland’s recent performances have become a cause for concern. While the Norwegian striker has had some quieter days this season, his recent lack of goals is particularly worrisome given his high scoring rate in the past.
Haaland has gone without scoring in six of his last eight matches, which is unusual for the prolific centre-forward. Since his hat-trick against Wolves in late January, he has only managed to score two goals and provide two assists, marking his worst run of form since joining Manchester City.
Jushjush.com takes a look at what could be the cause of Halaand’s drought.
Fewer Shots = fewer goals
The importance of taking shots to score goals is a well-known fact in football. Erling Haaland’s recent goal drought is not the only concern for Manchester City fans – his declining number of shots is also a worrying trend.
In his last eight matches, Haaland has taken only 14 shots, with just three of them hitting the target. In the recent game against Newcastle, he only had two attempts, both of which missed the target. In the defeat to Tottenham, he did not even manage a single shot on goal.
This is a stark contrast to his previous eight games, including the hat-trick against Wolves, in which he took 25 shots, scoring eight goals – including eight shots against Leeds.
However, it appears that Premier League defences are starting to figure out how to limit his effectiveness on the pitch. One way to do this is to prevent Haaland from getting into the box as much as possible. In recent matches, Newcastle allowed him just one attempt in the box, while Tottenham did not give him a single touch in the area.
Haaland is at his deadliest against teams that play a high line and attack frequently. His quick reaction skills mean that he can take advantage of balls pumped into the box. However, when teams sit back and prevent him from running behind them while keeping him away from their box, they can limit his impact on the game.
Manchester City is not currently performing at their full potential.
Haaland’s dip in form has coincided with a relative drop in performance from City, with several players not performing at their usual high standards. Kevin De Bruyne has been underperforming in a number of games, while Phil Foden has struggled since the World Cup. The departure of creative player Joao Cancelo on loan has also been a setback for the team.
Although Haaland has an opportunity to rediscover his form against Crystal Palace on Saturday evening, the coming weeks will reveal whether his recent dip in performance is a temporary slump or a more worrying trend.