Peter Crouch: Haaland’s maturity is crucial to his goalscoring exploits

Peter Crouch on why maturity at a young age sets Erling Haalnd apart.

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Stopping Erling Haaland is something that seems virtually impossible at the moment, he’s scoring in every single game.

I don’t think anyone in the world can contain Man City, I think you need a bit of luck against them. Yes, you can still be defensive, but they’ll still break you down, and create chances.

It just looks like he’s running over people.

With City’s creativity, I think a lot of the time he doesn’t even need to touch the ball outside of the box, he just needs to focus on being in the box and there’s players there that will pick the right pass, like Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish.

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Sometimes it’s just the case of not getting frustrated, not worrying about the rest of play and just being there when it drops and that’s what he seems to be so good at.

That was probably something I was criticised for early in my career. I didn’t score enough goals but I was involved in so much of the play, it’s something that you learn with time.

It’s something that only came to me later in my career – he seems to have that already.

Concentrating on his own job

I would always try and go deeper to get the ball, but then you realise that you’re more effective when you’re putting the ball in the back of the net and not getting involved.

There’s other players, especially at City, who can do the other stuff.

It’s difficult at times. It is difficult, because you can get frustrated because you might be thinking ‘Oh I’m not involved, I’m not involved.’

But then you get that one chance in space, it’s game over. That’s what you’re there for.

It’s rewarding when you realise. For me, I realised that I was doing less work and getting more rewards out of it. That’s when it finally clicked.

The Manchester Derby

I think United have done well and have improved. I like Lisandro Martinez as well, he’s done well, I just can’t see Haaland not scoring.

I think because Manchester United play a counter-attacking game, I feel like they could score, and I think it could be a tight game for a long time.

But, I think on the hour mark, but I think once they get two, they’ll get three. 

Could Haaland get all three for City? I wouldn’t bet against it.

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