Arteta wins monthly Premier League award after leading Arsenal to top of table
Pep Guardiola has said Manchester City don’t have ‘to add much’ to Erling Haaland’s game following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, describing the in-form Norwegian as an ‘outstanding striker’.
Haaland won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award for August on Friday, after scoring an incredible nine goals in his first calendar month in the competition.
The Norwegian continued his goalscoring exploits in September, beating Sevilla with a Champions League brace before haunting his former club Dortmund with a spectacular acrobatic finish as City beat the German side on Wednesday.
After scoring in City’s last Premier League outing at Aston Villa, Haaland could become the first player in the competition’s history to score in each of his first four away appearances when he comes on line. at Wolves on Saturday.
When asked if 22-year-old Haaland is already the perfect striker, Guardiola replied: “He’s an exceptional striker, I’ve said that many times.
“But the age he is, I think his ambition is that he wants to be better, and he will get better. He’s a perfect person, a nice guy, that’s the most important thing.
“With the quality he had before coming here, he just kept doing what he did. We didn’t add much.”
Since losing both of their league meetings with Wolves in the 2019-20 season, City have won each of the teams’ last four head-to-head matches by an aggregate score of 13-3.
Although Wolves have managed just one win in their first six games this campaign, Guardiola is impressed with Bruno Lage’s attempts to move them towards a more possession-based style of play and expects to a difficult challenge.
“It’s a completely different team than in previous seasons, they played five behind with [Conor] Coady, now they decide to play four” Guardiola said.
“I’m really impressed with the way they play, their position in the table is because football is unpredictable and sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. They have lots and lots of good stuff.
“They are one of the toughest opponents we have faced in recent seasons, and tomorrow will be no exception. We have had less recovery, so we have to be mentally prepared. Otherwise it will be difficult.
“Give credit because what I’ve seen is completely different from previous seasons, [they would] sit down, fight back, make that transition with Adama [Traore], [Pedro] Neto.
“They still have that, but they’ve added a completely different approach to the past. I have great respect for Wolves for what’s happened in the past, but especially now for what they’re trying to do.”
City could be the first team to face Diego Costa since returning to the Premier League, with Lage revealing on Friday he hoped to have the former Chelsea striker available.
Asked about the fiery striker’s potential presence, Guardiola said: “Diego Costa has had an incredible career here and in Spain, we know his quality. We will adapt in case he plays.”
Guardiola has refused to be drawn into the debate surrounding a possible Premier League All-Star Game, the idea which was suggested by Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly this week.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says fans wouldn’t want to see this particular addition, but Guardiola wouldn’t join him in criticizing the idea.
“I don’t have an opinion, not at all,” Guardiola said. “If they give me the dates they will play, that should be nice. But I don’t have an opinion.”