Pep Guardiola expressed was pleased with Erling Haaland’s attitude after the striker won the Man of the Match award for his performance against West Ham United.
The Norwegian bagged his first Premier League goals at the London Stadium, where a brace saw Manchester City cruise to a 2-0 win.
Haaland broke the deadlock from the penalty spot, coolly sending Alphonse Areola the wrong way after he was fouled by the Hammers’ goalkeeper and he wrapped up the victory with a composed finish to round off a brilliant passing move.
However, the way in which he seized the ball for the penalty showed that there was a certain hunger from the 22-year-old and Guardiola was particularly impressed with the confidence displayed by his new striker.
Haaland is a mentality monster, says Guardiola
Speaking after the game, Guardiola was pleased with Haaland’s attitude and how he silenced his critics after a poor outing in his side’s Community Shield defeat at the hands of Liverpool.
“I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week,” he said at his post-match press conference.
“He was really calm, he trained really well but the way he took the ball for the penalty I said ‘I like it’.
“So direct and I think if someone is taking the ball, he would punch them in the face even though they are his mates!
“And that is a pretty good sign. To be so confident, I like it.”
Speaking about mentality, Haaland himself says he could have easily scored a hat-trick and rued his own missed chances.
“It was a good start. There’s nothing much to say, 2-0, a good start,” he said.
“It’s good to get some minutes in the legs early in the season and we have to keep going.
“It was as expected, we saw it [the attacking potential] against Bayern, Liverpool was a little bit down, but it will come with games. The passes will come. It should have been more today but yeah, an OK start.
“Yeah [I could have had a hat-trick], you saw with Gundo [Ilkay Gundogan] right before I went off, I should have been there so, it’s a bit s*** but that’s how it is.
Haaland is up and running
It is quite evident now that the Community Shield was only a major blip and Haaland is ready to hunt fot goals as usual. The fact that he is yet to hit full stride and is already bagging a brace already tells a lot and we could be in for some eye-catching numbers from the youngster if he continues at this rate.
Haaland is the bookies’ favourite to win the Golden boot and we’ll just have to see if he can live up to that expectation.