EPL

Walker calls for Haaland patience after City striker struggles at Tottenham

By Sports Desk February 05, 2023

Erling Haaland still needs time to settle into the "unique" Manchester City "process" after suffering an unwanted Premier League first at Tottenham, says team-mate Kyle Walker.

The Norway international has enjoyed a record-breaking start to life in England, scoring 25 goals in the Premier League for Pep Guardiola's champions.

But the former Borussia Dortmund striker was largely a passenger in City's 1-0 defeat at Tottenham on Sunday, failing to register a single attempt on goal in a tepid outing.

Haaland had only 27 touches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with none of those in the box for the first time in the league this season, but Walker dismissed questions around the 22-year-old's struggles.

Right-back Walker told Sky Sports: "It's a process – he's come to Manchester City and it's a difficult team to fit into as the manager demands so much, and the way we play, it's unique.

"Erling has been fantastic. No one says anything when he's scoring goals and winning. All of sudden now when we don't win and he doesn't score, they say, 'is it the problem, do we play better without him?' 

"I hear it all the time. But no one is complaining when he's scored his 25th goal of the season. This is the team we've got now until the end of the season. We'll fight until the end."

City will indeed have to "fight until the end" after a missed opportunity at Spurs left them still trailing leaders Arsenal by five points, despite the Gunners falling to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

It marked a fourth straight away league defeat to Tottenham for Guardiola's side without scoring, as City achieved that unwanted feat against a single opponent for just a third time in the Premier League.

With City having played a game more than title hopefuls Arsenal, Walker believes his side need to start creating more clear-cut chances to translate their possessional dominance into victories.

"I'm not being negative with anyone, but there are certain things we can do better around the box," the England full-back added.

"Making that clear-cut chance, making the goalkeeper make a save, just creating more clear-cut actions, rather than having possession around the box. Sometimes you need to have shots and shots on target."

City will look to bounce back when they host Unai Emery's Aston Villa on February 12 ahead of visiting Arsenal three days later.

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