Keane told to ‘leave alone’ League Two Haaland as Man Utd legend ‘could not lace his boots’

Jason Soutar
Stan Collymore defends Erling Haaland after criticism from Roy Keane
Stan Collymore defends Erling Haaland after criticism from Roy Keane

Roy Keane has been told to ‘leave Erling Haaland alone’ after the Manchester United legend likened the Manchester City striker to a “League Two player”.

After failing to make an impact in City’s 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal last month, Keane stated that Haaland is “almost like a League Two player” due to his “poor” overall play.

‘League Two Haaland’ defended after Keane criticism

Haaland might not be as technical as Lionel Messi but he sure is as effective in front of goal and it was his goals that elevated City to the level required to win the Treble last season.

He has scored 82 goals in 90 appearances for the Cityzens, which is absolutely astonishing, but his form this year has not been close to his impeccable standards.

The Norweigan international still has 11 goals in 15 games in 2024, which is hardly rubbish.

Anyway, after an anonymous display against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, Keane doubled down on his criticism of the Man City hitman.

Haaland also received a 3/10 from L’Equipe, the French newspaper notorious for giving out very few 10s and not holding back if someone has played poorly.

Writing for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore jumped to the defence of Haaland and stated that the writers in France and Keane could not “lace his boots at the same age”.

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“After L’Equipe, the voice of football in Europe gave Haaland a 3/10 for his performance against Real Madrid on Tuesday, along with Roy Keane’s League Two jibe, maybe it is time a fellow striker told it as it is to both and stated a couple of obvious things rather than jump on popular bandwagons,” Collymore said.

“Firstly, the kid has scored goals in every team he’s played at. Lots of them too. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, he’s done it in three very different environments. England, Germany, and the Champions League, all while being a relative rookie. Finally, and for me the point Keane and L’Equipe are desperately missing, is the type of goals he scores.

“He’s an over-the-top guy by trade, look at his Dortmund goals and you’ll see pace, running in behind and a stellar finisher.

“I wondered whether City would suit him, especially as most teams who face them sit back denying anyone space except for a fox in the box. City bought him anyway, he toggled a switch in his mind and hey presto, broke all records by being a fox in the box.

“Is he a great ‘player’ beyond his goalscoring? No, not yet, but his ability to learn, grow, and be unfazed by criticism will undoubtedly get him there.

“Leave the kid alone, neither Keane nor anyone at L’Equipe could lace his boots at the same age!”

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