Jamie Carragher highlights overlooked ‘strength’ that makes Erling Haaland superior

Jamie Carragher has praised Erling Haaland after he became the quickest player to reach 50 Premier League goals last saturday.

The Man City striker scored the goal against Liverpool in just his 48th league appearance.

Haaland scored the opener in Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool which saw him reach the half-century mark in just his 48th match, breaking Andrew Cole’s previous record by 17 games.

It was also Haaland’s 14th league goal this season, putting him four ahead of Mohamed Salah, and he leads the way for most attacking statistics.

But he is only 131st on the list of Premier League players when it comes to number of shots from outside the penalty box since the start of last season.

This may come as a surprise to some fans, but Carragher does not see it as an issue, and actually believes that statistic proves why Haaland is so special.

“That’s a positive,” Carragher said on Monday Night Football when he saw that Haaland had only had 10 shots from outside the box in the league since joining City last summer.

“And people may find that strange but when you look at analytics now and when people assess strikers, it’s easy to assess Haaland. You look at his goal record, he’s an amazing player.

“But when people are now scouting players, where they take shots from, do they take stupid shots? And more often than not we talk about silly shots being from outside the box. We don’t see as many screamers or great goals as we used to in the past because of that reason.

“And that is a big part of analysis now. When you’re looking for a striker, who you’re going to bring in, who you’re going to buy, that is actually his strength.

“He doesn’t take silly shots, we see where he scores his goals from, the six yard box and the second six yard box, that’s where he gets his goals from.

“Even though he’s Erling Haaland, maybe at times he might be able to think ‘I’m going to have a shot from 30 yards, I’m going to shoot from 25 yards, I’m going to do what I want because I’m Erling Haaland’.

“He always plays for the team and he always waits for the right moment to get his shot off.”

Freddie Ljungberg was in complete agreement with Carragher, and also praised Haaland’s technical ability when breaking down his latest goal against Liverpool.

The Arsenal legend was blown away by Haaland’s movement and technique that helped him find space and get his shot off quickly before Liverpool’s defenders or goalkeeper Alisson could react.

“If he goes short, let’s say, and he’s in line with a centre back, that sprint just on five yards or so, there’s no centre back in the world that can catch him,’ Ljungberg said when analysing the build-up to Haaland’s strike.

“And that’s when he goes full tilt. And that’s why, in my opinion, he scores so many goals, because he’s always in front of the centre back.

“People always talk about technique, players should be technical, and there’s stepovers, I don’t really care.

“This [Haaland’s movement] for me is technique. There’s no small steps in between, it takes time. The first touch is perfect, the second touch, and then the shot comes.

“For me that’s the highest level of technique.”



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