Jack Grealish blasted Erling Haaland’s “stupid” claims amid the Man City conundrum

Jack Grealish has defended Erling Haaland after claims were made of the forward doing Manchester City worse as they try and catch Arsenal at the top of the table

Manchester City duo Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish blasted the criticism Erling Haaland has faced after being asked whether the striker had ‘made Manchester City worse’ before their clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

The Norwegian powerhouse set the bar high at the start of the season, having recorded 18 goals in his first 12 Premier League games since his move from Borussia Dortmund. However, Haaland has not been very prolific since then, scoring 11 goals in his next 12 goals.

That would be an impressive tally for anyone, but Haaland hit a figure that no one in the Premier League had before. While the 22-year-old has been in excellent form, City haven’t been as successful in terms of results. Pep Guardiola’s side are eight points worse off this season than they were after 25 games last term.

They have amassed 63 in 2021/22, compared to 55 this time around as City try to catch Arsenal at the top of the table. But Grealish has silenced criticism leveled at the forward for not improving them and actually making them worse as a team, with the former Aston Villa man describing him as “stupid” and people trying to elicit a reaction.

Prior to the game against Newcastle, Grealish told Haaland’s BT Sport: “He’s one of my closest friends here, I get along with him really well. When you hang out with someone off the pitch it helps on the pitch.”

When asked about the criticism facing the City striker, he added: “I think people are trying to get a reaction. I was like, ‘come on, that’s stupid’. We can play a lot more with his strengths, he is so, so fast.

Erling Haaland in action for Manchester City against Newcastle

“Look, it’s been a pleasure to play with him, I get on well with so many people here. There’s no one I don’t like in this dressing room.”

Grealish was speaking ahead of the game against Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium – a game City won 2-0. Phil Foden gave Guardiola’s team the lead with a deflected finish, before Bernardo Silva doubled their advantage in the second half from Haaland’s assist.

Newcastle troubled City on the counter-attack, but Guardiola’s men were enough to secure all three points early in the kick-off. It was the result that closed the gap on leaders Arsenal before clashing with Bournemouth, which started some 40 minutes after City’s game had finished.

In his post-match interview, Guardiola said: “Before the game it was five [points] and now we are bottom, so many things will happen. It is an important game, and tomorrow I will be on the bench.” in front of the TV to watch Anfield. This is what you must do.”

Liverpool face Manchester United in another crucial game towards the top of the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

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