Guardiola advised Erling Haaland to prioritize improving his body language over scoring goals, suggesting that he relaxes more.
Pep Guardiola expressed concern about the demeanor of Erling Haaland since his return to action from a two-month foot injury lay-off.
Guardiola believes Haaland has been overly focused on increasing his impressive goal tally and wants him to adopt a more relaxed approach.
He cited Saturday’s victory over Everton as an example, highlighting how Haaland had a subdued first half before scoring twice late in the game to secure a 2-0 win.
Guardiola, speaking in Denmark at a press conference to preview Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 clash with FC Copenhagen, said: “Erling Haaland is young, playing in the most difficult position on the pitch surrounded by four or five players with minor space.
“In the first half maybe we didn’t have the special delivery players, like Kevin (De Bruyne) for example, who can find him.
“In that moment he has to be positive. When he scored a goal, he reacted but he doesn’t need to score because he helps us for many things.
“He is defined on goals but it is not just scoring a goal. As much it’s how he is clapping, encouraging his mates and the first intense press. This is what we need from Erling.
“But we cannot forget he has been two months out, which is a lot of time for a guy who is so tall.
“Back to the dynamic is not easy. He’s a huge competitor who wants to score goals. OK, we know that, so relax.
“If we don’t score today, or if he doesn’t score in 10 minutes, it’s OK. In the process he has to try because the team always wins when they overcome bad moments.”
Guardiola wants Haaland to relax more
Guardiola emphasized that this wasn’t a huge problem and he has no doubts about Haaland.
“It looks like I am complaining about Erling but it was in general,” the City boss said. “How many games did Erling play and how many goals? His body language is not a problem.
“If he doesn’t score tomorrow, the day after or next week, it’s not a big issue.
“He’s so strong. It comes from nature. He’s coped perfectly because he’s so strong mentally. He scores one goal and wants a second and a third.
“You see his numbers at his age. In the Champions League not even (Lionel) Messi or Cristiano (Ronaldo) had these numbers at his age.”