Erling Haaland’s future is closer and closer to being decided. According to recent reports, the striker has one foot in the door at Manchester City. However, there are many doubts about the Norwegian’s possible adaptation to the game idea of manager Josep Guardiola.

For this reason, at the MBP School of Coaches, we have analysed whether Haaland’s characteristics could fit into the Spanish coach’s style of play, and how both sides could improve each other.


Tactical Analysis of Manchester City


In order to analyse whether Haaland is a fit for the Citizen’s, we will break down Guardiola’s side’s attacking principles in the finishing zone.


1. The dominant principle, i.e. the attacking behaviour that Pep’s team as a whole tends to execute most often, is the execution of through balls made from zone A between the centre back and full back interval for players making forward runs form the 2nd line, with the end result of a finish or a cut-back.


For this, the behaviour of the players located in the intermediate zone is vital (the striker and players closest to him).  They will be responsible for fixing the defensive line so that interlinear distances are created, followed by attacking the ball for the eventual cross.

2. The second behaviour that we have identified as an alternative principle, and which in turn allows them to penetrate deep into the area, is the execution of crosses from zone A.


As with the dominant principle, the players in between, i.e. the figure of the striker and those close to him, will be crucial in order to have a presence inside the area and to finish the play successfully.


Individual Analysis of Haaland


Now that the attacking behaviours of the English team in the finishing zone have been broken down, we can analyse whether Haaland has mastered the tactical behaviours required to be successful, and, in turn, enhance the different described behaviours of the Citizens.

In relation to the dominant principle, it is crucial that the Norwegian striker masters the fundamental of ‘attacking the most effective spaces for finishing’.

From analysing whether or not the Norwegian player has mastered the fundamental, we can observe how Haaland has a fantastic ability to identify the defensive disorder of the opposition. In this way, he can then attack them with explosive runs. Another of the Norwegian’s qualities is his ruthlessness in attacking the ball, always managing to anticipate the movement of the direct defender in order to beat him to the cross.



In relation to the alternative principle and the importance of aerial play by players inside the box, we can highlight Haaland’s ability in finishing on goal.

The current Borussia Dortmund player is outstanding in the air thanks to the application of the fundamentals‘keeping shots low’ and ‘finishing using one touch ensuring good contact’. This makes it difficult for the goalkeeper to save and guarantees the optimal power and accuracy of the shot.





Once we have analysed the attacking behaviour of the Premier League’s current champions, and Haaland’s individual behaviours in relation to the requirements he could have in Guardiola’s team, we can see how the partnership between the Norwegian and the English team fits perfectly.

In the same way, at the MBP School of Coaches, we believe that between the striker’s ambition to improve day by day, and Pep Guardiola’s ability to generate an appropriate context to exploit the different capabilities of his players, this will generate a very positive synergy for City that will bring both club and player closer to many more achievements.

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