Man City found Haaland solution – similar situation frustrated Fergie, says Rio
Rio Ferdinand claims Manchester City found the solution to utilising Erling Haaland – and a similar situation left Sir Alex Ferguson frustrated at Manchester United.
Haaland’s adaptation to the Premier League has been seamless since his move from Borussia Dortmund. The 22-year-old Norwegian striker has already scored 21 goals in 16 appearances for the reigning champions, becoming the quickest player ever to reach that tally.
BT Sport pundit and United legend Ferdinand believes that is down to City quickly figuring out how to play to Haaland’s strengths. And he compared it to another situation at United after Sir Alex signed Robin van Persie from Arsenal.
READ MORE: Man City have ‘put tiki taka to one side’ for Haaland claims Man Utd icon Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand explained back in 2020 that Ferguson gave Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and others the hairdryer treatment after they continually failed to find Van Persie with their passes, after he had joined from Arsenal.
The Scot famously told his playmakers: “If you cannot find him [Van Persie], you won’t play.” And that is exactly what City have successfully done with Haaland under Pep Guardiola’s instructions.
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Ferdinand said: “The players got the memo anyway. They are finding him [Haaland] consistently and effectively. Sir Alex Ferguson said we weren’t playing the ball in behind enough.
"Van Persie was making runs and he was showing us videos that he was in and we were not seeing it. These guys, like I said earlier, they are looking for Haaland and that is their first look.
"So it is just a matter of keep on hitting him.”
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Van Persie went on to score 26 goals in the league alone that campaign, playing a crucial role as United won the title in Ferguson’s last season as a manager.
City will hope this season plays out in similar fashion. Guardiola’s side are currently five points behind Arsenal in second place.
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- Manchester United FC
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Rio Ferdinand
- Erling Haaland
- Pep Guardiola
- Manchester City FC
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