Erling Haaland Faces a Tough First Season in the Premier League.

Erling Haaland Faces a Tough First Season in the Premier League.

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27 Jun 2022
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Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland will enter the Premier League amid much anticipation and enthusiasm, but he has a difficult task if he wants to have an immediate effect at Manchester City.

Analysts, commentators, and players have emphasized how the transition between the Premier League and the German Bundesliga is in reality a significant one.

Haaland has undoubtedly triumphed against the finest. Although he has scored 23 goals in 19 Champions League games, the Premier League’s tenaciousness makes it difficult to win.

Despite being worthy challengers for England’s best teams, perennial German champions Bayern Munich and even Dortmund do not consistently perform at a high level in the German top division.

And when the action gets underway on August 7 at the London Stadium against West Ham United, Haaland will not only have to get used to a completely different style of play at City but also the hardest competition of his career.

First Obstacle: the Premier League will be a harder nut to crack. 

According to a comparison of the teams, the teams in the top half of the English Championship correspond to those in the bottom half of the German league.

During the previous season, Ai Analytics analyzed the two leagues. In the German top tier, Bournemouth was anticipated to hold down a mid-table place.

It will be difficult for him, according to expert Andy Forrester. There are no simple games against the Premier League’s worst teams. You might be upset by any team.

Due to the financial clout of the English top-flight and advancements in coaching over the past ten years, the Premier League really has more talented players than the Bundesliga.

The situation is considerably bleaker when one focuses just on central defenders. In a comparison of worldwide leagues, the Premier League has 24 of the top 50 center-backs, while the Bundesliga has only eight.

Only 11 center-backs from German clubs appear in the top 100, and they are all members of a small number of organizations.

Haaland will face top-notch defenders at nearly every team he plays for in England.

Second Obstacle: He’ll need to modify his playing style.

Haaland is a striker. He exerts pressure on the final defender and is continuously seeking a chance to gain some space between the center back and full back.

Reviewing Haaland’s Bundesliga goals, one cannot help but be struck by his speed and power.

He has mastered a start-stop technique that throws opponents off balance so that he can thunder past them and frequently get in on goal. He was clocked at 35.94 km/h in the Bundesliga last season, making him the sixth quickest player in the league and quicker than virtually all the center-backs in the Premier League, which is surprising for a striker who weighs 13 stone 12 ounces.

Forrester argues that the difficulty will be that there is just less room in England to sprint into.

According to a subjective analysis of Haaland’s goals in Germany, almost a quarter of them resulted from runs into the opponent’s penalty area, and several of his close-range scores came to the conclusion of devastating counterattacks.

The Bundesliga has the most open style of play among the Big Five European Leagues, according to an analysis by Ai Abacus. In Germany, there are far more counterattacks than in the Premier League, which leads to significantly more opportunities being generated. At the same time, Germany has far lesser defensive quality.

The squad at City explores the half gaps next to the penalty box in search of crossing possibilities, working the ball up into the attacking third where Haaland will need to link with the advanced midfielders and wingers.

Haaland could need to design these combinations for confined spaces.

He is a powerful finisher, though, once inside the ring.

Third Obstacle: Haaland may anticipate fewer opportunities to score

There are numerous chances and frequent goals every game due to the dynamic, open style of play in Germany.

In the Bundesliga, fans watch 3.12 goals per game on average, while that number drops to 2.83 in the Premier League.

In comparison to Manchester City, which scores 3.29 times on average, Haaland’s old team, Dortmund, performs better than most and averages more than four goals a game.

In addition, Haaland dominated the scoring for Dortmund, but Pep Guardiola’s strategy resulted in seven players scoring in double digits last season after mastering the “false nine.”

It is more difficult to detect Ilkay Gundogan or Kevin de Bruyne bursting into the penalty area because the fluidity has opponents wondering where the threat is coming from.

Haaland will have to adjust to having fewer opportunities and sharing his “office” in the critical area just in front of the goal with so many other excellent players.

Haaland’s uncanny ability to seize opportunities when they present themselves, even if they do so less frequently, will be of great assistance to him.

Since joining Dortmund, Haaland has had a slightly below 50% shots-on-target rate.

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