Football fans: No, Haaland hasn’t made Man City worse
February 14th, 2023, YouGov

Football fans: No, Haaland hasn’t made Man City worse

Erling Haaland has already racked up 25 goals since joining Manchester City in the summer, outscoring nine Premier League clubs (including Chelsea) and breaking a growing list of top-flight records.

With the season only halfway done, he looks set to win the Golden Boot at a canter – barring injury or serious loss of form.

Yet despite the 6’5 Norwegian goalbot’s impressive tally, there have been questions about whether or not he has upset the delicate balance of Pep Guardiola’s team. Given that City are now five points adrift of Arsenal (having won last year’s campaign without using a traditional striker) it may be a valid concern. Both The Times and The Athletic have run headlines questioning whether Haaland has made the team worse, with Yahoo! News’ Neil Humphreys claiming that “Manchester City broke a squad that didn’t need fixing.

But do football fans agree with this assessment? The latest YouGov data is in, and the answer is: not really.


Half (48%) believe Haaland has made Manchester City better, three in ten think the quality of the team has remained about the same (28%), and just one in ten say the team has got worse (9%). The rest (16%) say they don’t know either way.

Guardiola has offered alternative explanations for City’s performance this season, arguing that comfort, complacency, and quiet fans are playing a bigger role than any individual player. Last season also saw the departures of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, to the immediate benefit of Arsenal.

In any case, whatever is responsible for City’s current run of form, fans don’t think the blame lies with Haaland just yet.

Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 26 January 2023 , with a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults in Great Britain (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.