Defenders beware! Haaland is doing EXTRA work on his 'weaker' foot

Defenders beware! Erling Haaland is doing EXTRA work on his ‘weaker’ right foot ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby… as the City striker continues what he started under Alexander Zickler at Dortmund

  • Striker Erling Haaland has netted 11 league goals since joining Manchester City 
  • The Norwegian hitman has worked hard to improve his ‘weaker’ right-hand side
  • Coach Alexander Zickler improved his right-footed shooting whilst at Dortmund 
  • Manchester City face rivals Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday

At the moment, it feels like a procession to the golden boot for Erling Haaland – but the Manchester City striker is insistent that there is still considerable scope for improvement, especially with his right foot.

Only Bournemouth have stopped him scoring in the Premier League so far Manchester United are the next tasked with devising plans to halt his progress during the derby on Sunday.

Haaland made it clear at his unveiling in July that he had adjustments to make in his game, which felt quite a statement from someone who arrived having scored the little matter of 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland is working extra hard in training to improve finishing with his ‘weaker’ right foot

He improved this part of his game alongside coach Alexander Zickler at Borussia Dortmund

But what he meant was his weaker foot. Only 15 of his 133 professional goals had come from that side, Haaland preferring to rely on the crackerjack left instead. 

The 22-year-old is paying particular attention to that and perfecting ways to utilise it more, to become even more complete. Not news many of his markers will enjoy hearing.

Over the last year at Dortmund, Haaland spent plenty of time with coach and former Bayern Munich striker Alexander Zickler in attempting to become more reliant on his weaker side.

The Manchester City star has already scored 11 Premier League goals since joining the club

He told people that Zickler was the perfect mentor, given the ex-Germany international had lifted a Champions League during his career – something he is yet to achieve.

Slowly, Zickler developed the Norwegian’s right peg during training sessions. Zickler joined when Marco Rose took the job, looked at Haaland’s three right-footed goals in the previous season, and identified that as an area to work on. 

Haaland knows his body and is not a player who will demand extra sessions but the pair did drills to harness extra balance and trust in the other leg.

The Norwegian hitman arrived at the Etihad for £51m from Borussia Dortmund this summer

The results of that are probably only just becoming apparent – and are to City’s considerable benefit. Haaland netted four with his right foot last year, having bought into Zickler’s methods, and has two already – including from outside the area at Wolves before the international break – since the blockbuster switch to the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland is using Zickler’s approach on his own at City, making sure that he is not taking the easy option by plundering with his left purely for confidence purposes during finishing exercises. He is training his brain to instinctively think as a two-footed striker.

There remain hours to put in, and it was noticeable during the Community Shield defeat by Liverpool that he launched a left leg at an inviting cross instead of either heading or tapping with his right foot, but Haaland is spending time making sure those misses become anomalies. It is the sort of personal development that will fill the rest of Europe with dread.

Pep Guardiola’s side have started their title defence well, sitting second in the Premier League

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