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Pep goes to war with Keane after he called Haaland as a 'League Two player'

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PEP GUARDIOLA slammed Roy Keane’s “League Two” jibe at Erling Haaland, hailing him “the best striker in the world”.

And in a dig back, the Manchester City chief insisted: “I am not going to criticise my colleagues when I retire.”

Pep Guardiola has slammed Roy Keane's jib at Erling Haalnad

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Pep Guardiola has slammed Roy Keane’s jib at Erling HaalnadCredit: Alamy
Keane said the Man City striker has 'the movement of a League Two player'

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Keane said the Man City striker has ‘the movement of a League Two player’Credit: Grab
Haaland failed to score in City's Premier League title clash against Arsenal on Sunday

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Haaland failed to score in City’s Premier League title clash against Arsenal on SundayCredit: Getty

Manchester United legend Keane accused City’s 81-goal Treble-winner of having “the movement of a League Two player” in the wake of Sunday’s goalless Etihad draw with title rivals Arsenal.

Quizzed about former Sunderland and Ipswich boss Keane’s taunt, Guardiola replied: “I do not agree with him. It’s like if I said he’s a manager for the second or third league. I don’t think so.

“So Erling is the best striker in the world and he helped us  win what we did last season.”

Guardiola does not expect to work as a pundit when he is finished in the dugout as he feels a lot of the stick ex- players dish out to current stars is unfair.

He said: “I am  surprised when it comes from former players. It’s like referees when they retire, they always criticise the refs.

“That always surprises me. The memory disappears quick. The problems  players have now, they had  too.

They missed it a thousand, million times and  were hurt when they were criticised by  former players.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future but I am not a guy who is going to criticise my colleagues when I retire.”

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Guardiola concedes today’s highly-paid stars must take stick in their stride, adding: “It’s their job, accept it.

“If you can’t accept it as a footballer you have to dedicate to another job, like read books or . . . ”

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Keane was not the only ex-player to question Haaland’s display against the Gunners — but the City chief thought otherwise.

Haaland hit 52 goals in his debut season in England  and has 29 this term despite missing two months with injury.

He can add to that tally in tonight’s crunch Premier League clash against Aston Villa.

Spaniard Guardiola, 53, added: “We played an exceptional game against Arsenal. I reviewed it.

“The reason  we didn’t create many chances was not down  to Erling. He is exceptional.”

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