Once again the stage was set, curtains drawn and moment there for the taking for Mario Balotelli. The ‘mercurial’ Italian was again given the opportunity to fail monumentally on the biggest stage. He did not disappoint.
After Euro 2012 there was a warped sense of hope over the future of Balotelli; that perhaps he had turned over a new leaf? Maybe 2012-13 was going to be the season of Mario? If the performance in the Manchester derby was anything to go by then finally the novelty of Balotelli has hopefully washed off. City effectively played with 10 men for the majority of the game as Balotelli trotted around the pitch like a lame horse. Uninterested, unmoved and not bothered; easily the most disrespectful performance in the history of Manchester derbies.
The bizarre relationship between him and manager Roberto Mancini is becoming worrying. Why does Mancini, obviously a talented and smart manager continue to give this liability a chance on the football pitch.
Some people enjoy Balotelli for his off-field capers and dalliances; all of which would be amusing if he was performing on the pitch. At the moment however he is about as good as a glorified Nicklas Bendtner; actually that’s harsh. Bendtner is not that bad.
His attempt at goal in the first half from Gael Clichy’s centre had zero effort. He chucked his leg at the ball like heavy spaghetti in not so dissimilar fashion to another one of City’s spoilt brats Samir Nasri’s awful attempt at being part of a wall.
The reason it is so frustrating is when you consider the effort of the other players. Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Gareth Barry, James Milner and Sergio Aguero work hard for their team; showing extreme dedication to their club and fans while the likes of Balotelli continue to disrespectfully bite the hand that feeds them.
It seems unlikely as for some unbeknownst reason Mancini continues to proclaim his ‘love’ for Mario over and over again but City must offload him as soon as possible. On the pitch he is no good; off of it he is even worse. He lives in a fantasy world where he and he alone is the greatest footballer in the world. While he continued to believe that far-off sense of self-grandiosity into Sunday evening Lionel Messi was scoring his 85th and 86th goals of 2012. A real player, a real team-mate and a player living in a real world that is perhaps only paralleled by Balotelli’s imaginary one.
But who on earth would sign him?
It may be Christmas time but this is not the occasion for panto villains and light-hearted chucklery. Last season City could afford to carry a squad member. Manchester United now have Robin Van Persie in their ranks and his opportunism allied with City’s spoilers gave them the win this weekend. A win that come the end of the season may prove costly.
Surely now it is time to say bye-bye Mario? Or would you like to see him given one more chance?
image: © wonker