There’s nothing new about Mario Balotelli crossing the lines between right and wrong, but his latest tantrum against Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has to be his last.
You can handle the sulking, because some players react that way when they don’t get their way on the pitch, or get substituted too early in their opinion. You can even handle Balotelli taking out his frustration on opponents on more than one occasion. A violent nature hidden inside him, coming out when you least expect it. You don’t know what to expect with Balotelli.
But at some point, it was obvious he was going to the cross the line too far. Roberto Mancini has already given up his stand in the whole Carlos Tevez case. Some say it helped them win a Premier League title together, although Tevez wasn’t that influential in that late comeback last season. He was just there for the turnaround.
Mario Balotelli has been addressed to as a wonderkid ever since he began his way through the Inter senior team. Actual receipts for becoming and fulfilling that promise? He’s only 22, but you don’t feel he’s advancing too much. Sure, you can’t find someone more cool, calm and in-the-zone when it comes to penalty kicks. But what does Balotelli really give you on the pitch?
He had his shining moment in the Euro semifinal, scoring a half time double against Germany, propelling Italy to a surprising final appearance. But more than that? Not much. Not the kind of striker that gets involved in the passing and can shift positions to make his team better. Not a reliable target man in terms of hold up. Just a physically gifted youngster with a very powerful shot. Not that special.
It took Mancini some time, but this season he finally got it. Regardless of other problems Manchester City are having, Mario Balotelli is just leagues and miles worse than Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez are. Balotelli has scored only once this season in the Premier League, playing in 11 matches. He has three goals out of 15 appearances in all competitions. Frustration kept building with every failed appearance until it fell apart in the infamous training session.
If this was a one time thing, maybe Mancini could forgive and forget. But Balotelli has been an accident waiting to happen for quite some time. It’s impossible to ignore the past and his history of causing trouble. Maybe there’s someone out there who can tame the child and make a much more relaxed and mature player out of him. Roberto Mancini isn’t that man, Manchester City aren’t that team. The problem now is finding someone willing to take that chance.