The Italian duo's bizarre relationship took another twist last week with an apparently 'blown-out of proportion' set-to at training. Why can Mancini not tame Balotelli?
Last week saw Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini reportedly come to blows during a training session at Manchester City. It was reported that Mancini was incensed by a tackle committed by Balotelli on summer recruit Scott Sinclair. The press were out in force and caught plenty of snapshots of the incident and it lead many people to immediately believe the young Italian’s time was finally up. AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi even stuck his barely necessary nose into the proceedings when speaking about the potential to bring the Azzurri international to the San Siro:
‘’The name of Balotelli never came into my thoughts. He is a rotten apple and could infect every group where he goes, even Milan."
Before you wonder no; the irony of a man the likes of the alleged fraudster, mob linked, sex soliciting abuser of office Berlusconi calling a mischievous playboy footballer ‘a rotten apple’ is not lost on me.
Yet one Italian who continues to disbelieve these comments is the bizarre father figure he has in Roberto Mancini. First he announced the incident in question was not actually a fight - putting his proverbial middle finger up to the old adage ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. He then went on to talk about the amount of chances the 22-year-old striker has at The Etihad:
"I will give him another 100 chances if I think it's possible he can change. I give him another chance, sure, because he is 22 and he can make a mistake."
While on some level he is correct; Balotelli is young and more than capable of changing on a personal level I do not believe that Mancini is the man to do it. Telling a problem child they have 100 more chances before you really lose your cool is not going to immediately solicit some form of change.
Jose Mourinho and Mancini have both failed to tame the talented striker in the past while Italian gaffer Cesare Prandelli has recently managed to get the best out of him. Strangely Prandelli states he feels Mancini is dealing with Balotelli in the correct way yet just watching the two duets interact with each other you can see there is much more respect for Prandelli than Mancini.
Could it be that Mancini’s continual desire to stick with him is far too late? The previous defence of Balotelli has not worked and when he has tried being tough on him that has also backfired spectacularly.
Balotelli is a nuisance but Prandelli manages to get the best out of him? Why can’t Mancini?
Do you think Mancini should take some blame for Balotelli’s continued disappointment?
image: © wonker