The current campaign has been nothing but a struggle for the San Siro giants, with the weekend’s 1-1 draw against Genoa just the latest disappointment for the Rossoneri.
With the club languishing just four points above the drop zone, the fabric of the side has come into question and, as always, Balotelli is at the centre of any type of attention.
A series of cryptic tweets and lacklustre displays have left the volatile 23-year-old’s future with his current employers in doubt, even if vice-president Adriano Galliani only just said he is “101 per cent” certain the striker will remain in January.
Yet whilst the Milan hierarchy remains adamant that the outfit’s most high-profile asset will be kept, Boban has seen the present circumstances as his cue to lash out at the Italy international, and the Croatian has certainly held nothing in reserve.
“Let’s stop always talking about this Balotelli,” he raged to Sky Sport Italia.
“In his life all he has done is sit on the bench at other clubs.
“He will always be smaller than Milan and Milan will always be bigger than him.
“In my Milan side he would have carried bags for players such as Marco Van Basten, George Weah and Andriy Shevchenko.”
Boban’s statement interestingly reads in part as an indictment of the club, intended or not, highlighting the different level of the squad he was a part of from 1991 to 2001.
The reading of Milan’s one-time roster didn’t end with the list of heralded attackers, however, with the ex-midfielder placing his faith in reports that Balotelli has twice showed up late to training this week to invoke more hallowed names.
“He would have been slapped by people like Paolo Maldini, Marcel Desailly, Sebastiano Rossi, Alessandro Costacurta and Franco Baresi for not arriving on time,” he continued.
“His listless attitude demonstrates that he is unable to comprehend certain things with his brain, he doesn’t understand what wearing that shirt means.
“He should learn from Kaka, a boy who has won the Champions League, a World Cup, a Golden Ball. He’s certainly richer than Balotelli, yet he runs and works like a kid.”
Yet whilst Balotelli continues to be followed by controversy that has done little to aid Milan in a desperate time, it seems there is little done to counteract his negativity within the club.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Celtic the situation remains dire for the Rossoneri, as questioning Massimiliano Allegri’s competence at the helm has become almost passé over the past two seasons and there appears to be a distinct lack of leadership both on and off the pitch.
Balotelli indeed has done his part in destabilising the club, as he’s underperformed as a crucial cog in the side and committed daft acts such as receiving a red card after the final whistle, but is he the root of the problem for the faltering giants?
Boban’s harsh words almost prove to be more valuable in highlighting the distinct lack of quality at Milanello following years of sales and old guard releases, and quite possibly this is the greatest value of what otherwise amounts to a scathing attack on the controversial forward.
Because with no Maldini, no Costacurta and no Baresi around to proverbially ‘slap’ the former Manchester City man when he steps out of line, how is the 23-year-old to supposedly learn the ‘Milan way’ and leave behind his well-documented years of immaturity?
image: © drabikpany