Liverpool should borrow Milan coach’s Balotelli plan

Mario Balotelli -  San Siro, Milan, Italy

Pippo Inzaghi outlined his plan to deal with Mario Balotelli before the Italian international left AC Milan for Liverpool.

The pressure on Mario Balotelli is steadily increasing with his performances meeting with widespread analysis and criticism, so maybe Liverpool should consult his former club for some advice on dealing with the enigmatic striker.

Since arriving from AC Milan, Balotelli hasn't quite clicked at Liverpool and he again drew a blank against Basel, although he did find the net only to see it disallowed for offside.

Balotelli's efforts have won many column inches and the weight of expectation is heavy on his shoulders after scoring just one goal in seven games.

At the start of the summer, it seemed inevitable that Balotelli would leave Milan. Last season he managed a respectable 14 goals but he often looked lethargic and petulant as well as causing problems off the pitch.

But after a proposed sale to Arsenal fell through, Milan were starting to resign themselves to keeping Balotelli and new coach Pippo Inzaghi was called upon to work out how he would deal with Super Mario.

Inzaghi's answer was simple: he wouldn't. The former striking legend told press that the whole problem was that Balotelli had always been given special treatment, so he would regard him as just another player.

While hardly a mind-blowing strategy, Inzaghi's logic was sound. At Milan, Balotelli was always given special dispensation, always a problem child, a naughty schoolboy who had to be made allowances for, so he acted like one. 

What Balotelli has always needed is to be just one of the squad. That would always be difficult when he was clearly the star man, but at Liverpool it is much more possible. The more you try and accommodate Balotelli, the less it will become possible to get the best out of him.

The press will always be drawn to Balotelli, but it doesn't really matter as long as within the club Mario is just another player. How do you deal with a problem like Mario? You don't.

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