What Mario Balotelli needs to improve on to succeed at Liverpool

Balotelli Milan

The Italian needs to change something if he is going to be a success at Anfield following a difficult start to his Liverpool career.

Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler has said that Mario Balotelli needs to work hard and concentrate on his football if he is to be a success at the club.

Balotelli has only found the net on two occasions for the Reds so far this season since his £16 million move from AC Milan, but has yet to find the net for the club in a Premier League encounter - and the Reds' lack of goals has shown with the side currently sitting 11th in the Premier League.

Fowler told the Liverpool Echo: “For whatever reason, it hasn’t worked out for him so far. But Balotelli is a fantastic talent, he has scored goals everywhere he has been.

“You look at the clubs he has played for, and he obviously has something about him.

“He needs to concentrate on his football, forget about any off-field antics and run about a little bit more.

“Players always come and go, but the manager will always have his own tactics and good players adapt to tactics. Balotelli is a good player so we will be OK.”

One aspect of his play that he could improve on is the amount of times he's found himself caught offside. Whenever the Italian gets into promising positions the assistant referee's offside flag appears to go up.

If that flag continues to go up then Balotelli is not going to be able to find the net on a regular basis. If you look at the two goals he has scored so far, they haven't been because he's getting beyond the last line of the defence, they've been as a result of crosses put into the box.

  PositionTeamTotal OffsideAppearancesMins Played
Emmanuel Adebayor FW Tottenham 10 10 768
Mario Balotelli FW Liverpool 10 9 685
Saido Berahino FW West Brom 10 11 987
Diego Costa FW Chelsea 10 9 756
Romelu Lukaku FW Everton 10 11 859
Enner Valencia FW West Ham 10 10 661

As you can see on the statistic above, Balotelli is amongst the highest ranked players to get into offside positions. These are all of the players that have been caught offside on 10 occasions, Balotelli has had the second lowest amount of minutes on the pitch and the join lowest appearances of the players caught offside on the same amount of occasions.

Some may see this as an argument that adds to the perception of bad attitude from the 24-year-old, and then there is the statistic that Balotelli likes to shoot on sight. Work on timing his runs against the opponents defensive line is needed, because he has ability to finish off moves.

Maybe that's what it takes for him to be a success at Liverpool, and will help take him and the club to the next level.

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