Sometimes players are known for a little showboating here and there, and we accept that, in-fact, we enjoy that. Football is a skillful game, end of story.
However, every now and again you see something which defies belief.This week’s main offender, Mario Balotelli. Surprised? Hardly. It seems that Balotelli is always in the press, sometimes for the right reasons, but often enough for the wrong reasons. There is no doubt that Balotelli has bags of ability, but yet he carries this swagger of arrogance the likes of which David Haye would be proud of before his defeat to Klitschko recently. The problem is, Mario has yet to really back up his claims and arrogance while wearing a city shirt. This must be hugely frustrating for the fans.
The most recent outburst of Balotelli syndrome appeared during City’s 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy. David Silva slipped the Italian through on goal, and instead of stroking the ball past the keeper, he tried some form of roulette back heel, the ball trickled past the near post and you could see the disgust on the faces of his team mates. Maybe Mario had been on YouTube recently and seen the back-heeled penalty which had been doing the rounds. (for the record, the keeper should have saved that). Either way, Manchini was not a happy bunny and immediately substituted Balotelli, and by immediately, it took less than 3 minutes for the ball to leave Mario’s heel and the disagreement between manager and player to take place.
Part of me thinks that Mario was wrong to try this, but the other part of me says, well, whats the difference between this and some other flamboyant showboating elsewhere on the pitch which is designed to humiliate the opponent, the type we love to see week in week out. I think overall I would have to side with the gaffa on this one, not to the extreme our friends at ESPN suggests (see video link below) but a little professionalism might not be a bad thing to display once in a while!