The Misunderstood Genius Of Mario Balotelli

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It’s no secret that Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has had a dismal season. From a lack of goals to once again appearing in the media for the wrong reasons, it seems he will be playing his football away from Merseyside next year.

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While it’s easy to place a lot of the blame on Balotelli’s shoulders, doing so would be somewhat lazy, as his failure in England over the course of his one year with Liverpool has not be all his fault. It is also why some team should take a chance on him, as the best is still yet to come from this guy.

First though, we must point out the flaws the Italian himself has exhibited while playing for Liverpool. His style of play and approach to the game can appear lazy to fans, one thing that English supporters in particular really dislike.

When you’re banging in the goals or the team itself is doing reasonably well, Balotelli’s style of play can be overlooked. When things are not going the way of the team however, what he does — or rather doesn’t do — on the pitch is put under a microscope.

Few players can get away with looking as disinterested as Balotelli did for most of the season. Unless you’re Zlatan Ibrahimovic and can back that nonchalant style up with goals, it’s just not going to cut it. Charging around like a rhino trying to work himself and the crowd into a frenzy only rarely worked as well.

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  • His one league goal this season from ten Premier League starts, and six appearances off the bench, just won’t cut it. Balotelli needs to accept these facts, and realise that he could have done more to become a cult hero for his team.

    It also speaks volumes that, despite the persistent injuries to star striker Daniel Sturridge throughout the year, Balotelli was still never given an extended run of games in the team. He saw the most action during Liverpool’s failed Champions League adventure, and generally was used as a cup striker of sorts. It’s no surprise then that he scored more goals in those competitions as a result.

    But despite losing their best striker for much of the year, Balotelli still wasn’t called upon. We can only speculate as to what went on behind closed doors, but it’s clear he didn’t show either the right mentality or ability to be used more often.

    Despite this however, we already know he has the ability, he’s always had it in abundance. From his demolition of Germany at Euro 2012, to his many big performances for Manchester City during his first tour of England, Marion Balotelli has always had talent. He also appears if anything, a decent teammate at the best of times. So why then did his move to Liverpool bomb so spectacularly?

    One quite obvious reason for his various poor performances, is the brand of football Liverpool play. Manager Brendan Rodgers has long talked about playing a style of football that was pleasing on the eye, but that also yielded results. Never was the vision more clear than last season, when the club were just pipped to the Premier League title by rivals Manchester City.

    That year, they had the exceptional Luis Suarez doing everything he could going forward for the team. It wasn’t just the goals, it was the smart runs, head up passes and desire to drop deep and collect the ball, which in turn usually led to good things happening for his team. Complimenting their world beating striker were Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho. All small, technically gifted players, Coutinho could tee up the other three up brilliantly.