AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been warned by his agent that a move to Liverpool would be his last chance in the big time. John Tour, Daily Star
Early indicators of who will be the front runners
By Dave Daniel
The English Premier League has been under way for a couple of rounds and already there are glimpses of who will be the challengers. Manchester City had a convincing win against Liverpool winning 3-1 but it must be noted that Liverpool played well and caused City some anxious moments.
Last year it was the defence that let them down so for them to concede 3 goals and then score late in the game via an own goal must be of concern for manager Brendan Rodgers. Without the carnivore Suarez in the line-up, Liverpool supporters may be worried about where the goals will come from. More on that later.
Manchester United looked pedestrian against Sunderland and played like a team lacking in confidence and belief. Chelsea and Spurs have won both of their games and we can look forward to some juicy London local derbies between those teams and Arsenal, whose supporters are always excited at the beginning of the season, thinking this is the one. Of course they always get excited up at St James Park, the home of Newcastle United but there optimism is often unfounded and borders on disillusion.
Mario Balotelli: loose cannon
Anyway, back to Liverpool and where the goals are going to come from. Enter Mr Mario Balotelli, who has just signed from Juventus for 16 million pounds. He is an interesting character. In 2011, while at Manchester City, he threw a dart at a City youth team player and later that year had a run-in with emergency services after fireworks were set off in the bathroom of his home.
In the same season he broke a club curfew by visiting a curry house ahead of a match against Chelsea and while at City he had far too many bust ups on the training ground, with his team mates and also manager, Roberto Mancini. He is also famous for being unable to put on a training bib which you can watch on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYU-SeVofHs.
Throw in quite a number of yellow cards and several red ones you get a picture of a rocket without a payload. He’s had an audience with the Pope, been fined for smoking in a train toilet on his way to Florence and in June this year proposed to his rather attractive girlfriend, Fanny Neguesha, who said yes.
A gamble which may pay off
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says that the signing is a calculated risk and there appears to be a good behaviour clause in his contract. In my opinion this is smart business by Liverpool. Balotelli may be a nutter, but he has loads of self belief, can upset the most organised of defences with unpredictable brilliance and most importantly knows where the goal is. Ask the England defenders who lost him for half a second and suddenly the ball was in the net to give Italy victory in the World Cup.
His season at Liverpool will be interesting to follow and let’s face it, players like him are meat and sandwich for the fans and the media, provide the X factor and it just wouldn’t be the same without them.
See you next time.