Witch-hunt or deserved Scapegoating Of Mario Balotelli?
Liverpool are whitewashed by an inspired Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid,3-0 half time and final result but all some of the headlines are interested about in England, is Mario Balotelli’s Half time jersey swap with Real Madrid’s Pepe!
One would think Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool, would have more important things on his mind to discuss with the press and Liverpool fans but rather he dwelt on this and declared “It’s something that doesn’t happen here, it shouldn’t happen here” he continues… “We had a case of a player doing that last season, which I dealt with, and if that’s the case again then I’ll deal with it again.”
Liverpool were just one victory shy of being crowned English Premier league Champions last season, losing out to eventual Champions Manchester City, a situation that saw them eventually sell top striker and EPL’s best striker, Luis Suarez to Barcelona For 75 Million Pounds sterling.
Mario Balotelli was bought in to strengthen the Liverpool attack and in some way help forget Suarez. So far I must admit that has not been the case so far as he has scored just one goal all competitions included.
Many have heaved blames on Balotelli for Liverpool’s loss or lack of form: the press and most English football pundits.But anybody who is worth their salt in football can never blame a team’s lack of results in several encounters on one player!
Liverpool concedes more this season than they did last campaign, in fact of the three goals they conceded to Madrid, there was no defensive fault from Balotelli but much more rather due to woeful defending and poor coverage to the defence by the Midfield.
This in my opinion is unfair and rather mischievous! I would understand this singling out of Balotelli if the team were just playing draws due to non conceding of goals but not scoring goals!
Last season, Liverpool were knocked out of the FA cup relatively early and were absent on the continental scene, meaning all the team, players and technical crew had to deal with was, the English Premier League unlike Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester city, Tottenham and arsenal.
The distraction and the seeming different tactical and physical demands of the Champions league seems to be a major decisive factor to Liverpool struggling.
Luis Suarez was sold for around 75 Million Pounds sterling and info reaching me is that almost all of it was spent by Liverpool on new acquisitions. Balotelli cost them 16 million pounds sterling from AC Milan and that in my opinion for his standards is a bargain buy, whilst almost 60 million was spent on other players, but till date all the critics and discussions hangs all around Balotelli and very little mention to the other players or the usual suspect, the Manager.
I personally am disgusted with this situation and though Balotelli is in no way playing near his best he does not deserve this witch-hunt and being used as a scapegoat. He was substituted at the half time by the Manager vs. Madrid and the second half without Balotelli was in no way better than the first half as they barely got a strike at goal!
Balotelli was never a player who scored 30 goals per season and this everyone knew before he was bought! He was never a player without headline issues but in all fairness, he has relatively been quiet amidst nonstop provocations by opponents and even racial abuses and threats on the social media after he tweeted to mock Manchester United’s loss 5-3 to Leicester after they led 1-3.
To single out a player and make comments about fines, punishments etc for changing his jersey with an opponent at halftime, something every top player has done more than 100 times during their career,after you nwere outclassed in all departments by Real Madrid is just absurd if not comical!
Liverpool need to improve their defensive network ,rejuvenate their midfield,defence line or setup and learn that in the champions league, the game plan has to be totally different from the nonstop blazing to glory that is often productive in the English premier league and not put all the blame on a new and yet to fully acclimatize to the club and playing style in Mario Balotelli!