Brendan Rodgers has categorically stated that striker Mario Balotelli cannot get back into the starting line-up unless he starts working much harder. The Italian international lost his place after poor run of form that saw him go more than 15 league matches without a goal.
He was signed from AC Milan in the summer for £ 16 million, but it was reported that Liverpool were ready to cut their losses even as early as in January. Such was the poor performances of Balotelli and the recent return of Daniel Sturridge sees the 24-year-old on the periphery.
Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of seeing the big man once again, but he says that Balotelli should be prepared for life on the bench if he is not prepared to work harder. Balotelli is known for his childish attitude and inability to remain a top professional. This has already cost him a place at several top clubs like Manchester City and Inter Milan. Even though Balotelli has been able to put in some good performances in recent weeks,Rodgers reckons that he will not be able to bring back the player unless he starts to become effervescent in training. Continue reading →
Brendan Rodgers took a huge risk when he decided to sign Mario Balotelli from Ac.Milan. Despite joining a number of top European clubs from different leagues and different countries, the Italian forward could never make a name for himself as he was simply just another average player on the pitch. Sometimes there were some flashes of brilliance from Balotelli, especially when performing with Italy but that’s all that it was, just a flash.
When Ac.Milan signed Mario Balotelli on August 21, expectations were high as he joined the club of his dreams and everyone was expecting to see him finally performing at a world class level but it never happened.
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Brendan Rodgers continued to defend Mario Balotelli after the striker once again failed to find the back of the net in the latest match against Newcastle United. Liverpool have had the upper hand over Newcastle in recent years and they have had some fantastic victories at St James’s Park. However, they were unable to prevent Alan Pardew’s men from getting three points for a second consecutive week to get them out of relegation trouble. Balotelli has been heavily criticised in recent weeks for his failure to score goals on a regular basis.
The 24-year-old was signed as a replacement for Luis Suarez, but this transfer was seen as a big gamble despite the figure of £ 16 million. Balotelli is yet to score in the Premier league despite having been involved in almost every match. His only goals for the club have come in the Champions League and the League Cup. Liverpool did not create much opportunities against Newcastle, but Rodgers said that he had no problem with Balotelli’s performance. It was more because of Balotelli not being given the ammunition to score. Newcastle put in a spirited performance and did not give Liverpool time on the ball.
“It’s not about Mario it’s about the team. We’ve lost a game today, we collectively lost as a team. We have to go back and analyse it and move on. The progress this season was always going to be a slow process because there were so many changes and we haven’t started as we would like but we will improve. It’s been difficult period. We can only continue to work hard. We’re disappointed. We had full control of the game but we didn’t create as much as we would like,” said Rodgers, whose team against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has backed summer signing Mario Balotelli to be a success at the club despite many critics reserving their judgement on the 24-year-old. The former Manchester City and AC Milan forward recently returned to the Premier League after 18 months in the Italian Serie A. He has been signed for a transfer fee of £ 16 million, which manager Brendan Rodgers has labelled it as a major gamble given the recent history of the player. Balotelli is known for causing a lot of headlines on and off the field with his antics, but Gerrard believes that the player has matured a lot in recent years.
Balotelli is yet to score for Liverpool in the two matches he has played. In the absence of Daniel Sturridge, the 24-year-old is expected to continue as the club’s first choice striker in the Champions League match against Ludogorets. Balotelli is one of the experienced players at international and European level. He is the first choice striker for the Italian national team before being left out of the team by new manager Antonio Conte due to poor form. Gerrard says that he is not concerned about the critics when it comes to Balotelli’s potential for success at Liverpool.
After having seen the player from a close, the Liverpool captain says that Balotelli has all the ingredients to be a success. “If people want to write stories about him and say that he is crazy or he is a nutter, let them. If we get the best out of him, we have got him. If people want to write stories about him and say that he is crazy or he is a nutter, let them, but he is one of us now. We have welcomed him into this club with open arms and we want to help him succeed. Everyone is hoping he is going to be a hit,” said Gerrard.