Tag Archives: Balotelli

Last chance: Mancini warns Balotelli to shape up or ship out

City manager is under pressure from senior players and the club’s Abu Dhabi owners over the friction caused by the controversial Italian striker

Player power: Senior City stars have tired of Mario Balotelli's antics this season

Player power: Senior City stars have tired of Mario Balotelli's antics this season

Player power has prompted Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini to warn Mario Balotelli that he must mend his ways or face being booted out of the Etihad.

Balotelli is once again available for selection for tomorrow night’s make-or-break Manchester derby with United after serving a ­three-match ban for his red card in the defeat at Arsenal.

And Sunday Mirror Sport understands that Balotelli has been left in no doubt by both his teammates and his manager that this is his last chance to save his City career.

Several senior City players have told Mancini that the Italian’s ­behaviour is causing friction in the dressing room. They feel that the Blues’ boss has indulged ­Balotelli to the point where it is damaging both the player and the team.

Mancini is also coming under pressure from City’s Abu Dhabi owners to get the 21-year-old to clean up his act.

He has now given Balotelli an ultimatum – and so far it seems to be working. Mancini said: “Maybe I am the only man in football who trusts Mario. But in this game I think, yes, you can trust him.

“Mario as usual is training well.

“In one game he can score two or three goals – this is the manager’s problem. Mario has apologised to me for the red card at Arsenal, yes. He has been training well.”

Mancini’s belief that the young Italian has learned some vital ­lessons is confirmed by another City insider who said: “There has been a noticeable change in ­Balotelli since his sending off at Arsenal.

“He has settled right down and seems to be focused on his job, which hasn’t always been the case since he came to the club.

“A number of players have made their feelings clear to both Balotelli and Roberto Mancini that they felt one player was being given too much freedom.

“It was beginning to cause ­problems in the dressing room and was also damaging Mancini ­because to some extent he has staked his reputation on Balotelli.” The striker began his penance by issuing an apology for his second red card of the season.

During his ban, he has watched Carlos Tevez strike up a devastating partnership with Sergio Aguero.

Balotelli has scored 17 goals this season, but some team-mates felt he wasn’t doing enough on the pitch to justify the special treatment being ­lavished on him.

The insider added: “All top players are given some ­concessions. That doesn’t cause any problems as long as they are delivering on the pitch. The feeling was that Balotelli was not doing enough to be considered a special case.”

Controversy has followed the former Inter Milan forward throughout his career. But the negative headlines have gone into overdrive since ­Mancini persuaded City to pay £24million 18 months ago for a player described as ­‘unmanageable’ by Jose Mourinho.

That has not gone down well in image-conscious Abu Dhabi. And some of City’s fans are beginning to give up on a maverick who is something of a cult hero because of his ability to go from the sublime to the ridiculous on and off the pitch.

Mancini will once again trust in the Tevez-Aguero axis for tomorrow night’s crunch derby. But Balotelli terrorised United in City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October, scoring twice and will be ready to emerge from the substitutes’ bench if he is needed to make an impact.



Man City WON’T sell Balotelli, insists agent ©

By MirrorFootball

Mario Balotelli has settled his differences with Roberto Mancini and could stay at Manchester City for another two years, according to his agent.

The controversial striker has been a distraction at the club ever since he arrived from Inter Milan in 2010 and Mancini appeared to finally lose his patience on Sunday when Balotelli was sent off in a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.

The City boss said after the game he would “probably” sell the 21-year-old, and former club Inter, plus rival side AC Milan were linked with the player.

Exclusive: AC Milan and Inter set for £20m battle to take troubled Balotelli back to Italy

But today his agent Mino Raiola insisted the striker had patched things up with Mancini and would not be going anywhere – though he admits it did look bad at one point.

“I am in Manchester but not for any transfer business. I have talked with Mario and Mancini, there was a moment of tension but now the situation is calmer,” Raiola told Sky Italia TV.

“Mario has understood his errors, he is special in every way, sometimes he makes mistakes without meaning to. There is enormous pressure from the fans on Mario but Manchester City do not intend to sell him.

“He must grow here then in one or two years, we’ll see.

“He must stay here, it is not true he is unhappy. When he leaves England he will do it as a winner.”

Balotelli is under contract with City until June, 2015.

The Madness of Mario: Top 10 bonkers Balotelli moments


It’s all over! Crestfallen Mancini concedes title ‘will be difficult’ after defeat leaves City EIGHT points behind rivals United ©

PUBLISHED: 17:51 GMT, 8 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:15 GMT, 8 April 2012

Roberto Mancini has all but waved the white flag in the Premier League title race after his Manchester City side choked at The Emirates.

With Manchester United beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday lunchtime, City fell eight points behind their rivals and needed to win at Arsenal.

But they failed to react and fell to a stunning Mikel Arteta strike three minutes from time. They also had mercurial striker Mario Balotelli sent off shortly afterwards for a second bookable offense in the 1-0 defeat.

We need a miracle: Mancini (left) knows that United have flown and the title race is all but over

We need a miracle: Mancini (left) knows that United have flown and the title race is all but over

Mancini beforehand that the title would head to United ‘If we lose against Arsenal and they beat QPR’.

And Arteta’s wonder strike seemingly fulfilled the prophesy, even if pure mathematics say otherwise.

He knows that the trophy will almost certainly be adorned with the red ribbons of United.

Mancini’s body language afterwards spoke volumes, even if he was loathe to openly admit the fact.

In truth, he was convincing no-one that the title race is still alive, not even himself, and after four seasons of massive spending – two under Mancini’s leadership – City’s owners are sure to ask the Italian some searching questions.

Mancini said: ‘No, it’s not mathematically (over), but it’s clear now that it’s very difficult. We have a game in three days and we will try to win. Never say never in football.

No lads, it’s eight points: Mancini (left) and Balotelli (right) are left counting the cost at Arsenal

He added on Sky Sports 1: ‘In life until it’s over you should do your best. In the end if we don’t win it’s probably because they (United) did better than us.

‘It’s clearly difficult (to lift the players) but we play in three days and this is good. We are a professional team, with professional players. It’s important we start to win and finish the championship well.’

That's the spirit: A young Manchester City fan with a positive perspective

That's the spirit: A young Manchester City fan with a positive perspective

Tears before bed time: But this young City supporter finds it too hard to take

Tears before bed time: But this young City supporter finds it too hard to take

A miserably day for City was made complete by Balotelli’s late red card.

The Italian was deservedly sent off in the final minute after referee Martin Atkinson and assistant Peter Kirkup somehow failed to spot his first-half knee-high tackle on Alex Song, and he could now face a lengthy ban.

Mancini said of that first-half challenge: ‘From the bench I didn’t see the first tackle but it was a bad tackle.’

Mario misery: Balotelli reacts before receiving a red card from referee Martin Atkinson

When asked if the authorities should take a look retrospectively, he said: ‘I hope (so),’ and admitted the striker deserved a lengthy ban.

Mancini added of his controversial countryman: ‘I defend him always because Mario is a good guy, but if he doesn’t change in the future he can lose all his talent.

Art attack: Mikel Arteta thumps home what could be the final nail in City's coffin

Art attack: Mikel Arteta thumps home what could be the final nail in City's coffin

‘If he doesn’t understand this, after two years I can’t do anything. I hope for him that he can improve, that he can understand that he can’t continue like this, for his future, for his talent. I’m very sorry for him for this.’

Taking the Mik: Arteta celebrates Arsenal's late winner

Taking the Mik: Arteta celebrates Arsenal's late winner

* Mancini admits bad boy Balotelli should have been shown red for horror tackle on Song
* He’s just like Daley! QPR chief rages at Young ‘dive’ as Hughes confirms club will appeal Derry red
* Manchester United 2 QPR 0: Rooney’s dubious penalty fires Reds closer to title
* Arsenal 1 Manchester City 0: Balotelli sees red as Arteta super strike dents title charge
* All the latest Manchester United FC news, features and opinion
* All the latest Manchester City FC news, features and opinion

Source : dailymail.co.uk

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