As Mario Balotelli embarks on his make or break season back at AC Milan, questions hang over the heads of Liverpool’s directing staff and most importantly over Mario himself. Why always him? Whose fault is it that the Mario Balotelli experiment failed and even backfired for Brendan Rodgers?
Not nay would have predicted that Mario Balotelli would do that bad for the Merseysiders. Many even hailed him as a bargain, Liverpool fans greeted him like a Kop Idol and Arsenal fans in fumes to hear they purchased Danny Welbeck rather than Super Mario. Fast forward a year and the situation is turned on its head; Balotelli is an expensive flop, he is heiled only when he left the club and Arsenal fans are glad to have got Welbeck.
There is no doubting Mario Balotelli’s vast potential that he so finely displayed at the Euro 2012 or during his first two spells with AC Milan. However, there are doubts over his lax attitude. Soon after his departure to Milan bizarre stories of his behavior started emerging, including the day that Mario Balotelli skipped training to get the new iPhone. Although it cannot be told how much of a role he himself played in his own failure, there is no question about it playing a significant part.
As is the case with any player, a large part of your success or failure depends on your manager. And it’s difficult to see how Brendan Rodgers ever thought he could recuperate Mario Balotelli, where managers such as Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini have all failed. Brendan Rodger’s tactics where not only unsuitable for the Italian forward but were also out of his reach meaning that he could never adapt to playing as a lone striker. However, when he played along with another goal scorer (such as Daniel Sturridge during the away game at Tottenham in August 2014) he played phenomenally and was unfortunate to not get a goal. Such goalless form was to continue, but not in the glittering manner it started and Liverpool soon lacked a goal scorer.
Only time will tell if Mario Balotelli can recover himself and his once promising career.