Brendan Rogers has faith in Balotelli, but noncommittal on striker’s future
A $25.64 million transfer from AC Milan was no pretty price to pay for former AC Milan man Mario Balotelli, and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers surely hopes that his skills will be displayed on a more consistent basis, as excellent form has eluded the striker.
Balotelli has scored only one time in 10 appearances this season, and his off-field antics haven’t particularly taken a back seat. Just recently, he was accused of making verbal threats toward a women after she took photos of his Ferrari. Police are investigating the incident, according to Goal.com, but no official statement has been revealed to the public.
Merely a few months into a three-year deal with the Reds, Balotelli still has time to prove himself on the pitch, but media criticism has bombarded the footballer. And Rodgers, while he understands performance difficulties and acclimating to a new squad, is unaware of the Italian’s future.
“I think there’ll be that [criticism], of course. It’s something will happen maybe if you aren’t scoring or the team aren’t playing well. Whether the criticism is deserved or not, it’s a part of the game, and you have to accept it. No one likes it, however it comes, but as an individual, as a team and as a coach, you have to accept that.
“As long as he’s doing his best, that’s all I can ask for as a coach and as a manager. Whether that best is going to be good enough in the longer term, that remains to be seen.”
As far as the behavior of Balotelli, the Northern Irishman responded very nicely.
“I like players who are different. People talk to me about colors of boots and hair. I like that individual personality in people -- as long as they don’t see themselves as individuals. That’s the important thing.”