I’m really getting out there on this one, eh? Predicting more Mario Balotelli drama is like predicting that a whistle will sound prior to kickoff at a match.
The hook here is the “where.” This drama will unfold at The City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, England, also known as the Etihad Stadium, a.k.a. home of Manchester City. Because apparently the man-child and trouble-child striker isn’t going anywhere.
City boss Roberto Mancini says Balotelli is likely staying put in the upcoming transfer window. His reasoning: City owner Sheikh Mansour likes the guy. What Mancini just told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport:
I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him. Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognizes the talent and he exports the name of the City over the world. … We need to consider that Mario was made as a major investment, and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window.”
Mancini went on to say that the 22-year-old must become more professional in his career. No kidding.
While it’s true that 22 remains relatively young, and that we have seen immature athletes raise their level of professional comportment as they move along in age, there’s also a starting point to be considered.
That is to say, Balotelli’s starting point means he has a long, long way to go just to arrive at “low-level problem” status. The young Italian has proven time and again to be petulant, impulsive, selfish and / or irresponsible on game day. So, if Mancini or Sheikh Mansour or anyone else truly believes sufficient progress will be made, and wants to risk City’s ongoing title defense on it, well, shame on them.
Because you know what they say about the fooling someone once, fooling them twice, etc.