Friday, March 18, 2011

City 1 Kiev 0: More "Waluigi" than "Super Mario"...

Manchester City limply exited the Ropey League at the Round of 16 stage — despite winning 1-0 on the night — after failing to overturn the two-goal deficit inflicted from the first leg by Dynamo Chicken Kiev.

It was a valiant effort by those ten players that could be bothered staying on the pitch, dominating the game for long periods despite the numerical shortfall.

For not the first time this season (or even not the first time against Dynamo Kiev), Mario Balotelli has let down the club, and probably more concerning than that, the manager that has defended him so vehemently. He was only on the pitch for 35 minutes, but even it that time managed to miss a gilt-edge chance, and throw his toys out of his pram on a regular basis.

At his wit's end, Mancini has turned to Super Nanny Jo Frost for inspiration, and relegated Balo to the naughty chair before Sunday's game at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't think he'll be in the squad," he mused.

"If Mario thinks, he could be a fantastic player. But this is his problem. When he does stupid things like tonight it's difficult for him, for me and for the team."

Whether City would have worn down Kiev to at least force extra-time we'll never know, but Mancini certainly seemed to think that they were a chance against a team that never looked like scoring an away goal that would have killed the tie.

Defenders of Joey Bartelli (if there are any left) will suggest that his petulance is due to 'his tough up-bringing'/'being racially abused his whole life'/'his homesickness'/'being just a kid'/'not being tucked into bed as a child' or a combination of the lot. But this constant defending and mollycoddling of Balo is part of the problem.

It's probably the same excuses he used, or people used, to explain his attitude when he was six. And twelve. And sixteen. And now at twenty, with the potential and the talent to be absolutely anything, he is still a little boy. An arrogant, petulant, ill-tempered boy who may wear a Blue shirt, but does not play for City.

I'm not sure if he can play for the club again this season, unless he has a complete attitude overhaul. His cards have been marked. Opposition teams are going to goad him into a reaction, and referees are going to penalise him knowing he has a reputation for doing so.

Maybe Baliability would benefit from some time in the reserves, but you'd get the impression he'd just stink up the pitch for the whole 90 minutes.

I try to like him, I really do. I found him quite refreshing at first. I even bought myself a Hatotelli... but it's extremely difficult to defend a player that has such disdain for the club that pays his wages.

Say what you like about Jo's shitness (and believe me, we have) at least you get the impression that he actually tries to not be shit.

Baliability needs the assistance of an adult to complete even the simplest of tasks, such as dressing himself, or going pot-pot.

It's still the wrong way around Mario! Oh forget it...

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