What’s the difference between Manchester City in Europe and a compass? Answer – A square has four points.
That’s right, earlier this week City became English football’s worst ever performers in the group stage of the Champions League by registering a measly three points, all of which were accrued from disappointing draws. Consequently, this also rather amusingly means that the team has not even qualified for the Europa League this year.
What was most surprising about their exit from Europe was that it featured a crowd that was particularly hostile towards Mario Balotelli as he was substituted on for Edin Dzeko after 65 minutes. Unfortunately, instead of letting this antagonism bounce-off him, he became increasingly agitated and was eventually booked for dissent in the closing stages of the game.
…it is still not the return on investment fans were expecting…
This type of unspectacular and frustrating performance is one that City fans have grown used to this year. Balotelli has only scored 3 goals this season in the 15 games he has featured in, most of which were as a substitute. Granted that the lack of opportunities Mancini has thrown his way partly explains why his goal tally is so low, it is still not the return on investment fans were expecting following his big money move from Internazionale 3 years ago.
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the striker has recently become the subject of much transfer speculation that many football fans, myself included, have understandably welcomed. This is because, speaking as objectively as possible, the striker brings nothing special to the table that isn’t already supplied by Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko or Sergio Aguero.
…being a poor example to aspiring athletes…
Furthermore, Balotelli has been unable to shake off his reputation as being a poor example to aspiring athletes and a liability both on and off the pitch. Football fans will never forget how he set his house on fire after setting off fireworks in his bathroom, or the time he failed to put on a warm-up bib, and especially the time he was caught throwing darts at youth players.
If all of this wasn’t enough to convince you that Man. City and the Premiership in general could do without Super Mario’s slightly above average football skills and his erratic behaviour, then you are probably part of the small minority that has not yet grown tired of his short temper, bizarre haircuts and his desire to remove his shirt whenever he scores.