Balotelli spat 'overblown'

2013-01-04 14:14

Manchester - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini played down his row with Mario Balotelli and insists the striker still has a future with him by claiming he will give him another '100 chances' at the club.

The Italian pair were pictured grappling on the training ground in an apparent bust-up on Thursday in the latest in a long line of incidents involving the controversial striker.

Mancini took exception to a bad tackle from Balotelli on team-mate Scott Sinclair during a training match but the City manager played it down on Friday.

He claimed he asked the 22-year-old striker to leave the pitch after the tackle but when he refused the pair exchanged words in a heated argument which got physical.

Mancini admitted to losing his temper with the player but insists he has no regrets over the incident and does not feel like he has to speak to the player about it.

"It wasn't a bad thing like are in the paper," said Mancini. "The photo is worse than what happened.

"We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate and I said to him: 'Go inside, leave the pitch'. He said 'no', and I take his shirt, I push him off the pitch.

"This is what really happened, no fight. There is no fight. The pictures look worse. For two seconds, yes I lose my temper. Because he didn't want to leave the pitch and he should leave.

"I will give him another 100 chances if it possible if I think he can change. I am here for this. Also if sometimes I am upset with him because he does everything for this.

"I give him another chance, sure, because he is 22 and he can do a mistake."

Mancini insisted it does not change Balotelli's position at the club and he could still feature on the bench for City's FA Cup third round clash against Watford.

"I have not spoken to Mario," he said. "This does not change anything. This can happen, it usually happen between two players.

"It was different, I wanted him to leave the pitch after what he done to the other player.

"The situation is this, I did not fight with Mario. Mario is like this. My thoughts don't change, this is not important.

"He trained only four times this week. Not in the starting line-up, but maybe on the bench."

While the pictures appear to show Mancini as the aggressor, it is the latest in a long line of controversial incidents involving Balotelli since his 24m move to City in 2010 from Inter Milan.

Only last month the player dropped a Premier League tribunal against the club who he believed had fined him unjustly for his poor disciplinary record last season.

Mancini had refuted suggestions that the Italian would be sold on in January because of the incident but their relationship seems frayed.

Balotelli has been involved in three separate training ground incidents before, once having a bust-up with City defender Micah Richards, another one with former player Jerome Boateng and he also escaped unsanctioned after throwing a dart at a youth team player at the club.

Mancini admits the Italian international is difficult to manage and insists he must change his attitude if he is to achieve his potential.

Balotelli has had four red cards in his time at City and has only been in and out of the first-team this season.

Mancini said: "The problem could be himself. He doesn't change, for him it will be very difficult in the future. For him, not me. Mario could stay with me one day, one month, five years. He is 22 years old. He needs to change. His problem is for himself.

"What he did yesterday he can do also during the game. This is the problem. But I have faith, yes."


  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2013-01-04 14:49

    Shame - there is nothing more pathetic than someone trying to save face. Mancini has an excellent forward line-up in Tevez, Dzeko and Aguero. He really should dump Mario and look for a replacement. Wonder if Man Utd will buy Balotelli. Only Sir Alex will be able to sort out this arrogant Italian prick.

  • nyakanyaka.nyakanyaka - 2013-01-04 15:22

    Balotelli is a good player nd he must play regularly. Mancini is a stupid coach, harrassing mario all the time is unacceptable, mario must play all the time cos he is better than teves,kuhn n dzeko

      bbooyse - 2013-01-04 15:50

      If by better you mean racking up an impressive collection of yellow and red cards.. :D

      fdalana - 2013-01-04 20:55

      mario is not efficient, people like him are the reason why the standard is declining world wide.

      sharmilen.naidoo - 2013-01-04 22:21

      Nyakanyaka get yourself out from under that rock you've been under. Balotelli better than Tevez, Kuhn and Dzeko? You obviously have no knowledge on football. Those 3 players carried City to the title last season not childish Mario. Both Mario and Mancini are stupid. The camera does not lie Mancini. You are such a pathetic Manager.

  • lybon1 - 2013-01-04 16:59

    overblown my foot.....i'm starting to question manchini's manhood.....he is weak.....if it ws a coach like sir alex...balotteli wuld b out

      sharmilen.naidoo - 2013-01-04 17:42

      Agree with you lybon1. Mancini is so weak, no player will ever respect him. SAF does not put up with this nonsense no matter who you are. Just ask Beckham, Stam and Van Nistelrooy. Mamcini is a wimp!

  • phillip.andy.7 - 2013-01-04 18:40

    Mario has an attitude prblm if he doesn't fix it he will be frustrated 4 as long as mancini wants. as 4 mancini he acts childish sometimes he's no role model 4 me

  • joe.smit.549 - 2013-01-04 20:46

    Crap player, crap manager.

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