22 Aug 2014

Breaking News: BR discusses €20m Balotelli & reveals truth about the 'behaviour' clause

Press speculation suggests that Liverpool have insisted on a 'bad-behaviour' clause in Mario Balotelli's LFC contract, but is this actually true?

In his pre-Man City press conference a few minutes ago, Rodgers:

* Refused to confirm if the Balotelli deal was done, but stated he'd talk about it once the transfer is completed.

* Insisted that he 'total confidence' that the squad will not be disrupted by the arrival of Balotelli.

When asked whether there is a 'specific code of conduct' for Balotelli, Rodgers noted:

"Every club has a code of conduct, and we've quite an extensive code of conduct here, but there's no specific one for any one individual. It covers all the professionals and staff"

To me, the 'behaviour clause' story sounds like opportunist tabloid BS, 'inspired' by the Luis Suarez 'bite clause' claims last month, and Rodgers' comments on the issue seem quite clear.

Having said that, you never can tell with Rodgers; he's speaking in the present tense here, which means right now, there's no individually-tailored code of conduct for any specific individual. However, Balotelli is not technically a Liverpool player yet, so at some point in the near future, it's conceivable there could be something in place.

I don't see the point, though. Singling out one individual for special treatment is arguably discriminatory, especially given the fact that Liverpool didn't have a specific behaviour clause for Luis Suarez, who has caused infinitely bigger problems than Balotelli.

Plus, where's the benefit of putting Balotelli under immediate pressure the minute he walks through the door? Slapping him down with restrictive contract clauses (which basically symbolise a lack of trust) is hardly the most inspiring way to welcome the striker to the club.

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120 comments:

  1. It's more than likely all paper talk BS. Usually is. Even if it were true, why would Rodgers tell anyone.

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  2. I think there is no point of such clause because clubs fine players whenever the discipline/code is breached anyway. Maybe its just to put pressure on Balo early on so that he keeps his feet on the ground. I remember, BR and SG commenting on Sturridge's attitude once he joined Liverpool to put some pressure on him. Maybe, it worked.
    .
    All I know is that we handled Luis Suarez, Balo will not be a problem.

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  3. Odd this one as usually quitereliable journos are saying it not just the usual tripe mongers. We may never know for sure.

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  4. One thing is for sure, he ain't going to struggle scoring goals for us and will not need time to settle as he has proven himself in the EPL before. He is thick skinned too so if there are any clauses in his contract then it will be like going back to school for him. Step over the line and you will be punished. Might be the first steps to becoming an adult.

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  5. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:53 pm, August 22, 2014

    can't wait to see balotelli and sakho play together!

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  6. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:54 pm, August 22, 2014

    he is getting married and has a child , this makes you more mature
    plus he is at that age now




    plus his desire to succeed at lfc is clear when he is agreeing to such clauses and taking 60k pay cuts

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  7. I have been absolutely giddy for the past two days now.


    Balotelli is a player that can elevate our team to new heights in my opinion. Before him, we are 4th best in the league on paper. Now we can challenge for 2nd or 3rd, and if we get a few bounces our way, perhaps we can make a title run again.


    And the risk we have is minimized significantly considering the cost of getting him. If he screws around, we'll send him packing and still get a good chunk of the fee back.

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  8. Apparently he will be on 120k a week.

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  9. BBC reported 120k. Which source did you read?

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  10. Try cracking that code :)

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  11. It seems that another deal is going to be done but a completely random one. Liverpool are looking to take youngster Mathias Pinto on a trial basis. Supposedly very highly rated.

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  12. Numerous yesterday

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  13. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:57 pm, August 22, 2014

    balotelli plays really well for italy bar the uruaguy game




    i think the system italy play suits him rodgers can adapt something similar in the diamond shape


    .....................................balotelli.................sturridge
    ...................................................sterling
    ................................coutinho............................henderson
    ..................................................gerrard


    sterling can be candrevea , coutinho -pirlo,gerrad de rossi , sturridge -cassano , lallana -montolivo , allen-verrati

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  14. Shame he can;t play on Monday

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  15. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:58 pm, August 22, 2014

    who does he play for?

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  16. Yeah another young winger gee the clubs got them coming out their ears now.

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  17. Universidad de Chile.

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  18. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:58 pm, August 22, 2014

    was sanchez from there?

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  19. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:59 pm, August 22, 2014

    which position?

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  20. No. He plays as a winger...

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  21. There's always Anfield to look forward to...

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  22. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:02 pm, August 22, 2014

    unfortantaly spuds are after

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  23. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:02 pm, August 22, 2014

    can i still say he is the new sanchez?

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  24. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:02 pm, August 22, 2014

    echo
    100,000

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  25. No he is going to better

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  26. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:04 pm, August 22, 2014

    i have a massive dilemma


    should i buy a henderson home kit or a balotelli home kit ?


    henderson is my favorite player
    but balotelli is our marquee buy

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  27. Meant against City at Anfield

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  28. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:05 pm, August 22, 2014

    another 5-1

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  29. Everyone else we sign after Balo is complete bonus.

    We really don't need anyone else but getting cheap 3rd goalie would be nice and so would be getting someone better than Lucas. But these aren't must they would be luxury.

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  30. 6-1 with the Why Always Me coming back or something new. See, that is why Balo is a great signing. You always contemplate what he is trying to do.

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  31. Apparently Sergio Romero is next up.

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  32. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:07 pm, August 22, 2014

    we our now favorites for the title

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  33. There is a clear WC hype in this one but for that price and for that age he would be a nice signing!

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  34. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:08 pm, August 22, 2014

    brad jones vs oldham fa cup 2012/13


    brad jones vs southampton away 2012/14


    watch those games

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  35. If u think about it, Balotelli is the first TRULY world class player to sign for Liverpool. (Torres, Alonso, Fowler, Rush, Daglish and Suarez were all very good when they signed but they only BECAME world class during their time at Liverpool. So with Balotelli we r getting a world class player who doesn't really need developing per se, he just needs to find consistency and going by his M. City goals record it is very good.

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  36. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:10 pm, August 22, 2014

    he is certainly the most exciting signing torres!


    when we signed suarez torres left and we were all worried for andy carroll

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  37. Every goalie has great games. Even when I play with my friends there are times I save every shot. But there are games were I suck. :D

    Jones is allright look Schwarzer last season. That's why I said 3rd goalkeeper would be luxury.

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  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:11 pm, August 22, 2014

    those games were 3-1 defeats and 3-2 i think


    no way can we rely up on him

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  39. I agree, it is more than likely press BS and to be honest would a guy like Mario even entertain such an approach.
    I think this will turn out to be a great signing and one that will elevate us into the top 4 for sure, up until now I was a little worried we may miss out.
    According to some stat I read a few hours ago he only needs to score 7 goals a year to be classified as a good buy in terms of cost per goal average, I am sure he will will surpass that by a long way.
    I also read that Rogers wasn't in for him and it was forced on him (not sure how much truth there is in that either), I always thought and still believe Rogers has the last say.

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  40. Aggressive? Tall? Fast? Strong? All words a associated with being bla... a decent player? Maybe?

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  41. Jones should not be sold. He is a good guy to have and is not on sky high wages. Keep him as third choice as he is content with it.

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  42. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:12 pm, August 22, 2014

    they look like brothers !
    defenders will get mixed up in the corners
    and they might mark sakho instead

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  43. Agreed. But with 4 competitions 3 goalies is preferable.

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  44. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:13 pm, August 22, 2014

    Come on balo this is the second coming of torres !

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  45. More like this is Suarez's 'replacement'.

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  46. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:15 pm, August 22, 2014

    he plays more like torres

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  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:16 pm, August 22, 2014

    the balotelli you will see every week


    is the one that played vs germany in euro 2012
    when rodgers and peters are done with him

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  48. Indeed great team. But think about replacing Gerard with Can (Obviously he has to be good enough to push SG to bench, but that's what was expected when we bought him) & Reus pushing Starling to bench. It's a title winning team

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  49. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:41 pm, August 22, 2014

    read something interesting


    adel taarabt said balotelli is a bad trainer compared to him

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  50. Go with Henderson! . Balotelli kit might catch fire for unknown reasons

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  51. I see everyone is giddy and super glad that LFC has signed Balo. But I fear the opposite. This guy will be good for first couple of months and then will go down the same path he has already traversed in 3 different clubs. Total lunatic, he will ruin the rhythm and pressurizing tactic of liverpool. Bad move

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  52. cant get my head around this signing i believe it will all end intears for both parties absolutely sick we signed him

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  53. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:54 pm, August 22, 2014

    a bit worrying

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  54. Nevergonnacrackthecode3:54 pm, August 22, 2014

    henderson i know will always give 100%

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  55. The big question here, is what does this mean for my selection of Daniel Sturridge in my fantasy football team? Do I trade him, wait and see, or add Balo to the mix instead of Costa - decision, decisions.
    In all seriousness, I do believe he'll come good - he's at the right age, has a point to prove, and Liverpool would has what appears to be a healthy, fostering environment. Don't know this for fact, but compared to the other top clubs, bar Arsenal, it would appear that Liverpool has a warmer, human touch than say City, United, or Chelsea.

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  56. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:02 pm, August 22, 2014

    i was watching england vs costa rica




    but apparently against uruguay he was so so awful


    is that true?

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  57. Not sure what to believe any more when Brendan speaks . He is an expert at handling the media and one of the reasons he was appointed. He has the blarney and uses an Irish dictionary ( obviously ‘ categorically ‘ has a different meaning there ! ) We will never know the real reason for ‘ the mother of u turns ‘ after his unequivocal denial to the press. How is he able to explain that one away ? Was it his decision or is he just playing lip service to FSG ? Also we will never know the real truth behind any conditions of the deal just the policy statement re players code of conduct etc.
    One thing is for sure …... this season we will find out for if his man management skills are what they are cracked up to be !

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  58. I believe that the reason BR made the press conference comments he did was to register publicly his desires NOT to have to deal with Balo's eccentricities. However, over time FSG and the LFC front office decided that this was too good a striker at too good a price to pass up and convinced BR to change his mind. BR, being the good troop he is, complied.

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  59. I just said that he is a very good player, that doesn`t mean we will be signing him. Not a word to word quote but that is what he said. THAT doesn`t mean we will sign him.

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  60. Balo is comfortable with the ball at his feet while Sakho is easily distinguishable due to his style of play, or lack there of

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  61. Part of what I was getting at …. How much is Brendan his own man and to what extent is he a mouth piece of FSG ? PR is such an important part of a manager’s job these days .He has the art of diplomacy and good at responding to awkward questions only letting us know what HE / FSG want us to know .

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  62. The truth is if you had asked most fans a month ago whether they'd want balo the response would have been an emphatic no. And if you'd asked them "what would convince you that buying him is a good move?" One would be a low fee (£16 is ridiculous) and the second would be a behavior clause coz we just dealt with two years of behavioral problems in Suarez. So I wouldn't be surprised is this clause is actually true. My problem is, if you've agreed to buy a player like balo and understand what it takes to control him, why openly put in a behavioral cause that might get under his skin and upset him?

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  63. BR's pre-Man City press conference

    "We know we need to be compact and solid when we haven't got the ball, we need to be aggressive and press well. That's the nature of our game.

    We ain't going to see pressing football with both Gerrard and Lucas in the starting eleven. Just hope that idea does not get entertained again. I really do not want to see us get a thumping!

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  64. You can never have too many good players maybe LFC should test Dortmund with 30-35 million offer :)

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  65. I've been looking to put a name on the back of my crown liverpool away jersey for a while now. This transfer just shocks me everytime I think of it...never thought this would happen and kind of still don't understand why it's happening. So I'm officially going to put "Super Mario" on the back of the jersey!

    Going to be either the best of worst signing in our recent history haha

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  66. I believe Lazar might have a huge role to play of the bench with pace and energy. IMO, we need to play Emre against City and put him against Yaya because he has the steel to go head to head against him. I hope Brendo thinks so too.

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  67. Can't really see BR coming out with the excuse that the bargain price was too good to refuse - even though it is what our owners probably thought . After all Brendan has to do the job on Mario and that is what he is paid for .

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  68. Spirit of the Shadows5:04 pm, August 22, 2014

    I have a strange feeling Lucas will be gone before the window ends

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  69. Suspicious about this apparent rapid turnaround in Rogers's view of the player as expressed a couple of times lately. Does he really have the final say in who we buy, or is this just a panic over the approaching deadline?

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  70. the problem with Taarabt is he already thinks he is great

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  71. Taarabt looks overweight compared to Ballo & has a tenth of his talent. Ballo is a lean machine who easily plays 90mins.

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  72. Just heard Moanrinho's comments on Balotelli ..... Geeze don't tell me he has learnt the art of diplomacy at last !

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  73. I just said that he is a very good player, that doesn`t mean we will be
    signing him. Not a word to word quote but that is what BR said. THAT
    doesn`t mean we will sign him. It is politicians kinda statement, but that is what football is these days, among other things...

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  74. So far off it's unbelievable, just a realistic Liverpool fan for over 35 years.

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  75. Spirit of the Shadows5:18 pm, August 22, 2014

    One things for sure Dr Steve Peters is definitely going to get a raise

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  76. He said he doesn`t want Van Gaal over his head, and we didn`t bring him. Brendan IS his own man. Not Benitez kinda own man, more diplomacy, but that is why he will last longer...

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  77. naah he's just being sarcastic

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  78. Another thing is for sure, we have a seriously competitive squad. Especially in attack.

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  79. Totally agree with you, Jaimie. Such a clause would be quite humiliating for Balotelli, actually. I really hope he wasn't made to sign anything daft like that. Treated like a child from the outset; that's the opposite of what he needs. I hope this one is concluded (Rémy), because I'm a huge fan of Balo and think he could be amazing for Liverpool. Viva Super Mario!

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  80. Rumours about Eto'o are doing the rounds still as well. We have some great options/formations to choose from, should be hard for opposition to play against us. I'd be happy with a point against city anything more a bonus, good we are getting a couple of tricky away fixtures out of the way early.

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  81. the clause is a ridiculous notion in all aspects ......

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  82. he was gone long before that

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  83. we need to play attacking football from the off as we haven't the personnel or the system to sit back

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  84. llana will start when fit or he will be judged as a waste of money

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  85. In my opinion, he had to dismiss the rumor a few weeks ago because it could have been considered tampering.


    After all, there are a ton of rumors out there. Why squash this one in particular? In my opinion, it's because there was a serious interest and after what happened with Dempsey a few years back, this was Rodgers being careful

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  86. You could be right. It'll be fascinating to see how it pans out.

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  87. Load of BS is right. If any issue arruses it would already be covered by the standard code of conduct anyway, putting a "clause" in his contract would be pointless.

    Mario must not use any academy recruits as a dart board.
    Mario must only dress as Santa Claus during the festive period (and only during training on Christmas day)
    Mario must limit all of his pyro-technic endevours to the garage, or failing that, a well ventilated utility room.

    Have we missed anything?
    Oh yeah.

    Mario must not come within 500m of anfield wearing that stupid F***ing hat.

    Think that covers it Brendan.

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  88. Also when the rumor was around the first time the figure being quoted was 28m... nice 12m game of chicken played there perhaps? Bavo BR :)

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  89. That hat in red is gonna be a best seller in the LFC shop at Christmas ;-)

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  90. Definately. I say the street vendors alone put an order in for 20,000 of em with the crest on for monday nights match. Eaaasy money.

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  91. A clause like that would be like a schoolyard dare to Balotelli.

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  92. "Two weeks ago I was the king of Manchester and now I am the devil of Manchester," he said. "It's the football world and it is especially the media in this football world."



    Ha ha. Welcome to mediocrity.

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  93. Well I don't trust him one bit. Just in the door or not.

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  94. Agree this is just paper talk. Like you say it would put unnecessary pressure on the lad from the word go.
    Like Rodgers said earlier in his interview, there is a lengthy code of conduct for everyone at the club, players, coaching staff and officials. At the most I would think that will be explained to Mario in no uncertain terms but I can't see there being any specific clauses in his contract

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  95. Is that you Luis?

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  96. Gerrard plays the Pirlo role in our team. I also think Veratti is the most offended man in Europe right now after being compared to Joe Allen.

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  97. We will not see the same Balotelli every week, that much I'm sure of

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  98. Agree, we need the physicality of Can against City's midfield

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  99. Yea we got that mate

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  100. Yep. Refraining from spraying deodorant before putting on a balotelli shirt is highly advised.

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  101. As he said, I'm sure there's a lengthy code of conduct document which every employee of LFC will have regarding their respective roles, like there is in every company in the world!

    The main point is that the expectation to comply with on-field tactics and maintain high levels of performance are aligned by both manager and player. We don't play as individuals, and as long as that's understood, with and without the ball, then this could be special. Sterling, Coutinho, Sturridge, Henderson, Markovic....Balotelli - attacking dynamite!! I hope the lad finds his home here.

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  102. Just remember the theory that says " the bigger the risk is, the bigger benefit that we can get from it " and we should play big this year ---- YNWA

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  103. IF we sign Reus I think it will give us some needed quality on the attack. This season I think we lack that attacking flair (because we don't have Suarez). I think Reus and Balotelli will add that.

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  104. I didnt understand that at all hardly a word of it in fact.

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  105. Then we've wasted money and squad places on Moreno and Manquillo. Also whilst Lallana and Sterling can play WB neither is particularly comfortable in the role, arguably weakening the side.

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  106. Sterling isn't a natural WB and it cuts out most of the good work he'd do offensively.
    Moreno is an attacking FB he's not going to want to hang back and neither will Sterling

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  107. Now I don't mean any offense, but I don't think you quite get how this defense is supposed to work.


    First off though, while Moreno is an attack minded player, he is still a FB. Wingback would suit him since his natural position is higher on the pitch. He will still have to get back, but so does any FB. And also, I realize that Sterling isn't a WB, but you were complaining that it would be too defensive, so I threw him in there. Honestly, Manquillo would be fine, and preferable for me.


    Now for the defense, obviously the main "ball stoppers" are the 3 CBs. Their positioning wouldn't be all that different from 2 CBs, naturally sliding to the threatened side. However, what you have to realize is that both WBs will not be attacking at the same time. For example, when Sterling goes up, Moreno would stay back. If the ball switches sides of the field, then Moreno would scoot up, the CB's would slide, and Raheem would drop a bit. There would be minimal threat of a counter as well, since we'd have 2 CB's center, 1 CB slid to a side, and one dropped WB at all times. For visual, the back 5 (DM included) would always look like this or mirrored for the Left:


    --------------------------Sterling ^
    Moreno-----Gerrard ^------------
    --------Sakho----Lovren---Skrtel
    Obviously not exactly like this, since I can't put guys between lines and I gotta fit names, but thats the idea.


    Anyway, for the record, I'm not the biggest fan of this system for LFC, mainly because it doesn't always work in the ideal way I portrayed. Especially since we favor fluid movement and interchange, we might find ourselves too out of position too often for this to work properly. And if you knew this all already, I apologize for wasting your time ;)

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  108. He was frustrated, couldn't do too much, and arguable should have been sent off in the first half. But national team performances aren't always the best indicator of a player's ability.

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  109. I don't think you understand player mentalities.
    How often did we see Johnson up the pitch out of position, because he likes to bomb forward? Even when Flanno was joining the attack.
    Not complaining, observing. A 3-5-2 only works when you the players to make it fit, as united found out against Swansea, using the players you've suggested would not work. In a 3 5 2 Stevie would need a lot more protection from his WB because he's lost a yard or two of pace and there isn't as many bodies in the middle to help him out, so all you've done is limit the team.
    Not to mention throwing a player that does some of his best work in the WB position is hardly a positive move, and would hardly keep the player himself happy.
    Ultimately you're wrong and that's about all there is to it.

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  110. Very true. There is no point putting the player under explicit scrutiny and reminding him of his past issues. If you want someone to behave like a grown up you have to first give them the chance. Treating him like a child who needs to be legally bound to behaving well would be the first indicator that this is a bad move, that the club doesn't believe Mario can actually be the player we need him to be, and he has to be strong-armed into living up to a basic standard of behaviour. I'm sure that all players are expected to turn up to training on time, participate in prescribed activities, probably all have at least one session a month with the team shrink, generally not be idiots. Balotelli won't need special attention, he actually needs to be shown confidence from the manager and trusted to live up to the standard required.


    His agent says there has been contact for a number of months. Given the speed with which the deal was concluded and the quick confirmation of exit the player made, I think he's really keen for this deal and there is already a level of expectation that he's going to do well. It was barely 12 hours after the story broke that Balotelli was confirmed as saying his goodbyes. He was ready for this move and as soon as Liverpool made it official he was making his plans. That's the sign of a guy who is ready to come here, who wants to come here.


    They are clearly different players but the talk of Liverpool being a "last chance" for someone is the same sentiment we heard for Sturridge. That was said quite directly, not just in the papers as commentary. Mario's agent has said the same thing again. These guys ... they know their own situations, they know that coming here is a chance to really show that they are top players. They don't need much motivation beyond that and they certainly don't a need a contract that spells it out. It's their career, they want to be here and they want to do well. Screwing that up wouldn't just be bad for the club, it would be bad for them and Sturridge has certainly avoided that. Mario will have seen that, along with the progression of players like Henderson and Sterling who have had to improve to earn their spots. The simple message is that if you do what the manager asks you to do and give everything you have for the team then you'll also have the chance to be a great player, recognised for your individual contribution.

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  111. Actually I completely agree. It worked (for the most part) with NED and Van Gaal because they had the correct personnel for the formation. Utd (and LFC for the record) don't. Really, Manquillo and maybe Lovren and Skrtel are the only guys who could play it. However, the formation itself is not innately an offensive or defensive formation/tactic, which was my point. Guys like Sterling or Moreno would make it more offensive than normal, but in the end it still gives cover when high up one flank. They wouldn't necessarily be good at it, but they would effect its attacking balance.


    One more thing... I'm not sure where I was wrong. I did massively misinterpret your comments, but I did acknowledge at the end of my last one that it probably wouldn't work with LFC. If my understanding of the tactic is wrong, please call me out, but all you really said is that the personnel doesn't fit the formation, which I agree with.

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