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13 Oct 2014

Boss blasts: Torres is a greater 'champion' than 'rotten' €20m LFC star. Agree?

Another day, another attack on Mario Balotelli. The €20m Liverpool star is being stabbed in the back from all sides right now, and AC Milan Chief Silvio Berlusconi is the latest football figure to take a cheap potshot at the Italian striker.

Speaking to Gazetta Dello Sport over the weekend, Berlusconi claimed that Milan signed Balotelli 'against my advice', adding:

"We have many champions: [Jeremy] Menez, [Keisuke] Honda, [Stephan] El Shaarawy, [Fernando] Torres, [Nigel] De Jong.

"The base is there. And we no longer have a rotten apple in the dressing room."

Berlusconi calling someone a 'rotten apple'? The hilarious irony is clearly lost on the three-time Italian Prime Minister...

Naysayers in Italy are seemingly slavering to stick the knife into Balotelli at the moment. A few days ago, AC Milan sports chief Umberto ­Gandin noted:

"It didn't work out for both sides, so Liverpool came at just the right time. It just made everyone happy"

Former AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Amelia told SportItalia:

"In the locker room it’s almost as if he [Balotelli] weren’t there at all. You have to drag words out of him. He has this almost mocking attitude that makes his teammates angry"

Italy coach Antonio Conte recently dropped Balotelli from the national team, and Sunderland star Emanuele Giaccherini supports the decision. He told reporters this week:

"He [Conte] doesn't love individuals but the team. Mario is a great player, but must have a bit more hunger".

Lack of hunger/desire, and hard work seems to be on ongoing theme when it comes to those assessing Balotelli, and although Brendan Rodgers is (overall) an excellent man-manager, it seems as if he has work cut out here. That's what happens, though, when hubris overwhelms logic and realism.

Rodgers regularly goes on about how he sees himself as some kind of father figure, whose role includes making his players 'better people'. Well, with Balotelli, LFC's manager clearly believes he can succeed where everyone else has failed, and if he can't get the best out of the Italian, that hubris may ultimately end up being his downfall.

Can Rodgers get the best out of Balotelli? He's worked wonders on the likes of Henderson, Sterling, and even Steven Gerrard, but as much as I want the Italian to succeed at Anfield, I fear that Rodgers has bitten off more than he can chew here.

Additionally, this season is his most important yet, and the Reds don't really have time to mollycoddle Balotelli whilst trying to stay afloat in the league. Liverpool needed a striker to come in and hit the ground running, and that hasn't happen.

Consequently, the club is now struggling to in touch with the top four, but hopefully things will pick up after the international break. Balotelli will be well-rested, and there's no real excuse for him to continue misfiring.



  1. Yeah because Fernando Torres is such an amazing champion that Chelsea worked so hard to get rid of him. Balotelli as I have repeated is being made a scapegoat for no reason. We have seen nothing to show that he is a 'rotten apple'. He does his fair share of defensive work and is strong on the ball. He is not our problem and is papering over the cracks inside. He looks more motivated then I have seen in other clubs. Once he starts banging in the goals, everyone will stop.

  2. We are Liverpool and every player who pulls on the shirt will get his chance to prove his or her worth. Rotten apples can be turned into cider. Give the lad a chance folks.

  3. Watched Mario preety much his entire career. When the first rumour popped up I wrote why I think he can never be `cured` and how I think he can be one in the top 3 of the world if does get cured. Now Brendan is suposedly good at these things and Mario knows( Iguess?!?) meaning of words last chance so let`s hope for the genius stuff but...

  4. I prefer to see it as a calculated gamble based on BR's actual man management skills AND Balotelli realising he is beginning to run out of chances and that he has been given the opportunity to become a Liverpool legend.

  5. Silvio Burlusconi is the rottenest ROTTEN APPLE in Italy - no Europe.

  6. when ever i read about Balo i cant help feeling there is more going on like racism and jealousy ....it must be hard for some nobody seeing a black guy with lots of money who is built like an adonis flashing his cash with lots of women having a ball .....keep it up balo im at the stage where i dont care if you suceed even though i think you will because i know how much you infuriate bigots thats right bigots who are green with envy

  7. Big black guy with mad hair gets made scapegoat. Seems oddly familiar.

  8. its funny we are a shambles defensively yet our designated Dm has never had a mention ..hes scouse and white so maybe thats the reason because i cant think of anything else for balo to be criticized ahead of balo ... id throw the 3 stoogies in with that lovren,skirtal amd mingo who have all performed worse than balo and sako for me and trust me im not sakos biggest fan

  9. Rodgers considering himself a "father figure" is just as ironic as Sylvio going on about a rotten apple.

    Brendan is no saint... after all, he did have a romantic relationship with a former co-worker at LFC, which helped end his marriage.

    I'm not asking for saints to be working at the football club. This is not a judgmental comment.

    Just ironic that Rodgers goes on about making his players "better people".

    I'd simply prefer an honest assessment from him as opposed to the rhetoric he spews. After all, I'm sure Stewart Downing was a lovely fellow... but he was shipped out when the right bid came in.

  10. Didn't he also host "bunga bunga" parties?!?!?

  11. For me they are the same to be honest but I dont know why I would pick torres over balo, if we only talk about lfc!

  12. i am getting excited about divock origi..a great talent at hand..if only liverpool had him this season

  13. Nothing related to the story mate!

  14. Silvio Berlusconi said "Milan have many Champions" with such pride.Then named his version of Galacticos which is a list of washed up, average players.I hate when people give special credit to what individuals achieve in a team sport.
    Unless it's players like Diego Maradona who was the reason he became a Champion, by carrying his team to World Cup glory.

  15. well not talking about the story mate..i just read how well he is doing for belgium so i shared my excitement..shoul i wait for an article on origi??

  16. TheyCallMeMrBurt when i read the article i was loading up for target practise.Berlusconi's head would've look like a golf course when i was done, but you beat me to the punch/shot.

  17. Balotelli is a better player than most of the AC Milan team. When you see him playing you can see that he is a real footballer unlike a lot of the players that we have signed over the years. He practically oozes class and always looks a threat.

  18. No, that's fine. You can discuss anything you want on any thread (within reason)

  19. Like I said, I doubt he does.

  20. Neither is Suarez. Neither is Messi. Usain Bolt is really quick though. Not a very good football player by the way.

  21. Both Messi and Suarez are much faster than Suso. Both also have really good acceleration so can be quicker than opponents over small distances which is enough for players with their abilities. Suso doesn't have this.

  22. So you know better then? How is the Real Madrid job going? Yo been there long?

  23. Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I totally give kudos to your thinking outside the box, I would never dream of setting a team like ours up like this. Maybe swap Allen with Sakho, take Valdes out because we aren't even remotely linked with him, take Johnson out as he'll have trouble playing for us as a registered Stoke player, swap Lallana with Firmino (and possibly switch his possy with Coutinho) and probably switch Sturridge with Balo or Ings, as he wont be with us to begin with. One final change, Sterling will not be at the club, so I suppose Milner/Lallana/Ibe would be there...
    how long has it been since you checked on our transfers?

  24. because saying idiot would make you a douche.

  25. Its the cool thing to do, slag off sterling because he's gone. You're not cool unless you mention:
    a) that you never rated him,
    b) his meager goal/assist return,
    c) that he'll be the next Scott Sinclair/Micah Richards,
    d) that Ibe is a way better player anyway,
    e) bla bla bla mercenary bla bla bla
    f) all of the above, repeatedly.