8 Nov 2014

Not Good Enough: Lineker mocks €20m LFC star after he 'fails' against Chelsea. Fair?

It's now just two goals in eleven starts for €20m summer signing Mario Balotelli, and as usual, the Italian is an easy scapegoat for Liverpool's increasingly catastrophic season. Balotelli is being knifed in the back from all sides at the moment, and England legend Gary Lineker is the latest to jump on the anti-Mario bandwagon.

After the midweek defeat to Real Madrid, Lineker accused Brendan Rodgers of making decisions 'unbefitting' a manager of Liverpool FC, and after witnessing the Reds' 2-1 loss to Chelsea today, he mocked:



Balotelli's struggle to score goals is, admittedly, a problem, but as he stated recently:

"I have never been a real, out-and-out striker. I have always been someone who goes around the pitch. If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It's the way I like to play, but Brendan asked me to play as the first striker".

Everyone and his dog can see that the 'Balotelli as lone-striker' experiment is an abject failure, yet Rodgers stubbornly persists with it, even though the man himself has publicly confirmed that he doesn't like to play that role.

It's ridiculous. Liverpool have the personnel to play two up-front, and last season, the 442 diamond formation worked wonders practically every time Rodgers utilised it. Despite this, the manager still refuses to make the change, and the result is five defeats in seven games.

Like every player, Balotelli has to take responsibility for his own performances, but a huge part Rodgers' job is utilising the club's players in a way that maximises their talent and potential. Right now, he is failing to do this, and the club's results are suffering as a result.

For me, Balotelli worked hard against Chelsea, and right now, he is the least of Liverpool's problems.

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61 comments:

  1. Drop Gerrard bring in Lucas bench sterling and Henderson they are off form

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  2. i would like to see lallana start ahead of henderson

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  3. if brendan supports mario with another striker, then we will find out if the 'gamble' will pay off. if he carries on wasting time and effort playing him up on his own, then it is doomed to failure. again this all comes down to brendans blinkered ineptitude. if he is waiting for sturridge to return before he changes things, then may i have permission to go and kick him very hard up the a*se?

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  4. we should be playing 442 with the players we have akin to the style rafa used its not ideal but we just dont have the players for 433

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  5. They'll all be off on Int duty where Hodgson will drain whatever is left of their 'form'

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  6. i would like to see lallana start.

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  7. I Know Gerrard is legend he is way passed his best .Its like the team is Accommodating flaws.

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  8. whats the saying if you aint got a back up you aint got a plan

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  9. he did nothing today he wasnt good he wasnt bad he just was ...at the level we need to be he has to be more than that ...plus hes hindering the development of others

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  10. Enemyofeverydisbeliever10:01 pm, November 08, 2014

    To be honest, I cant blame much the team today or tactics, its just the way we are right now and none can change it. People blame balotelli all the time but is he getting enough service up front? No. Not his fan and never defended him much but really he cant win the games by himself, the midfield provides nothing for him, even though he still should move from here for me but its unjust to throw the blame all on him. Hopefully this is the last game we play without sturridge, but can we change that much even with him? He surely wont help that tragic defence we've got! Looks like europa league is coming back, or not even that! Pathetic.

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  11. He won't drop his landlord in case he comes home to find a crap in his bath

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  12. yes, we could have players like jordan ibe having a crack. a talented youngster who has no fear, like sterling before and flanagan. instead we ship him off to derby on loan, i said that was an error.

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  13. Better if we don't have Europa league mate we don't have the squad for that either

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  14. sorry, you mentioned a defence? what defence is that!?

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  15. I think what Jamie is trying to say is. We all broke the dam.

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  16. yep, that shows we have gone backwards.

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  17. i feel for sturridge because the burden on him will be immense ...and lets be honest relying on him is like dropping the bog role down the toilet and hoping it will work

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  18. a simillar comparison is that we dropped lovren into the defence.........likewise!

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  19. you know the score lid its damp your desperate you try to wipe in hope its a disaster a bit like our defending

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  20. "Knifed in the back from all sides".
    Sounds like something from an old John Motson commentary.

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  21. I supported Rodgers decision on Tuesday to leave out some of these so called big players but that was on the basis that he was being shrewd in his selections. After today I have to say that i fear for his job because he is making some deluded statements in his pre/post match interviews. Like saying that Gerrard has got over that slip last season and today saying how great the team played today when we were clearly 2nd best to a Chelsea team in nearly gear.. At the moment watching Liverpool is like watching the end of the Houllier era minus a world class Steven Gerrard. They are so low in confidence and you can't see a goal coming from nowhere. I thought this would be the game to kick start the season but I just cant see them doing anything until a fit and sharp Sturridge is ready to lead the forward line. It will be interesting to see how the fans react over the next few weeks if the results continue like this. As for the Balotelli bashing its becoming boring now hearing these pundits taking a pop at him but at the same time are not criticizing Lovren, Gerrard or Hendersons lack of form. Its borderline racist in some cases with this stereotypical attitude problem and lack of work rate which he has been labeled with. Google "attitude problem and lack of work rate Sturridge " and i'm sure you will find similar statements attached to him too.

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  22. Blame Rodgers of you like but Ballo can't seem to get anything right like jumping for a ball staying on side holding up the ball passing even running is an issue for him. Rodgers should never have gambled on this guy. I see we have been linked to Jackson Martinez but I'm not holding my breath for this although he would be perfect for us. All the Liverpool players have been poor all season not one can say they have even had a great game,can they? There is something rotten going on and BR has to get a hold of it now,maybe bring someone in to show them how to take and defend set pieces because we haven't a clu.
    If Jackson Martinez isn't true another player we could look at is Wissem Ben Yedder not sure of spelling there but he plays for Toulouse and is scoring all types of goals with a lower rated team..
    That's all

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  23. The only person who can help Balotelli is Rogers but he will not for some reason try to develop a system that will get the best out of him, the reason for this imo is the fact Balotelli is taking a hell of a lot of heat off him!
    Rogers has wasted a lot of money this summer and he knows it, in fact his most valuable signing personally to him is Balotelli as without him he would be fully facing the backlash to his awful summer of business and the fact he seemingly has no idea how to react to what's happening, he is looking like a man seriously out of his depth at the minute, and he is no doubt looking through his 180 page dossier right now, wondering where the part is that explains how to deal with a side in freefall and how to get the best out of players who aren't looking to interested in playing for him.

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  24. All day long.. I am still wondering what Henderson actually does, I get that he runs around a lot, and occasionally makes a good pass, but then I see him miss a lot of good chances, and then realise after all the running he hasn't actually got anywhere, maybe he is just one of them guys who invisibly to my eye, is outstanding and a total world beater.

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  25. Balotelli can't even look across the line to stay onside, of course he should be ridiculed, Suarez was brilliant and you slaughtered him at every opportunity, Most comments on here don't even refer to Balotelli, what happened to stick to the subject .......

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  26. You've also got to actually have a plan before you can even think of developing a backup

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  27. Very poor manager, very poor signings. What else is there to say? If they trust BR with more money in Jan they are crazy - he'll just buy another Markovic. The man is clueless, which is why he's never done anything. Of course it's insane to play a one man striker but Rodgers is as stubborn as a mule, like Benitez. (although i have to admit that Benitez knows ten times more about football than Rodgers ).

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  28. Lucas? Oh, please! He's pitiful.

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  29. I would forgive Balotelli if it was just he isn't getting service but that's a load of tosh - he doesn't work hard enough and he makes all the wrong decisions when he can be bothered to do anything. Another £16m down the pan

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  30. Thought we were a wee bit unlucky today but we're a long way off Chelsea's level.
    It may be easy to scapegoat Balotelli but he makes it easy by contributing next to nothing. I'm surprised you stick up for him so regularly Jaimie, as you're hyper critical of Joe Allen et al for having no creative output when it arguably isn't their primary job to provide goals/assists. It's very much Balotelli's primary job yet he provides neither. You're saying he was working harder like its some kind of praiseworthy thing. Putting a shift in is the minimum requirement from a player. Balotelli has had no significant positive impact in a single Premier league game for Liverpool and frankly it's not good enough. He may prefer playing with a partner but ultimately he's a striker and he's playing up front so he's hardly bring played out of position.
    Elsewhere in the team, I would never play Glen Johnson again and I can't believe neither Lucas or Toure kept their place after Wednesday's showing

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  31. Rafa played 4-2-3-1. What 4-4-2 that Rafa used are you referring to?

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  32. For me it's not an issue of whether he can play on his own or with a strike partner, he is simply not good enough for Liverpool. Cut our losses, get him out the team and get rid asap!

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  33. Completely agree. Lucas will walk out soon and then Gerrard will eventually retire. Do we trust Rodgers to find a suitable replacement for either player? Probably not. Markovic was left out again. What a way to motivate your 20m youngster by dumping him for Lambert.


    Also not sure why Lallana didn't get on the pitch. Lacking creativity so Rodgers straight swapped Can for Allen. Some costly decisions are being made every single match. When the players are only performing at a 5/10, the least the manager can do is get things right for once.

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  34. Do you also see Jaimie pointing out how the 4-2-3-1 is not working for this team yet call me a brick wall?

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  35. Not sure how many more times it has be be brought up, Balotelli iup on his own has and is not going to work. Rodgers now has all his eggs in one basket with Sturridge. We unfortunately cannot rely on his fitness. Rodgers is his own worst enemy and his stubbornness is going to cost him his job.


    The positive for me from this match was Emre Can.


    And please drop Johnson, Skrtel and Lovren. They should be let nowhere near this 1st team. Yet another stubborn act of Rodgers which has now seen us concede more goals than what we have scored.

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  36. Because you act as if it is an inherently cursed formation. The best team in the league uses it and they just beat us at home. World over, it is quite a successful shape. Yes, there is a lone striker, but there is an attacking quartet involved, plus Gerrard's Hollywood balls, fullbacks supposed to be pushing on. Collectively, the team is not performing and Rodgers is not picking players who deserve to play. It's not strictly a 4-2-3-1 issue.


    It hasn't worked so far because Balotelli doesn't fit the team dynamic, and others like Gerrard aren't performing well enough. If you didn't notice, that's what Jaimie specifically told you. I'd prefer a 4-3-3 or a back to basics diamond, but the real issues is Rodger's incompetent man management, and our players significantly under performing.

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  37. No I do not act that way. 4-2-3-1 is not working for ***THIS*** or ***OUR*** team unless you want to prove me wrong. Be my guest.

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  38. Yes you do. I bet you didn't even read my full comment. So, here we go again. The wall offers a better discussion, as usual.


    Where did I say it works for *Liverpool*? I even gave reasons why it *does not work* for *Liverpool*. Learn to comprehend before posting!


    "Prove me wrong, be my guest" - Get over yourself.

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  39. And this is where I say 'To each his own'

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  40. Until Sturridge returns:






    -----------------------------Mingolet-------------------------------


    Manquillio--------------Skertel--------Toure------------Monreno


    --------------Can--------------Lucas-------------Henderson------


    Sterling---------------------Coutinho----------------Lallana ------

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  41. The problem is that Brendan is not strong enough to drop Gerrard.
    If we were winning games he could do it be we are not.

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  42. Anyway the bright sparks yesterday were Can and Countinho

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  43. See, that is the problem though. All Rodgers' eggs are in one basket with Sturridge. Why do we have to wait until Sturridge returns and stick with a system which is not working while Sturridge is out? We cannot rely on the fitness of Sturridge and Rodgers clearly is hoping Sturridge will somehow stay fit for the rest of the season? There is only one word for Rodgers at the moment, delusional.


    4-3-1-2/4-1-2-1-2
    Mignolet
    Manquillo Toure Lovren Moreno
    Coutinho Can Henderson
    Sterling
    Borini Balotelli


    Coutinho as a false 9 or striker is another square peg in a round hole.

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  44. Skrtel and Lovren nowhere to be found ;-)

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  45. It doesn't matter whether it's Balotelli's fault or Rodgers' fault. Both should leave in January.

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  46. Yeah totally agreed, Jaimie. Your last line says it all, really.

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  47. I think the team we played against Madrid should be first choice until the others prove themselves.

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  48. i think if gerrard steps out like the others did the goal would've been offside because it hit Matic & fell to cahill

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  49. Next game.. drop Brenda.. #Rodgersout!

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  50. The first problem is that you replace someone like Coutinho or Sterling with someone like Borini or Lambert. It's not a quality exchange so playing two strikers leaves too much talent on the bench and Liverpool don't have their best 11 on the pitch. I suspect if we put Borini out there it would make very little difference and I wonder if people are conveniently ignoring that.


    The remaining problems with Balotelli's play are simply that he's not a particularly intelligent or focused player. He's had to be educated in a system that isn't natural to him and although he's slowly learning I just don't think it's quite getting through. He is too easily caught offside, he doesn't time his runs well, he doesn't find space between defenders and he consistently fails to be the first player to the near post when a cross comes in. Do people really think that playing Borini alongside him is going to change that? How?

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  51. And the replacement?

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  52. Perhaps if you provided some kind of actual analysis or explanation. We can all see that currently what is being tried is not working. That's kind of obvious, an idiot could see that. But if you're going to expect people to think you have something actually constructive and useful to say then you need to provide a little bit more depth. What is it about the system that is not working? What specific tactics are failing? What is it about Balotelli that he did well at other clubs that he is not doing for Liverpool and how is that related to playing as a lone centre forward?

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  53. What is going on with you crazy human letches, why on earth would you drop Gerrard and bring in the worst midfielder at the club in Lucas ludricas if you ask me. Llalana needs to start game in game out, Sterling needs dropping as the big contract has gone to his head. Lovren needs booting out and play Kolo for the time being, keeper needs replacing ASAP and Balo will come good once Sturridge is back.

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  54. I can confirm that everyone and his dog thinks it's a mistake to play Balotelli as a lone striker.

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