9 Mar 2015

Allen insists: €20m Liverpool star is the 'laziest' player at Anfield. Backstabbed?

Mario Balotelli continues to get it in the neck from all sides, and it's usually ex-Liverpool players at the front of the queue to denigrate him. However, Balotelli's own team-mates are also having a little dig now, and Joe Allen is the first current Red to break ranks and criticise the Italian.

When asked on Friday to name Liverpool's 'laziest' player, Allen immediately named Balotelli, which I'm sure will come as absolutely no surprise to the majority of fans.

There may be a grain of truth to Allen's contention, but in my view, he shouldn't be saying such things in public, even in a lighthearted manner.

Balotelli - who cost the Reds €20m over the summer - has a hard enough time keeping people onside, and the last thing he needs is his own team-mates perpetuating negative tabloid gossip. Allen may see it as a bit of fun, but I'm sure Balotelli won't appreciate being labelled Liverpool's 'laziest' player, and publicly citicising team-mates is hardly conducive to positive team spirit.

If Balotelli is lazy, I don't blame him; I blame the succession of managers who've abjectly failed to develop him effectively, and that includes Brendan Rodgers. It's the job of Rodgers et al to train/coach the laziness out of players, and if they can't do that, then it's failure (IMO) of coaching and motivational man-management.

Rodgers knew exactly what he was doing when he signed Balotelli; his raging hubris dictated the move, and he clearly believed he could succeed where the likes of Mancini and Mourinho failed. Indeed, after signing the striker, Rodgers - ever the self-appointed father-figure - triumphantly claimed that he could 'improve' Balotelli and 'help him mature'.

Rodgers wanted the glory of being 'the man who changed Balotelli!', but so far, he has resoundingly failed to achieve either his stated goals, and if Balotelli's own team-mates perceive him to be the 'laziest' player at Anfield, then it's clear that Rodgers is having zero success in transforming the the Italian's career.

Dispiriting lack of impact notwithstanding, I don't think fans should give up on Balotelli yet. There's still much to play for this season, and I have a feeling that he will make one or two crucial contributions before he (inevitably) leaves at the end of the season.

Author:



52 comments:

  1. BR after the first game against Spurs 3-0 away win. Told publicly how Mario doesnt defend corners and how he forced him to.

    Gerrard's public bashing of Mario on penalty,

    Joe Allen's public humor now.

    and then they expect Balotelli to overcome his problems and improve.. Well even then he has improved but then not given chances lately

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sell him and move on ,Liverpool wants trophy's .it's not a rehab center .

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a bit confused by mario, he doesn't want to be a lone striker but wants to play behind one and not work? I think the mario experiment was worth taking as he is clearly talented and the cost wasn't overly high. I would love it to work out but I feel it's destined to fail. Find a team willing to take him permanently and move on

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mario's laziness comes down both to his inherent playing nature and his coaching. He's an inherently lazy player, but his previous coaches were never too bothered to coach it out of him, which is surprising because Mourinho is one known for a committed defensive effort. To be honest, I really don't think it's near the worst flaw to have. It's not an attitude problem, it's just a natural style.


    What Mark Lawrenson said today about Balotelli is disgraceful, and it's yet just another example of how ex-LFC pros take joy out of sticking the boot into Balotelli. When Balotelli came on the field, he was probably in fact our most dangerous player. So what on earth drove Lawrenson to appraise his performance by calling him an 'absolute waste of time'? What nonsense. He probably made the most penetrative, defence splitting pass in that whole second half, and generally looked the most likely out of any other attacking player. I can't believe the amount of vehement attacks this guy gets.

    ReplyDelete
  5. As the season rolls on I have ever conflicting views on what will happen to Balotelli. I'm now back in the "he has no future at LFC" camp. It just doesn't look like the manager really trusts him and eventually Rodgers patience will run out. There is only so much effort you'll put into a player before it become counter-productive. If Mario can't be turned around in one season and show some kind of spark or intensity they I'd say it's time to cut losses and move on. Maybe he's able to eventually be converted into the kind of player Liverpool need but it's just not worth waiting for years in order to find out. The more time Rodgers has to spend on motivating Balotelli is less time he has to do everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can only presume Allen was asked the question similar to the team mates section on soccer am. If so it would of been light hearted but true.
    I don't see what the big deal is - we all know that it's true, Mario knows it's true and our opponents know it's true.

    ReplyDelete
  7. No big deal ,everybody knows he lazy , the question is, Will he change ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Totally agree ,their is only so much a manager can do for him.
    Get rid of Borini,Lambert Balo and Aspas and buy 1 good striker to join Sturridge and Origi .

    ReplyDelete
  9. He also said Enrique was vain and Skrtel was tough. Without hesitation no less. He really shouldn't be answering those questions he was sitting in that studio to be asked. In fact LFC players should do no promotion stuff at all. Especially as answering questions honestly is apparently backstabbing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's not a big deal.

    ReplyDelete
  11. ...If he is lazy, he is not to blame... The grain o truth...

    Just brilliant...

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is not being an apologist?

    ReplyDelete
  13. On what planet did Balo played better than sturriedge?? Sorry mate, I'm really struggling to see what he contributes to the team, bar tap-ins balo is totally useless. Lawro pretty sums it up

    ReplyDelete
  14. I read somewhere that Balitelli's work rate for time on the pitch this season (distance covered per minute) is similar to Suarez's for us last season...is there any way of confirming this?

    Because if true, I think it would be unfair to label him as lazy.

    I think his demeanour and relaxed style gives most people the impression that he doesn't care - but the same was said about Sturridge

    ReplyDelete
  15. What the hell did Sturridge do against Rovers apart from hog the ball and give it away? Balo was the only one who looked half likely to do something. Lawro doesn't sum it up at all. You're on a witch hunt just like him.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I think when he's been called upon from the bench he has worked hard - there is a clear improvement in his movement and work rate. Secondly, his touch and link up play made a difference in the last few weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  17. looked better than sturridge!!! is that Mr Ali G by any chance

    ReplyDelete
  18. Im sorry but Mario is not a 12 year old that needs to be told, At his age you can hardly expect Rogers to change his whole personality and attitude, he is his manager not his Dad. Mario needs to grow up, or move on.
    Allen shouldnt be blamed, its not as if he gave an interview and picked out Balotelli for being lazy, it was a stupid, what are your team mates like, thing

    ReplyDelete
  19. That just cannot be true. Where did you read that?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Its a funny old game all these pundits with their high morale standards. From day one balo has been bullied plain and simple. He's an easy target and its OK to slag him off cos he's on big money and brings it on himself. I pay less and less attention to what the media say as they usually have an agenda. Last week Liverpool were praised on sky for how they backed up Suarez but at the time the same pundits on the same channel slated Liverpool for not having him put down.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well at least he can't complain that no one mentioned he had a problem. Perhaps he needs to do something about it. I can't see it as a excuse for not improving.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I really though he could have been a good buy and I ant him to succeed then he shoots well over from 40 yards out ......

    ReplyDelete
  23. Agree he seems to be making more of an effort lately but, when asked, a player who sees him most days says he is the laziest of the bunch so surely that says something?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I agree with you. Completely. I feel that we are more dangerous with Balo on the field than Sturridge. He is misfiring at the moment. Missed sitters and ball hogging are just a few problems at the moment. Currently, I am 100% behind balo. I love the dude. He being jealous? Look at him pressing and putting pressure on opposition defenders. He probably does more than Sturridge. Granted, his movement is not as good, but he puts defenders on edge.

    Balo and Sturridge apart, am I the only who's frustrated by Sterling's efforts in recent weeks? He just looks like he's not putting in as much as he was.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow...with teamMATES like Allen!

    ReplyDelete
  26. B Rodgers needs to ship out the 4 strikers you mentioned in the summer and bring in two class quality Goal Scoring strikers to the club out of these 5 strikers below:


    1: C Benteke(24) Of Aston Villa for £15-£18M


    2: L Adriano(27) Of Shakhtar Donesk £6-£8M


    3: L Vietto(21) Of Villarea for £10-£12M


    4: S Berahino(21) Of West Brom for £14-£18M


    5: A Lacazette(23) Of Lyon for £20-£25M

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wrong--this is a matter that is best dealt with internally not in the press. I find it difficult to believe that a player would actually make a statement like this about a fellow team-mate.
    So if true--Allen needs to be dealt with. Dealing with Mario is a different matter left for the Manager and Management.

    ReplyDelete
  28. So when asked, Allen needed to say NO COMMENT!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wouldn't say that he looked better than Sturridge, but that bar wasn't that high.
    Sturridge really does need to get diving out of his game. It's embarrassing!

    ReplyDelete
  30. That may have something to do with his relaxed style and reputation. It would be good to obtain figures on how much distance Balo has covered compared to the others

    ReplyDelete
  31. Who else was screaming "NO!" when Balo. got on to that ball 40 mtrs out and you just knew he was going to shoot? On the whole, Balo.was an interesting experiment, but one that, let's face it, hasn't worked.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This must be the most baffling thing I've ever read. So if someone doesn't want to learn it's because of the people who are teaching him?? Well, ok...
    Why put people in prison then? Why not just their parents and teachers?

    ReplyDelete
  33. There have been numerous problems with Balo.
    1) effort in training
    2) effort in matches generally
    3) pressing
    4) pressing intelligently

    To be fair to him regardless what Allen said lightheartedly he has actually put in way more effort (relative to his previous clubs) and has progressed in all of the aspects 1-3 above and credit has to go to him and the coaching team. Unfortunately I can't see him ever being able to achieve number 4 because I simply don't think he has the footballing intelligence to fit into our system. I really hope he does but sadly I feel he won't be able to. The reason people have tried to get the best out of him is that he undoubtedly has some natural ability and untapped potential.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm not sure where I read it...found it v surprising...I wonder if it's possible to look up distance travelled etc

    ReplyDelete
  35. Would be interesting if you can back it up with stats?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Allen's comments were part of a light-hearted question & answer piece on LFC TV, about his teammates. Worst-dressed, most vain, toughest, etc.
    Absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the press or any other media outlet.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Shooting from 40m is not what frustrates me, he just roll it into the gloves of Gk like a 2yrs old school boy

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jaimie, you are forever calling people apologists but you are the biggest Balopologist I know. Are you honestly saying that Balotelli is blameless in his laziness and it's Mourinho, Mancini and Rodgers fault? That he's lazy?? That's almost the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
    Personally I don't think Rodgers wanted him at all. He was bought out of desperation not because Rodgers wanted the glory of changing him.
    Regardless, he's not the only member of the squad. What he is apparently is lazy, petulant and extremely difficult to work with. Add to that, that he's not performing on the pitch why should he get such special treatment? Mancini did that and it arguably cost him his job.
    Balotelli gamble has backfired, get rid in the summer and move on

    ReplyDelete
  39. He also points out the worst dressed, most vain, toughest, biggest joker, biggest moaner etc... It's clearly very light hearted and meant as a bit of a joke. I wouldn't read anything in to this at all.

    ReplyDelete
  40. cloudydishcharge3:03 pm, March 09, 2015

    He got asked a question an replied, what's your problem

    ReplyDelete
  41. I read it on another site! Can't recall their source but it was a reputable data collator.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Lovren looking shaky again, everyone sees Balo as our biggest transfer failure this summer, but lovren should be the one,championship player getting past him like ghost inside 18yrd box. kolo deserves to be ahead of him, atleast he gives us option in attack ..culd've scored. Unfortunately!

    ReplyDelete
  43. People can call me an apologist all they like - doesn't bother me. When a club signs a player, he becomes their responsibility, and everything that happens afterwards is ultimately down to the manager.

    Balotelli is not blameless, but Rodgers should take most of the blame for his failure because he decided to spend the money on him. The same applies to Suarez - Liverpool knew he'd be trouble, but signed him anyway, therefore the club is mostly to blame for his antics.

    And the only apologist here is you, still peddling the tedious myth that Rodgers didn't want Balotelli. I guess that's why he hailed him as 'world class' and able to play for 'any team in the world' an entire month before LFC signed him, right?

    I couldn't care less if Liverpool sell Balotelli this summer. I have no attachment to him.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yes, because coaching a highly paid footballer with every possible training advantage at his beck and call is the same as trying to rehabilitate a criminal.

    Liverpool chose to spend £16m on Balotelli knowing everything about history. He is therefore the club's responsibility, and if Rodgers can't motivate him, then he is to 90% to blame for Balotelli's failure (IMO)

    ReplyDelete
  45. I wish Balotelli was as much of a ' failure' as Suarez was, we would be top of the table by now!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Well he definitely wasn't anywhere near top of Rodgers wish list. Basically we needed another striker and he was all that was available.
    I agree however that we should never have signed him in the first place and in doing so we made a rod for our own back. However when you've been at some of the world's biggest clubs, under some of the best managers in the world and every one of them can't wait to get rid, it tells its own story.
    Ultimately when everyone you encounter thinks you're a pr*ck, then you probably are and it's time to have a look in the mirror. Balotelli doesn't seem capable of this, it's always someone else's fault and saying it's not his fault that he's lazy is merely empowering him,

    ReplyDelete
  47. allen is fuck fuck him what doe he add to the squad..sell him asap wtf

    ReplyDelete
  48. Absolute tripe and rubbish, as is the Article purporting Allens attack on Balotelli, this article if you all read it carefully, has nothing to do with Allen, its an attack on Rodgers, just be straight Jaimie, your hidden agenda does not fool me for one. If you want to attack our Manager, just do it, dont try to use Allen or the likes to forward your views.

    ReplyDelete
  49. My reply has not been published, needless to say, this attack on Rodgers has nothing to do with Allen or Ballo.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Even the blind can see that.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Yes, you're the only one.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Two made a case out of this comment from Allen. Daily Star was the other one.

    ReplyDelete