17 Apr 2015

Double-Whammy: £26m star out of Villa match; €20m 'waste of space' returns

Since the turn of the year, Liverpool 'striker' Mario Balotelli has played only 266 minutes of football, which is the equivalent of 2.9 games in 4.5 months. That's a pathetic appearance record, and to add insult to injury, a mystery 'illness has kept Balotelli out of the matchday squad for the last few games. It's an absolute farce, but reports today suggest that the Italian will deign to honour Liverpool with his presence for this weekend's FA Cup semi-final with Aston Villa.

According to the Liverpool Echo today:

* Balotelli [Cost: €20m] has been 'passed fit' to play against Aston Villa on Sunday.

* The Italian has now returned to 'full training' at Melwood.

In a shocking and unpredictable turn of events, Daniel Sturridge is struggling to be fit for the Villa game, so Balotelli's return will be a timely boost for the club's attacking options.

I use the word 'boost' in the loosest possible sense. Balotelli has one Premier League goal all season, so the odds of Liverpool gleaning any significant benefit from his return are incredibly slim.

Erik Meijer-esque goal-record aside, I'd still take Balotelli over the irretrievably goal-averse duo of Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert, both of whom are being outscored by own goals this season. Think about that.

If Balotelli is not struck down by another debilitating, Kafkaesque illness on Sunday morning, there's scope for him to play alongside Sterling in attack:

------------------- Mignolet

----- Can --------- Skrtel --------- Lovren

--- Johnson --- Hendo -- Lucas ------- Moreno

------------------ Coutinho

----------- Balotelli - Sterling

This line-up means that Steven Gerrard misses out, though, and there's no way the club captain should step aside for a player charitably described by Mark Lawrenson as a 'waste of space'.

In other wholly unsurprising news, £26m summer signing Adam Lallana is out of this Sunday's game as he’s still only taking part in 'light training', and is yet to rejoin the squad.

Business as usual, then.

Author:



69 comments:

  1. How many minutes on how many matches those two played? Thought about that?

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  2. Like the Kafka reference ;)

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  3. Johnson would never be in my first 11 ever . . .
    I understand he gives the team balance on the right but it means Henderson will have to be constantly running over to cover him because as always he will be woefully out of position. This then leaves space in the middle for Benteke and others to exploit.
    Maybe play Sterling on the right and put Gerrard up top with Balotelli, Gerrard will be chomping at the bit and must play some part in the game at least.

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  4. make no mistake, Balotelli can be a excellent player for LFC. its players like Lallana and Markovic and Manquillo(puts wild crosses in without aiming at the man) who make Balotelli look rubbish. i know he doesnt work hard but if we put good players beside him, he will score. i kno Ibe is injured but for future we can play (btw ive put Markovic on the wing because he useless and wasteful in front positions and has had his besy performances for LFC at full back against Bournemouth and Sunderland, plus GJ just to useless)

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

    Markovic-------------Can---------------Skrtel----------------Moreno

    ----------------------------------Lucas

    ----------------------Allen------------------Hendo

    ----------------------------------Sterling

    ------------------Coutinho

    ------------------------------------------------Balotelli

    against Villa i want Can further up, hes a top dribbler and is desperate to get involved in attacks

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

    Markovic----------------Skrtel----------------Lovren-----------Moreno

    ---------------------Allen--------------------------Lucas

    -------Can--------------------------Hendo-------------------Sterling

    --------------------------------------Coutinho

    thats a strong scary looking side or

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

    Can----------------------Skrtel----------------Lovren-----------Moreno

    ---------------------Allen--------------------------Lucas

    -------Coutinho---------------------Hendo-------------------Sterling

    --------------------------------------Balotelli



    if we show Balotelli we have faith in him to start in a game at wembley im sure he will deliver. Allen lucas and hendo is a strong midfield(well our strongest) and coutinho, hendo and sterling is much more proven service than the likes of Lallana.

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  5. Rumour is Ballo is asking for £10m to buy him out of his contract, or else he will sit his contract out, thats why he has been out of favour recently, as I say it is a rumour, but it would'nt surprise me if it were true.

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  6. Strikers like Balotelli feed off good service, I agree.

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  7. 1) Markovic is no RB. Not by a long shot.
    2) Can is not a wide player period. Perhaps he can get away with it at RB, but RW? Gotta be having a joke...
    3) Actually, I like that setup :D Perhaps the front 3 more like the 3 we saw with Cou as a "striker" last week could work, with Sterling and cou running off Balo.

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  8. I'm not sure that's completely true. If he want's to leave, why not just let the club accept an offer from like Sampdoria? Why should we buy out his contract when we could just as well sell him?

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  9. 'In a shocking and unpredictable turn of events, Daniel Sturridge is struggling to be fit...'
    Cracked me up, JK.

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  10. I still don't get why everyone is theorising about balotellis absence and portraying it as fact. The club say he's not fit, why does it have to be some big conspiracy? Despite being a bit of an idiot and not always getting in the headlines for the right reasons, he is still only human and humans get ill and have poor patches of fitness. I could say the same about gerrard, that he got the red card intentionally because he's leaving anyway, or that studge hasnt been injured, hes been sunbathing in fiji (which is obviously in Jamaica) but they would be theory based speculation as well. There really seems to be a 'guilty till proven innocent vibe amongst our supporters, its unhealthy IMO

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  11. We can only sell him if HE WANTS TO GO, he is under contract. Also if we bought him out, he is a free agent to sign for the likes of Sampdoria.

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  12. P.S.
    Borini has done the same, maybe they had a little chat, :)

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  13. Few of LFC "Star"s 'll do the same. I think, we had to go through some sort of negotiation with Carroll, Downing, Adam, Jovanovic, Voronin, Lonchesky.... and I am sure we 'll have to do the same with Lallana, Ballotelli, Johnson (we opted to keep him), Borini ....

    This happens when you buy players at unworthy price & wage for long term contract.

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  14. While I am at it, sterling has 2+ years left on his contract, according to BR/Ayre,,
    NOT TRUE,
    under article 17 of FIFA rules he is entitled to buy out the last year of his contract, so I think he will be gone soon.

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  15. I liked it too because I'm smart and I like Kafka. I would also have liked to have seen a reference to Flaubert but c'est la vie.

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  16. Sturridge himself probably feels like crying but he's under strict instructions not to do any heavy emoting.

    The physiotherapists are allowing him to do light emoting, like a smirk or the raising of one eyebrow, but there's no telling how many muscles he'd pull if he wept.

    His face would be in paralysis in seconds and the weight of the tears alone could cause him serious neck and spinal injuries.

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  17. I misinterpreted your comment... I thought you meant he wanted us to buy out his contract so he can leave early, not that he was demanding 10M for us to do so.

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  18. I didn't realize that "kafkaesque" was an actual word, and by that I mean in the dictionary... haha!

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  19. Bad day at the office today Jaimie? :)

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  20. I dont know how long his contract is, maybe 4/5 years, at probably 100K+ a week, thats a lotta money, so basically his agent would be saying,
    "cut your losses"
    or pay us 20/30m over the next 4/5 years, and I will sit on the bench, and occasionally be ill, or cough up 10m now, again it is a rumour, but from a good source at the Echo.

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  21. Yeah... I understand now.


    Hope it just get's resolved without us wasting money...

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  22. To me it looks like the players have got together and discussed it, why suddenly have problems with Sterling, Hendo, Ballo etc over their contracts. ?

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  23. In the movie Annie Hall, Shelley Duvall's character describes sex with Alvy Singer, played by Woody Allen, as "a Kafkaesque experience".

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  24. Today was the worst day since the day before.

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  25. Silver service.

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  26. Liverpool should celebrate scoring like this!:)
    https://youtu.be/3wK_v9koL3Y

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  27. One of my favourite movies, hence the reference :-)

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  28. Plus the increased likelihood of sneezing, which is how he got this latest injury in the first place!

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  29. His contract manipulations aside we need a bloody striker upfront to actually finish off those chances even more so since Daniel is sitting this one out...again...

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  30. When everyone is fit and available, our best lineup IMO is


    Mignolet
    Manquillo-Skrtel-Sakho-Moreno
    Lucas- Henderson
    Sterling-Gerrard-Coutinho
    Sturridge
    .
    If Sakho and Sturridge are not avaiable then I would replace them with Lovren/Toure and Balotelli.

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  31. "If Balotelli is not struck down by another debilitating, Kafkaesque illness"
    was anybody else thinking about 'the Transformation' with balotelli as the dorbeetle?

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  32. Most wont like what I say BUT time to cash in on Sturidge as well - can never get a settled formation with him - SELL HIM

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  33. Given Sturidges injury history he deserves not one penny more than £50 k a week and that is mega generous - SELL

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  34. Hmmmm cash in on a player thats showed us nothing but loyalty, brought in a boatload of goals, and has looked like a potential worldy, and has been unfortunate enough to get injured and be taking a while to get back into it? Besides, how much do we sell him for, straight after a long layoff, there wouldnt be many willing to gamble on that. This ain't FIFA

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  35. All competitions

    Lallana - 35 apps, 5 goals, 4 assists

    Lambert - 30 apps, 4 goals, 0 assists

    Balotelli - 25 apps, 4 goals, 0 assists

    Total: 90 apps, 17 goal/assists

    Henderson - 47 apps, 7 goals, 14 assists

    Sterling, 46 apps, 11 goals, 9 assists

    Total: 93 apps, 41 goal/assists

    Shocking ain't it? Suarez, wherefore art thou, or should we say, £120m spent and nobody signed to make up the goals. But it is ok right, it will be fixed at the start of next season with Rodgers in charge? :-o

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  36. Hendo's stats seem alright but the others are nowhere near good enough. 30 games do not count for Lambert as he spends almost all the time on the bench.

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  37. Sterling's 20 goal/assists, Hendo 21 goal/assists.


    There is no question of who our best players are this season and the utter wastefulness of transfer funds last summer.

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  38. why change a winning team? We looked good against the Toon. Fook Balo

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  39. Newcastle were dire mate.

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  40. Reading that list of dross has me absolutely flabbergasted and discombobulated! Slight over reaction I know...

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  41. I still like Balotelli, and to see so-called "Liverpool supporters" talk so bad about own players, is embarrassing... If Rodgers would take care of him like he did with Suárez, we would see some sides of Balotelli we are yet to see. But I agree, Balotelli SHOULD have done better this season! I still believe in his skills, and we all have seen that the Italian knows how to score goals. He just needs time on the pitch.

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  42. the most worrying thing is that our best 2 players haven't signed a new contract yet

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  43. My biggest fear with Sturridge is that all these injuries just be taking their toll. He looked well off the pace when he (briefly) came back from injury that last time, he reminded me of how Torres looked post injury.
    To my mind we need 2 new strikers. Origi coming in is fine, the lad looks a good player but we can't assume someone of that age will move to a club of considerably higher stature, in a much tougher league and hit the ground running. In fact we should assume he won't and will need time to settle. That just leaves Sturridge (assuming the other 3 leave) and he simply can't be relied upon to stay fit.

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  44. Crash, boom, bang.

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  45. Mr. Point Of View9:04 am, April 17, 2015

    IF BR playing 433 again, Can (rb) and Jose (lb) is best option to physically help the other 2 cb dealing with BENTEKE (whom recently on form again is my major concern !).

    I will drop Sterling due to discipline issue.



    IF Br decide to play 45, then my best advice is playing 10 along side with him. Then there will be no issue about supplying services to him. In other word no more excuses for 45 anymore. Hmm mayb 8 n 45 up front with unpredictable outcome to surprise Sherwood preparation.

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  46. From Erik-Meijer-esque to Kafkaesque. I'm almost as smart as VermHat so I want a reference to Althusser next.

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  47. Manquillo's service to Balotelli from the right was often wrong, I agree.

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  48. I think everybody gets your point now Logan BUT we are where we are ..... Let's make an effort and try to stay positive until end of season and I am sure deep down you really want us to win the FA cup and qualify for one of the European competitions ??

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  49. Yep with Studge out think it's got to be Balotelli as the best of the poor options available . Think he just might revel in the big occasion and produce that moment of brilliance that we all know that , albeit few and far between , he is capable of . Suggestion of dropping Sterling on disciplinary grounds is ludicrous . Stevie on bench to come on later when we need fresh legs !

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  50. Sturridge's injuries are really getting on my t##s, he can't play a few games without picking up a new injury. It's totally derailed our season, I'm positive we would of been higher in the league and maybe gone further in the champions league had he been fit. I know injuries are part of football but the amount of different injuries he's had are ridiculous. A new striker is an absolute must in the summer.

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  51. I feel the same way about people talking of the manager. Not everyone is everyone else's cup of tea and criticism is fair but outright insults is embarrassing.
    I have never rated Balo but always hope he does well.

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  52. We all want the same thing but it is not going to change my mind about Rodgers having to go.

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  53. Can only beat whats in front of you. Playing Balo is like playing with 10 men

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  54. Jose? Thats a big shout, hes not been great when called upon but i see your point, he would be better defensively than Moreno. I dont know about Can though, he tends to stray forward a bit...

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  55. There was I thinking more Agatha Christie but then i ain't educated. I'm just a dawg.

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  56. you can say toes but tits now that would get moderated ;-)

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  57. I expect their agents are all over this anyway but I agree the players probably compare notes and certainly Borini has been angling for a move on his terms for some time now.


    It's an unedifying battle between the power of the player and the power of the club based around money and playing time.

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  58. Logan going to my last post on a previous story have you compiled your Chelsea list yet?

    You argued Liverpool's route from academy to first team was no better than Chelsea.

    I'll remind you of my post debating against that notion:-
    Sterling, Ibe, Flanagan and Wisdom have played a number of games.
    Kelly, Suso and Jack Robinson played some games prior to moving.
    Branagan, Williams and Rossiter in the match day squads.
    Ojo and Sinclair are potentially next.

    Ok you can argue Sterling is the only regular but can you comprise a similar list for Chelsea. The path to the first team is improving rapidly under Rodgers but I wouldn't expect any 'anti-Rodgers' fans to applaud that

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  59. I will reply a bit later to your post.

    What I will just say for now in is that Rodgers is buying young players but overlooking the academy.

    My post will follow follow later ;-)

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  60. 'tis a good film.

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  61. Dawgs are smart, especially boxers; speaking of which: who's your money on for 2 May? I've never read an Agatha Christie novel so I don't know who she is.

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  62. Of the 12 players I listed above, my calculations are:-
    All 12 were NOT bought by Rodgers but all 12 WERE all played by Rodgers.......I'm not sure how your argument stands up there

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  63. Where's Adam Griffin? Been a while since he posted too

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  64. where's NGCTC?

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  65. Why sell ? , Has just signed a new 5 year contract at 150p/w .

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