There are some players who simply do not make things very easy for themselves and Mario Balotelli is perhaps the best example of this.
The Italian forward, rightly or wrongly, has attracted a huge cult following and is a favourite on the back – but more importantly – front pages of newspapers.
Sent home from the Italian squad he was lucky to be in during the international break due to injury, the forward was ruled out of Liverpool’s clash against Crystal Palace, but instead of getting his head down and going home, he made his way to a late night, high profile boxing game.
Now given he had no club commitments the next day and would not have been drinking, most people would see that as his prerogative.
He obviously had permission from Brendan Rodgers to attend the fight – but yet again Balotelli failed to realise the image that would send out to fans.
His ringside attendance managed to go viral on Twitter as soon as he was spotted – and fans took to social media and indeed forums to make their less than favourable thoughts on his outing known.
Even the mainstream media made it very clear that Balotelli was doing something wrong in their eyes by going to the match – and you have to begin to wonder if the forward can do right for doing wrong.
Luckily for Balotelli, despite the mass press attention and lack of goals since arriving at Liverpool this summer, the majority of the crowd at Anfield are still willing to back him – for now.
The former AC Milan player himself knows this and realises whilst this has been a difficult start to life in England mark two, the age old ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ adage applies to him – in his eyes at least.
When asked about his lack of goals, the forward seemed to have the utmost faith that he will deliver – eventually. He claimed: ‘Because goals, they will come. It is something that’s just not coming at the moment. But it’s not something that has just gone.’
Whilst fans may be slightly worried about his form on the field, one thing is for sure -they do not need to worry about his self confidence, with Balotelli rather fiercely answering his critics.
The forward noted: ‘I don’t need people to believe in me so long as I believe in myself,’
‘The important people for me are my family and my few close friends, as long as they believe in me.
‘Some think because I didn’t score and didn’t start well this season that I can’t be one of the top players, a really good player for this team. That’s their business.
‘I don’t care what stories people say about me because I know they are lying.’
Lying might be a strong word, with Balotelli all too often providing stories for the gossip columns without any research having to be done, but his talent is undisputable. At times.
The real issue is not the skills he has with the ball at his feet, it is the decisions he makes in his head when given the chance and until that stops, you have to wonder if he can become the player who once threatened to become one of the world’s best.
Liverpool fans. Do you think that Balotelli will come good or is it time to give Rickie Lambert a chance after his goal against Palace? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.