Thursday 23 October 2014

Backlash trails Mario Balotelli's half time shirt swap

On a night when Liverpool's Champions League ambitions were left hanging by a thread after a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and two from Karim Benzema condemned them to a 3-0 defeat at Anfield, Balotelli came in for huge criticism, especially from the Liverpool Echo.

The local publication insisted that Balotelli must apologise to the club to continue his career with the Reds. The striker was taken off after another ineffectual performance and Rodgers, who described the switch as 'tactical', revealed he would be speaking to the Italian, as swapping shirts early is not something of which the manager approves.

Balotelli also faces reprimand from manager Brendan Rodgers after swapping shirts with Real Madrid's Pepe at half-time in the 3-0 Champions League defeat at Anfield.

Balotelli made the exchange as his side trailed Real by three goals, and the striker was substituted at the break.

"It is not something I stand for," Rodgers said.

"If you want to do that, do it at the end of the game. It is something I will deal with on Thursday."
Rodgers, who was infuriated when defender Mamadou Sakho did the same with Samuel Eto'o at Chelsea last season, added: "We had an incident last year with a player and that was something we dealt with internally.
"It's something that doesn't happen here and shouldn't happen here."
Others were more damning of Balotelli. Sportsmail's Jamie Carragher said on Sky: 'I can't change the way I feel about Balotelli and that is nothing to do with what he's done in a Liverpool shirt. It's what he's done at Manchester City and AC Milan.

'Do I think he's going to be here long-term? No, I'd be surprised to see him here next season if I'm being honest. Rafa Benitez was here a few years, bought Robbie Keane and sold him in January. It might not be that quick but I'd be surprised if Mario Balotelli is at the club next season.'

Former Liverpool skipper Phil Thompson added: 'I think it's disgraceful. I think it's disrespectful to both players. If you're swapping them, what's the other guy thinking about? You're giving away your shirt at half time, what is in his mind?'

Credit: Dominic King/SportsMail/BBCSport

No comments:

Post a Comment