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Monthly Archives: November 2011

“Mario Balotelli flew off the handle after his red card in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

Manchester City’s hothead striker banged the visitors’ dressing room door so hard the handle broke.

 Balotelli then charged off to find a TV monitor to see the clash with Martin Skrtel that led to referee Martin Atkinson showing him a second yellow card.

 Team-mate Aleksandar Kolarov went to calm him down and took the City star back to the dressing room, while the handle was easily replaced without apparent need for repair.

 Balotelli and boss Roberto Mancini clearly felt the reaction of Skrtel and the Liverpool players led to him being sent off.

 And the striker, 21, will not face any internal disciplinary action despite the third red card of his City career.

 Balotelli has been involved in a string of controversy since his £21million move from Inter Milan 15 months ago.

 He has had training ground bust-ups and once threw darts at some youth team players at City’s Carrington base.

 More recently, he and some pals accidentally set his house alight after a firework prank.”

The words of Neil Curtis of The Sun. Is it any wonder that so many people have it in for Mario Balotelli with idiotic journalism like this cluttering the nation’s newspapers? This article does nothing more than represent a personal vendetta towards Balotelli.

First of all, let’s be clear, Balotelli should not have even been sent off in the match against Liverpool. One suspects, the goading of the Liverpool players, namely Charlie Adam, the epitome of mediocrity, and the Anfield crowd swayed the referee’s decision somewhat. Opinion on the matter may be divided but it is irrelevant, in truth. The farcical journalism of Mr Curtis is what bothers me.

Curtis claims “City’s hothead striker” banged the dressing room door “so hard” that it broke, but then contradicts himself, almost immediately, by stating the “handle was easily replaced without apparent need for repair”. Surely it can’t have been as ferocious as first suggested. To completely disprove his own point, he later states “..the striker…will not face any internal disciplinary action”. Perhaps that is because he didn’t do anything wrong.

Uncontrollable psychopath Mario Balotelli

Mr Curtis, after clearly realising he has failed to make an argument for the first half of the article, then lists some of Balotelli’s previous shenanigans to further tarnish the reputation of the ubiquitous Italian. Though he rather conveniently omits the story of Balotelli giving £1000 to a tramp outside a casino and the occasion where he confronted some schoolyard bullies to help a friend.

This article isn’t worthy of being classed as journalism such is the vicious nature of it. It is the stream of consciousness of a moron, a personal attack on Mario Balotelli. I am not surprised though; shoddy journalism is part and parcel of the modern game of football. What a shame.

Words by Rob Toole

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City returned from the international break with an almost routine victory over Newcastle on Saturday. In a game where City could have been frustrated by an unbeaten and organised Newcastle team, City were worthy winners after defeating their opponents with guile and patience.

England outcast, Micah Richards, was outstanding as City ran out 3-1 winners. Sending a message to England manager Fabio Capello, Richards bagged a goal and posed a constant threat to the Newcastle rear guard with surging runs down the wing. City’s other goals came courtesy of spot kicks from Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero. City never really looked in danger of surrendering the three points in spite of Newcastle hitting the woodwork and scoring a late consolation goal.

Balotelli celebrates his penalty against Newcastle

Frustratingly, I was unable to watch the game so put my faith in the BBC live text for coverage of the game. Radio coverage is too stressful and full of idiots, in my opinion, so I opted for the mind numbing BBC text in a vain attempt to maintain sanity during the game. That is not to say you don’t find morons on the BBC, you do, it’s full of them. Somehow I’ve become accustomed to the idiocy of it all but on Saturday Tom Rostance, of the BBC, took it too far.

After City scored their third goal Rostance rightly remarked: “Sergio Aguero takes the responsibility and steers the ball past Tim Krul. That’s 27 goals in 33 games for club and country. Who needs Carlos Tevez?” Fair point. Who does need Carlos Tevez with the likes of Aguero and Balotelli in such fine form. However, after Aguero limped off and was replaced by Adam Johnson he stated: “Ignore what I just said, someone get Carlos Tevez on the phone now! Sergio Aguero goes down holding his leg and limps off…” What a moron. Does he really think the man that has been AWOL for the last week is ever going to play for City again. Without boring you with the details, Tevez couldn’t be further away from playing for City. Rostance is the kind moron one could do without. I know it was only a flippant remark but it was ill-informed and pathetic. It could have been worst though. At least I didn’t have to endure the frustration of the absence of chips at the Etihad Stadium.

Words by Rob Toole

“Right-back has become England’s new left wing since the retirement of Gary Neville, with an apparent lack of options beyond Glen Johnson.” The words of a moron: a moron that epitomises the ignorant views of England Manager, Fabio Capello, and the majority of sporting journalists’ in the country. Said moron is Dominic Fifield, of the Guardian, who was commenting on the most recent squad selection for England’s friendies against Spain and Sweden.

The omission of Manchester City right-back Micah Richards from Capello’s squad was simply astounding given the youngster’s outstanding form this season and the majority of last season. If not more astounding was the general air of acceptance of this travesty, from the media. For Fifield to claim that “right-back is England’s new left wing” is farcical. England have a number of choices at right-back and to compare this to the period in the late nineties and early noughties where England had no left sided midfielders represents incredibly slack journalism.

Micah Richards hasn't put a foot wrong this season

Simply put, Richards is the best right-back in the country at the moment. Based on his current form, he could even be considered the best in Europe at the moment. Glen Johnson, on the other hand, has been little more than anonymous in recent months. It begs the question, how can Capello omit Richards from his squad entirely? Moreover, how can Fifield so boldly proclaim that there is a shortage of right-back options in England?

Infuriatingly, Fifield categorises Capello’s right back options in such a manner that suggests he agrees with Capello’s dire squad selection. Fifield wrote:

“First choice: Glen Johnson

Young contenders: Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Kyle Walker, Martin Kelly

Also hopeful: Micah Richards”

“Also hopeful: Micah Richards”? How disgraceful. According to Fifield, Richards is ranked below two centre-halves (Smalling and Jones) in the pecking order. That just doesn’t make sense. The recent Manchester derby was surely enough evidence to suggest that Richards is far superior at full-back than Smalling and Jones. Smalling and Jones are, without doubt, promising centre-halves but are not worthy of comparison with Richards in right-back. Glen Johnson, on the otherhand, may well have been first choice two years ago but times change.

To top off Fifield’s farcical claims, he refers back to the Gary Neville England era in such a way to suggest it was some kind of utopia. Neville may have been a regular right-back for England throughout the years but you will find few who will hark back to the times when England could rely on the ever dependable days of Gary Neville. Top quality right-backs come in the shape of Brazillian legend Cafu, Spanish phenomenon Sergio Ramos and, dare I say, Micah Richards. Not Gary Neville.

It is little surprise that most people I speak to are disillusioned with the England national team. The combination of idiotic squad selections like this and moronic journalism only serve to alienate the supporters. Throw the fat-cat bureaucrats from the Football Association into the mix and that is enough to make me feel sick.

Words by Rob Toole