Roberto Mancini has dropped striker Mario Balotelli for Manchester City’s Boxing Day clash with Newcastle for lacking festive spirit. The miserable Italian has put in a couple of grumpy performances in recent weeks, so Mancini has benched the youngster until he learns how to smile.
Taking a bit of a swipe at Manchester himself, Mancini said: “He must improve his situation and smile. I do not know why he does not look happy. Manchester is not like Milan but he has to accept it.”
In a bid to boost his side’s title credentials, Mancini is now asking for 200 per cent commitment from his players rather than the Premier League regulation 110 per cent. Balotelli is not currently at this level.
Mancini added: “If Mario deserves to play he will play. If he doesn’t deserve to play he doesn’t play. If Mario doesn’t work, he doesn’t play.
“It’s not important Mario has a good technique and is a good player. If we want to improve we need everybody giving 200 per cent.
“Mario is a special player but you have to put strength and heart into your performances.”
We’ll anticipate Balotelli’s transfer request before the end of the day.