We are three weeks away from the January transfer window and, after his performance in Sunday's Manchester derby, I think you have to say that it is time for City to cut their losses and sell him at the earliest possible opportunity. They have to do so for the good of the team.
City can afford to take a hit on him, and it would be best for all parties concerned if he was moved on - or even loaned out. There will always be someone who thinks that they can get the best out of Balotelli - probably AC Milan - but if I was Roberto Mancini, I'd sell him now to avoid the temptation of giving him another chance in the team - he barely deserves one after the derby.
It was a borderline disgraceful performance in a game of that magnitude. Mancini looked furious when he took him off after only 52 minutes but, to be perfectly honest, I don't know what possessed him to start Balotelli in the first place.
In a game like that you want somebody who is going to work hard and concentrate - not two qualities you usually associate with Balotelli. Maybe he impressed in training last week, but I found the decision to use him from the start so, so strange.
It looked even stranger when Carlos Tevez came on in his place and produced the energetic, committed performance you would expect from the Argentine. He has the will to chase things down, run around and to get in the box. He has the will to play - the will that seems to be missing from Balotelli's game.
The last straw from Balotelli was an indulgent backheel which just summed him up as a player. It was like a joke to him. He always comes first and everything else comes second, which is not what you want in a team game. Look at the Manchester United boys: they work themselves into the ground for each other.
Balotelli has a flippant attitude towards his team. The backheel was for him, and it had no benefit for Manchester City. It was typical, as was his reaction to being substituted as he walked straight down the tunnel. We are more surprised when Balotelli plays well than when he does something like this now. Disinterest and petulance has become the norm.
When is Balotelli going to show his real quality? I don't think there is anything that sparks him as a player. No matter how big the game is, if he isn't bothered then he isn't bothered. He doesn't possess the desire to show how good he can be.
People say he is a great player, but where is the evidence? Okay, he scored three goals at Euro 2012 and won the semi-final against Germany, but that was the exception, not the rule. He has one goal in the Premier League this season, after all.
Jose Mourinho found out pretty quickly at Inter that Balotelli isn't worth the hassle - he even said he was unmanageable - but Mancini has always stuck by him. He couldn't have done any more to motivate him and to bring the best out of him - at Inter and City - but he is getting absolutely nothing back. Nothing.
I can't find anything positive to say about Balotelli at the moment. If you want to keep giving players chances they have to at least show that they might bring something to the party, but I just don't know how he can possibly convince anyone he is worthy of another chance after what we saw on Sunday.
You would have thought that if there was one game that would inspire him and motivate him, it would be the Manchester derby, and the fact that it didn't is a matter of real concern.
I have no idea what motivates him as a player. I have seen Balotelli do things that blow your mind; but you hardly ever see it these days, and because of that he is not worth persisting with any longer.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mario Balotelli
- Roberto Mancini
- Manchester City