Tuesday, 9 November 2010

More on Mario

I feel like I have to write more on Mario Balotelli. His performance on Saturday was so compelling, such an open and complete revelation of character, that one paragraph just doesn't do it justice.

There is always a degree of exaggeration, of overshooting, when discussing new signings. Everyone wants to claim that they were there at the start of something special. I am conscious of this trap.

But: Balotelli's performance was unlike anything I have ever seen from a footballer. And the fact that he won us the game, scoring both of our goals, is just a small part of it. From the very first minute it was one long mad battle, against the laws of the game, against the officials, against both West Brom as a team but also against every single one of their players and supporters.

We all know that the thrill of young players is their fearlessness, their lack of reverence of for traditional footballing etiquette and hierarchies. We experienced this with Shaun Wright-Phillips, and, to a lesser extent, with Micah Richards. But I've never seen a young player with so much contempt for etiquette and hierarchies as from Balotelli. Every dive, step-over and flick was soaked with disdain: even for him to raise an accompanying sneer would have been to make too much of an effort.

I'm not sure yet whether it was Never Mind the Bollocks stretched over twice its original length or Rebel Without A Cause compressed to half but it certainly had the smack of either. And, just like James Dean or Sid Vicious, Balotelli at the Hawthornes was willing to storm in, burn a deep impression on his surroundings and his audience and then be expelled from it all in a quick blaze of violence.

But he will be back, at Stoke City on 27 November.

4 comments:

Trevbrierley said...

May be back sooner if his appeal against the straight red card succeeds! 50/50?

I must admit his whole demeanour made me laugh. Especially after he scored. It was as though he expected it to happen. No hint of a smile.

But we did see the hint of the tendency to throw the tantrums that Mourinho & co at Inter were so scathing about.

At least he didn't throw his shirt (or even his gloves) to the ground when he was sent off. Must be maturing!

Jeff said...

50/50? This isn't Tom Huddlestone we're talking about ...

Trevbrierley said...

I was obviously too optimistic. The 3 match ban has been upheld!!

Dextersmart said...

The main aspect of Super Mario's game that needs improvement is his attitude.

When once Mancho gets that sorted out, we have seen a taste of the lethal weapon that we have in our possession.

Remember some top managers like SAF and Ancelotti felt they could get that straightened out.