Startling comments from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers today who says that Mario Balotelli’s game is not suited to the high-tempo style of play that Liverpool are looking to recapture. Which begs the question. Why did you spend £16 million on him four months ago if he does not suit the style of play you want to play?
Rodgers has recently adopted a 3-4-3 formation designed to give added potency to his side’s attack after a poor first four months of the season and has seen displays improve since abandoning the 4-2-3-1 setup he used for much of the campaign.
He has switched to a system of three centre-backs, while using Raheem Sterling as a central striker, and was rewarded with an impressive attacking performance on Sunday as his side drew 2-2 with Arsenal in the Premier League.
Asked how Balotelli might fit into the new system, Rodgers said: ”
I think we’ve seen that it’s not really his game.
“Having worked with Mario during the time he’s been here, we’ve seen that he’s a player who better in and around the box, so that level of intensity and pressing isn’t a part of his game, but you try to get the best out of the players that you have, and the qualities that they have, so that’s something that we’ll focus on.
“The most important thing is that he’s now available after his ban. That adds another player to our squad, especially with Fabio Borini not being available because of suspension.”
Balotelli has yet to score a Premier League goal for Liverpool, having arrived from AC Milan in August. His long-term future at the club is uncertain, particularly with Rodgers making clear that a high-intensity game is the style he ultimately wants to play.
While Balo gets a lot of bad press for his effort and performance in this case it is not his fault as Liverpool should never had bought him in the first place.
The same could probably be said about Liverpool’s other striker Rickie Lambery, who is also a traditional center forward, similar in style to Andy Carroll who Rodgers got rid of because he also did not fit into his system.
What does it say when neither of the two strikers that Liverpool bought to replace Luis Suárez fit into Rodgers style of play. Who is making the buying decisions at Anfield?