Raging Roberto Mancini still prefers fight over flight
No indication that Balotelli has been fined over incident
Saturday 05 January 2013
Roberto Mancini yesterday said he had no regrets over Thursday's training ground confrontation with Mario Balotelli.
The Manchester City manager argued that the incident in which he grabbed Balotelli's training bib before ordering him to the changing rooms had looked worse than it was and lasted "only a few seconds".
He also said that Balotelli's challenge on Scott Sinclair would have been worth "two red cards" had it occurred during a match.
There is no indication that Balotelli has been fined.
Mancini viewed the incident as less serious than the persistent indiscipline on the pitch for which Balotelli was fined last season, or the player's appearing outside a strip club 48 hours before a match in March.
"No, I did nothing," said Mancini when asked if he regretted losing his temper so completely with the footballer he has mentored since he was a teenager. "I wanted Mario to leave the pitch and he said: 'No, I don't want to.' I know it is unusual for a manager to do this but I am not regretful."
Balotelli has not played for City since an unmotivated performance in last month's Manchester derby a few days before the birth of his daughter, Pia. Since then his private life has appeared like a case study for The Jeremy Kyle Show.
His foster parents, Francesco and Silvia Balotelli, have written an open letter to his former girlfriend and Pia's mother, Raffaela Fico, to urge her to stop giving interviews to the Italian press in which she invariably criticises their son's fitness to be a parent amid talk of DNA tests.
Balotelli's camouflaged Bentley has been seen in Wythenshawe, a working-class district of Manchester, where his birth mother, Rose Barwuah, has set up home.
Mancini remarked that he did not know whether Balotelli was in a fit state of mind to play football. For this afternoon's FA Cup tie with Watford, the best the striker can expect is a place on the bench.
"It is not easy to manage Mario," Mancini said. "If he doesn't change, the future will be very difficult – for him, not for me. If I think he can change, I will give him 100 chances but he should understand that a football career is very, very short. Three or four years can pass in what seems like a second."
Earlier this month Mancini claimed that the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour, wanted to keep Balotelli at the Etihad Stadium because he brought so much publicity to the club.
Yesterday, he fulfilled that requirement. There were so many television cameras crammed into the small press room at the Carrington training ground that Mancini asked with a smile whether Manchester City were holding a press conference for the Champions League final.
Mancini received support from an unlikely ally in the shape of Sir Alex Ferguson, who argued that Manchester City's inability to screen off their training pitches, because a public footpath runs alongside the, left the champions at a distinct disadvantage. "By closing off your training ground, you're protecting your success. Do ICI send an email to Bayer chemicals telling them about their new discoveries in drugs or whatever?" asked the United manager. "Cameramen want to be at training sessions which I think is ridiculous.
"Fortunately, at our place we can guard against that to a decent degree. Sometimes we get a photographer over in the woods but we've put these wolves in there! They never come now."
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations