How can Bobby Manc explain away this one? The time has come for Super Mario to be sent packing and join his moustached-video game namesake back in Italy.
The pictures emerging from Manchester City’s Carrington training ground highlighted what a divisive and troublesome character Mario Balotelli can be.
With mavericks like him, you expect their performance on the pitch to warrant the manager turning a blind eye to their misdemeanours.
Take Eric Cantona and Sir Alex Ferguson. Even after the infamous kung-fu kick, Ferguson knew he was such an integral part of his plans that he had to be kept at all costs.
But Balotelli cannot be mentioned in the same bracket as the mercurial Frenchman.
He has only netted three times in fifteen appearances this season, and he has been outshone by Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero.
In Friday’s press conference, City boss Roberto Mancini said: “I will give him another 100 chances if it is possible. I think that he can change because I am here for this. I give him other chances, for sure.”
Hasn’t he already had a hundred chances? The list of bizarre and baffling incidents he has caught himself up in is almost endless.
Back in August 2010, just days after joining the club, he crashed his car. He threw a dart at a reserve team player in March 2011.
The night before the Manchester derby in October 2011 he set off fireworks inside his home causing a fire. He stamped on Scott Parker’s head in January last year, earning him a four-match ban.
It is not the first time he has been involved in a training ground bust-up. In December 2011 pictures showed the Italian in confrontation with Micah Richards – he has also had bust ups with Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong.
And if Mancini doesn’t get rid now, this will only continue and he will find his club in the news for the wrong reasons time and time again.
Why always me? It might because you are a very silly, immature young man who has more money than sense, Mario.
Picture courtesy of Sky Sports HD, with thanks