Jan 3, 2013, 11:36 AM EDT
There are two ways to look at the fresh reports of Mario Balotelli drama around Manchester City:
The quick low-down is this: Only those present at Thursday’s training know exactly what happened, and the context thereof. But it does seem clear that some kind of confrontation occurred between City’s volatile man-child of a striker and manager Roberto Mancini.
On the one hand, these contentious training ground incidents probably happen more than most supporters might realize. Same for locker room confrontations. These are (mostly) young men, after all, so that’s the first ingredient into the bubbling pot. Being professional athletes, there are egos involved, and that’s an accelerant on any potential flare-ups, dust-ups, bust-ups and what-not.
Generally, these things can be contained without much permanent damage.
On the other hand …
Most flare-ups, dust-ups and bust-ups are between two players. This one was apparently between manager and player, and that’s a potential ruckus that rises from misdemeanor status into felony level conflict (figuratively speaking, of course).
I’ve said it before and will continue to say so:
Anything that happens now around Manchester City with the unstable striker can no longer be called Balotelli’s fault. It’s management’s fault at this point for keeping the guy around. They know what he is. They understand the damage and the disquiet he can potentially deliver.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:45 AM EDT
The 24-year-old American has found a new team, after spending 5 seasons at Villa Park.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:08 AM EDT
The Premier League has released its fixture list for the 2013/2014 season in its entirety. Find out the opening fixtures plus your favorite team’s derby here!
Jun 19, 2013, 2:00 AM EDT
Feel free to ask yourself at this point: where would the United States be in World Cup qualifying without its young, in-form striker:
Jun 18, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
Jozy Altidore was the hero for the United States, cooly slotting a left-footed shot to hand the Stars & Stripes a 1-0 victory over Honduras.
Jun 18, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The LA Galaxy coach has taken aging players and made them useful parts of the roster before:
Jun 18, 2013, 7:14 PM EDT
Everyone loves “The Pope”
Jun 18, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
Our weekly re-ordering of Major League Soccer teams, following 16 rounds of play:
Jun 18, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Some of the best U.S. success in the past has come when the United States was backed into a corner. Tonight looks much different:
Jun 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
There are a few choices to be made ahead of Tuesday’s match in Utah:
Jun 18, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Unsaid in this narrative is this: most U.S. sites are bright and alive these days.
Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT
Stuart Pearce has been relieved of his duties as manager of England’s U-21 squad.
Jun 18, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT
Australia join Brazil and Japan as nations that already have booked their place in next summer’s World Cup.
Jun 18, 2013, 7:56 AM EDT
Hearts have put the entire squad up for sale to raise the reported £500,000 needed to get the club to the start of the season.
Jun 18, 2013, 12:10 AM EDT
Brazil has infrastructure concerns. They’ve also spent $3.3 billion on soccer stadia. No surprise, people aren’t happy.
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