Mancini rings Balotelli wedding bells
- Mon 05 Mar 2012, 8:44AM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Not even scoring goals that go a long way to winning games can stop Mario Balotelli hitting the headlines for non-footballing reasons.
The manager's comments from after our win, where Mario was virtually the only topic of questioning at the press conference, crop up everywhere today. It's not "why don't you meet a nice girl and settle down?", but it's not far off as Martin Blackburn in The Sun says,
"ROBERTO MANCINI claims there is only one way to tame Mario Balotelli — find a woman to take him up the aisle.
"And as the unruly £24million hitman is dating supermodel Raffaella Fico it might be an idea that appeals to him.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been scratching his head over ways to keep Balotelli on the straight and narrow.
"The 21-year-old has made headlines for showboating in a game in Los Angeles, having fireworks set off from his bathroom and, most recently, preparing for Saturday's clash against Bolton by visiting a strip club.
"Mancini said: 'Now he is young but when he is 25 or 26 it will be different. If you don't have a good private life you can't play at the top level. Is it time he got married? Could be, could be.'"
Elsewhere, a generous Gael Clichy has praised Gareth Barry as the team's unsung hero. Again, his words crop up in a few places - he did a bit of post-match media on Saturday including CityTV, this is from football365.co.za:
"While Yaya Toure is often the central midfielder who gains the plaudits for his work in the City engine room, Clichy feels that it is Barry's effort that allows Toure to excel.
"'Of course Yaya is impressive, but it's always the way in football that the players who score goals or make a difference in the final third are the ones we look at,' said Clichy. 'But without Gareth Barry, Yaya wouldn't be the same player.'"
There are opinions galore on the run-in for the title, and Alan Hansen is tipping United - just - in his Telegraph column, although he feels if City can do it then the landscape will be changed for a long time to come.
Looking to parallels with Everton challenging his Liverpool side in the 1980s, he says: "We were lucky, though, because although Everton won two titles, we claimed the trophy back immediately on each occasion. I’m not sure it will be quite so simple for United to do that, however, if City beat them to the Premier League title this season.
"If City win this one, you can see them winning six or seven out of the next 10 because they will inevitably strengthen again."