Welcome back to another edition of the EPL Talk Mailbag. Before we get into the questions, I celebrated my birthday yesterday and after all the dinners with family and such was done, the best present I got by far was from FOX Sports. Their announcement yesterday that they would be showing 9 of the matches from the final day of the EPL season live was possibly the best gift I could have gotten. The final day of the EPL season is one of the best sporting days on the calendar in my opinion. All the story lines, the battles for European positions and the relegation fights — it all capitulates in one fantastic day of soccer. My only regret is that I didn’t get 8 other TV’s so that I could watch all the games simultaneously. Now to the Mailbag!
Can you discuss the situations that Balotelli and Suarez are in. Balotelli because he seems to be a bit of a hot head. He was able to escape this 9 match ban but I still see City unloading to another club. Suarez obviously had that dust up with Evra in the league matches.
Are they still wanted by their respective clubs? Is it fair to dub them a “problem child?” Also, is their future tied to the managers future (If Balotelli goes does Mancini follow him out? or vice versa)
I’ve written before about Mario Balotelli’s situation. He is a bit of a hot head but taking into account his career to this point and his age his actions can be chalked up to that of a typical 21 year old. But most of his indiscretions pale in comparison to some of the issues that have plagued Luis Suarez’s career. At Ajax he had some dust ups with teammates and was a bit of a problem child early in his career. But taking a chunk out of Otman Bakkal’s shoulder and on pitch racial abuse are territories that Balotelli has not ventured into. While the term “Problem Child” can be applied to both, they are at two different levels of the term. Balotelli being more of the “Child” part, while Suarez is more of a “Problem”. As far as being wanted by their clubs, Suarez certainly has a bit more safety in his future at Liverpool. The transfer speculation I’ve seen about Suarez has been more him going to a club that is performing a bit better and with European Football in play. His teammates have rallied around him on occasion (see the Shirt incident after the abuse of Evra) and he generally seems to be someone that players don’t mind having around. On the other hand Balotelli has been openly talked about being not wanted at his club. I believe his teammates have all but given up on him and clearly his manager has given up on him. Kenny Dalglish certainly has more invested in the success of Andy Carroll than he does with Suarez based solely on his price tag. Mancini may have had more invested since Balotelli was seen as his project at Inter and he was brought into City to continue that development. If both are sold it will just be seen as two players who just couldn’t cut it with life in England. Their manager’s should be worried more about the axe because of their results and not the success of a single player.
Thanks for all the questions, everybody. Keep them coming in either through the comments section below or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.