If Carlos Tevez is to leave Eastlands this summer, Roberto Mancini must hope that Mario Balotelli grows up a little, with the Italian once again involved in an act of stupidity during his team’s pre-season game against LA Galaxy.
Although the match was a friendly for Manchester City, the forward incensed his team-mates and manager when trying an audacious flick with the score at 1-0 to the visitors, something which saw Mancini immediately substitute the player.
While Balotelli protested his innocence on the touchline, Mancini was an angry man and feels as though replacing him with James Milner was just punishment.
“I hope this is a lesson for him,” said Mancini. “In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn’t professional. He needs to understand his behaviour has to be good in every game – not just in a final or a semi-final but every game.
“He knows he made a mistake. Football should always be serious and if you have a chance to score, you should score. If you are serious, you can play 90 minutes. If not, you can come and sit by me on the bench. Mario is young, I want to help him and that is the end of it. To take him off after 30 minutes is enough punishment. It won’t have been easy for him but it has to be a lesson.”