Etihad Stadium squad at war. Picture credit: Tony Spencer
Mario Balotelli’s remarkable penchant for embroiling himself in controversy at Manchester City has resurfaced in the form of a training-ground confrontation with his team-mate Micah Richards.
The two players clashed towards the end of a practice match preparing for Sunday’s game against Arsenal. Witnesses reported that words were exchanged before the two players squared up.
Richards, in particular, seemed aggrieved by what had been said and the defender had to be restrained by other players as he sought to prolong the argument.
The incident has been described as “minor” behind the scenes at City, where it has been stressed that it was quickly forgotten once the players had returned to the dressing room. Richards and Balotelli get on well, and Richards later used Twitter to insist: “Me & mario are all good! these things happen in training & we shook hands after. It shows passion!”
Clearly all concerned are duty bound to state publicly that this was just a storm in a teacup I am sure Roberto Mancini will be speaking to both parties and making sure that this is just a one off incident and not the makings of a feud.
The worry for the Man City boss is that Mario Balotelli’s off field antics are starting to out-weigh his on field abilities and even though the young Italian has been in good form this term it is clear he needs some guidance to help keep him out of the spotlight,