Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers wants more from Mario Balotelli
Brendan Rodgers criticises the Liverpool striker's poor work-rate
Brendan Rodgers has demanded more from Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli ahead of their trip to Southampton on Sunday.
The Italy international scored the Merseyside outfit’s winner in a 1-0 victory over Besiktas in their Europa League last-32 first-leg clash at Anfield on Thursday night.
He needs to keep that efficiency in his game and show that he can affect the team whether he is asked to play from the bench or from the start
Balotelli stoked controversy after the 24-year-old took over the responsibility of taking the winning spot-kick despite Jordan Henderson being the assigned penalty taker.
While Rodgers believes the striker would be hailed a hero for his winning strike in other leagues, the Liverpool manager was unhappy with Balotelli’s overall performance.
“We need to ensure that whatever level of the game we are playing at we have everyone working as a team and once we got the penalty he stops working,” Rodgers told his pre-match media conference.
“So he needs to improve on that facet of his game to play in his position, rather than standing on the side of the football field.”
Rodgers continued: “He has contributed against Besiktas, he has got the penalty and scored the goal but that is what he is paid to do.
“He needs to keep that efficiency in his game and show that he can affect the team whether he is asked to play from the bench or from the start. In a different country and a different style of football that (goal) would be all that matters but in this team there is more to it than that.”
Balotelli has scored four goals in 22 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool following his £16m move from AC Milan in the summer transfer window.
The controversial Italian striker has scored in the Champions League, the Europa League, the Premier League and the League Cup this term.