There have been some crazy moments this pre-season (Carl Jenkinson’s own goal for Arsenal v Cologne on Saturday for example) but the Mario Balotelli Showboat FAIL against the LA Galaxy, and subsequent hysteria, has signalled that the 2011/2012 season is nigh.
The bare details are that after half-an-hour of Manchester City’s eventual penalty shoot-out win at the Home Depot Centre, Balotelli was played through with a fine run across the line.
Super Mario’s options were pretty clear, a shot on goal seemed the most obvious whilst Edin Dzeko was square for a pass should the Italian striker wish to pass responsibility to his Manchester City strike partner.
Instead, Balotelli pulled out aÂ pirouette followed by a back heel shot that went wide of the LA Galaxy goal, immediately bringing boos from the LA Galaxy crowd.
And whilst the home punters were happy to play Balotelli as the pantomime villain as Dzeko reacted inÂ bewilderment, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was one angry puppy on the touchline.Â Seconds later, despite his protestations Balotelli was substituted.
But, was Balotelli being disrespectful or was he simply trying to add a memorable goal to what is after all just a Â pre-season friendly? Or, perhaps Super Mario thought he was offside and his effort wouldn’t have counted anyway?
To add a little more spice to this discussion, it should also be pointed out that Roberto Mancini was no stranger to Showboat goals when he was a player – as this fantastic backheel goal for Lazio proves.