Brendan Rodgers has told Mario Balotelli to start contributing more after the Reds loss to FC Basel in the Champions League. The striker hasn’t been doing well since his move to Anfield in the summer and he disappointed once again on Wednesday night in Europe.
He also walked straight off the pitch at the end of the game, instead of acknowledging all of the travelling Liverpool supporters. Boss Brendan Rodgers has now warned Balotelli to improve soon to help get the Reds out of their ‘difficult moment.’ He said:
“In terms of his behaviour since he came into here the boy is consciously trying to work hard at the aspects of the game that we would demand: intensity and work-rate. In terms of goals, he needs to improve.
“It is as simple as that. Any striker, not just him, is judged on his goals and the number of assists you make. At this moment he has not hit the numbers he will have wanted. And over the course of the team that is the same.
“We need to return to being a team. That has brought us success over the last 18-months.”
Liverpool slumped to a 1-0 defeat against Basel and the Italian forward didn’t have a single touch in the Basel penalty area all game. Rodgers wants the ex-Man City man to remed that, saying: “I encourage the strikers to get into the framework of the goal, for wide players to come in and get into the framework of the goal and go and break the lines.
“I think our service and quality in the final third wasn’t to the standard it should be. And you have to be able to make and create goals yourself as a front player and he (Balotelli) didn’t do that.”
Rodgers also spoke about the underwhelming start to the season in general for the club and the loss of Suarez, adding: “There was big change here in the summer and we lost a world class player and had to improve the squad by bringing in a number of players.
“Unfortunately it brings us into a little bit of transition again. We are in a difficult moment. we are nowhere near what we have been.”
By Charlie Gregory
Follow me on Twitter – @CharlieGLFC