There’s no ‘i’ in team – but there cer­tainly is in Balotelli!

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

JOHN ALDRIDGE has slammed Liver­pool’s un­der­per­form­ing stars – and says he’s EM­BAR­RASSED to be a fan.

Kenny Dal­glish’s Premier League flops have lost six of the last seven games to slump to eighth in the ta­ble.

And an­gry Kop idol Aldridge has slammed that form as “sham­bolic”.

Aldo, who won the ti­tle at An­field in 1987-88, said the club had be­come a LAUGH­ING STOCK.

He in­sists the play­ers are to blame – not Dal­glish – for the five-times Euro­pean cham­pi­ons be­ing closer to the drop zone than a Cham­pi­ons League spot.

“I want to see some pride,” said Aldridge.

“That’s all we’re play­ing for in the league now, but there doesn’t seem to be much pride around.

“There’s no get­ting away from the fact that Liver­pool are now in a cri­sis.

Sham­bolic

“To have picked up just eight points out of 36 since the turn of the year is sham­bolic. That’s rel­e­ga­tion form.

“The fact that this is the worst run in the league since 1954 speaks vol­umes.

“Ques­tions are be­ing asked and they need to be an­swered.

“The eyes of the world are on Liver­pool and the crit­ics are hav­ing a field day.

“We’ve be­come a laugh­ing stock. We’re all proud to be as­so­ci­ated with the club and ev­ery­thing it has achieved over the years, but at the mo­ment be­ing a Liver­pool fan is just em­bar­rass­ing.”

And Aldridge is in no doubt who is to blame for the club’s cur­rent plight.

“You can blame the man­ager and the coach­ing staff, but at the end of the day it’s down to the play­ers,” he added.

“They are the ones who are get­ting paid un­be­liev­able amounts of money and they aren’t pro­duc­ing the goods.

“Some of them should take a long, hard look in the mir­ror.

“They are play­ing for one of the big­gest clubs in the world.

“They need to start do­ing it – or their An­field ca­reers won’t last much longer.”

AGEN­ER­A­TION of foot­ball fans seem to be­lieve there’s only one an­swer to cure club foot­ball’s ills – spend­ing money. Yet there’s ev­i­dence all around that there’s much more to it than just splash­ing the cash like some real-life game of Fan­tasy Foot­ball.

Roberto Mancini has blown bucket-loads of dosh at Man City – but he’s go­ing greyer than Gan­dalf as he watches what looked like nailed-on ti­tle glory slowly slip through his fin­gers.

And why? Be­cause he’s got a bunch of tal­ented foot­ballers, but he hasn’t got a team.

The sum of the parts is greater than the col­lec­tive at the Eti­had.

Ev­ery­one can see the pres­sure is get­ting to City – and Mancini’s in­dul­gence of Mario Balotelli clearly hasn’t helped mat­ters.

The fella can play a bit. It’s a shame he’s a com­plete clown.

And the rest of the squad don’t look like they’re laugh­ing.

Team spirit is vi­tal when it comes to the crunch. As is all that bor­ing stuff like or­gan­i­sa­tion, plan­ning, be­lief and con­fi­dence.

Time and again, footie fans say the cur­rent Manch­ester United side is crap. The league ta­ble says oth­er­wise. atch United and it’s clear they be­lieve. They flood for­ward, turn the screw and get re­sults.

They are one, de­spite some iffy com­po­nents within their usu­ally well-oiled ma­chine.

The only “one” at City is Billy Big Balls Balotelli.

And while he’s good, he’s not that good. He’s cer­tainly not worth up­set­ting a whole squad for.

Af­ter the 3-3 draw with Sun­der­land, Mancini said: “Mario has ev­ery­thing to do his job well, but he doesn’t un­der­stand very well his sit­u­a­tion.”

None of this should come as a sur­prise. Mancini was warned by none other than Jose Mour­inho – the man who could suc­ceed him at City if (when) he fails to de­liver the ti­tle – that Balotelli was a bad ap­ple. What City need right now is ev­ery mem­ber of their squad to

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