Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has criticised Mario Balotelli’s contribution to the Anfield club since moving to them from AC Milan in the summer, blasting the Italian international for not sacrificing himself for his new team, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The former Liverpool defender has been less than impressed by the £16 million summer addition, and wrote as much in his column for the newspaper.
In fact, he suggested that he has never been a particularly big fan of the forward, who has scored only once for his new side since moving from his boyhood side.
Carragher said: “I think we need to see a lot more. I can’t hide the way I feel about him.
“When he was at [Manchester] City I wasn’t a fan. He’s got one goal.
“He’s away in Europe tonight and playing as a lone striker. You have got to sacrifice yourself for the team tonight – play for the team and work hard.
“If there’s one word that I’d never use to sum Balotelli up is sacrifice.”
Balotelli was brought in, in part, to replace the outgoing Luis Suarez, who joined Barcelona for £75 million shortly after the World Cup, despite having been banned for all footballing activity.
However, he has been somewhat hamstrung by the injury to his intended strike partner Daniel Sturridge, with the duo looking fairly good in the one game they have played together, against Spurs.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is keen that his side take maximum points from their two games against Maribor, with the hope that a pair of results against them will see them hit 10 points in the competition and secure early passage into the knockout stages of the Champions League, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
This would allow them to progress with two games left to play.
The Blues beat Sporting Lisbon in their second group game on Tuesday, winning 1-0 against the Portuguese side.
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Mourinho was not happy with the side’s success at converting the opportunities that were granted to them, but firmly believes that they can confirm their progress after their two games against the Slovenian side.
He said: “We missed a lot of chances, I know, but we got three points and in the group it is about points.
“Now we are in control of our destiny. Next we play two games against Maribor. If we manage six points, that would be 10 and job done, so we have just to focus on beating Maribor.
“With chances we had, it could have finished 4-0 or 5-0 but when we couldn’t transform our dominance into goals, we had to make sure we closed the door on them and that’s what we did.’’
Chelsea face Arsenal at the weekend, entering the London derby with an undefeated record in all competitions thus far this season.
They were boosted by Diego Costa completing 90 minutes against Sporting in mid week.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he has no idea when Kyle Walker will return to full fitness, with the England international having not played a single game for the White Hart Lane club since March of this year, as reported by the Daily Star.
He suffered an abdominal injury at the time, and sadly missed out on England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil as a result, where he would have almost certainly have been involved, given his importance in qualification.
The right back is definitely set to miss out on Spurs’s Europa League tie against Besiktas tonight, and Pochettino cannot put a timescale on the talented star’s return for the north London side.
Pochettino said: “At the moment it is impossible to give you the date. It is a good recovery at the moment.
“We are happy but it’s impossible to predict the time, when he is maybe ready to train with the team and to start to play.”
Should Walker continue to have problems with his fitness, Spurs might be tempted to bring American international DeAndre Yedlin back from loan, having allowed him to rejoin the Seattle Sounders after signing him for a £4 million fee in the summer.