Liverpool’s Balotelli Will Come Good, Says Legendary Striker Micky Quinn
With Balotelli missing sitters we asked an expert goalscorer and Liverpool fan, Micky Quinn, what he felt was going wrong.
What's the problem: the player or the team?
“It’s not just Balotelli that isn’t working out at the moment. Liverpool aren’t playing with any fluency. If you take the QPR game - it was all cameos, little bits of skill here and there, two own goals and obviously people think Balotelli doesn’t fancy it but I don’t think that’s the case.”
Worth the money spent?
“When he came in I thought he was a good signing for the price. He obviously wasn’t a direct replacement for Suarez because they are totally different players. The best game he has had was against Spurs when we had Sturridge playing up front alongside him and they absolutely battered Tottenham. That partnership worked well because Sturridge likes it laid off to him in the channels and Balotelli is good at doing that. To me that partnership really worked well.”
Is he right for Liverpool?
“Now he’s on his own up front and Liverpool’s game just doesn’t suit his skills and ability. He excels in holding the ball up but he needs someone alongside him for him to create chances for. Liverpool play on the counter-attack and that’s not going to work with Balotelli. If your team is under pressure and you just want to get the ball out to the striker and for him to hold it whilst people come and support him then he’s perfect for that.”
Is he a natural goalscorer?
“I don’t think he’s a natural goalscorer, a natural goalscorer is someone who will get you 25-30 goals a year without blinking. Someone like Aldridge, Rushy or Kevin Phillips. You just have an instinct of where you need to be to score the goal, getting into the positions, I’ve scored goals in the 6 yard box with every part of my body, it has to be a second nature. I think Rushy had the best quote when he said something like he didn’t even realise he was in there, he just found himself in the best positions to finish from. He was just there, he didn’t register getting there. Balotelli works better as a foil.”
Has he got the right attitude?
“The thing is though he shows his emotions so much so when he misses a sitter like he did against QPR, his shoulders slump, he walks slowly back and people interpret that in a certain way. In fact I think his attitude his OK. I think he has got his head down, I’ve even seen him tackle back. If anything I’d say that side of his game has improved since he joined Liverpool. “
How will it work out?
“He’s a fifteen goals a year man and the sooner Lambert or Sturridge are back alongside him he’ll be able to get the few goals he needs to rebuild his confidence. Because when you see him like he was against Spurs or when he hit that hat-trick for Italy in the Euros, which no-one expected of him, he is a real handful. I believe he will come good.”
Micky Quinn hit 228 goals in 515 appearances in the football league, scoring goals for every club he signed for including Newcastle United, Portsmouth and Coventry City. He is one of the most prolific strikers ever with a ratio just under a goal every other game.