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the USA defend Balotelli: he makes football fun

LOS ANGELES - It's never boring with them: I totally love characters as Liam Gallagher and Mario Balotelli, they're quite similar (they don't give a shit, lol) and all the people are SO JEALOUS about them. It's their victory. Just read the comments around the websites, full of insults. And it's always said they still have to grow up (stay young and invincible!!), but I think it's someone else who needs to grow up, tabloids telling lies and people insulting. They're biased so whatever Mario does, it's wrong.
I noticed the American press defended Mario, good. He clearly thought to be in offside and his gesture clearly wasn't to kid the people. Besides, it was just a friendly match. But for the tabloids it's so much better to build a scandal. If it was that idiot called Cristiano Ronaldo doing that, everybody would have gone: oh he tried a magic trick!
But, the argument Mario had with Mancini, makes him closer to a transfer to his favourite team AC Milan.

It took just a few seconds for Mario Balotelli's latest bizarre act to go viral. He swiftly trended on Twitter as links to the now-famous video clip peppered timelines across the globe. I duly clicked, watched, chortled. Then Tweeted on it myself. But when the dust had settled, though, there appeared to be quite the animosity towards the Manchester City striker for his actions. Why?
In a friendly match against LA Galaxy on Sunday, Balotelli, signed from Inter Milan for £24 million last summer, found himself clean through on goal, his side leading 1-0 after he had scored from the penalty spot. But, instead of putting his laces through the chance, he opted for an audacious pirouette, before backheeling the ball a few yards wide of the target. His team-mate, Edin Dzeko, who lurked just to his right, threw his arms up in disgust; City boss Roberto Mancini, meanwhile, got angry.
A bronzed Mancini pointed immediately in Balotelli's direction before waving a left hand at substitute James Milner. Minutes later, Balotelli trudged off, Milner replacing him. A verbal exchange then took place between Mancini and his Italian compatriot, with the latter seemingly indicating that he thought he was offside, hence the languid skill. Then, petulantly, he turned his back on his coach, strutting towards the bench whilst uttering under his breath. Mancini half-heartedly stalked him. A textbook throwing of a bottle then followed by Balotelli.
I am not defending 20-year-old Balotelli's reaction, he behaved like a brat and such a strop sends a poor message to the children watching. But doesn't Mancini, who worked with the attacker at Inter, know Balotelli well enough to anticipate he would have responded in such a way to being hooked? It may have got Mancini's goat, but why not wait until the interval to replace him, therefore quelling the media furore that would inevitably follow? Instead of talking about Uruguay's Copa America final win - a record-breaking 15th South American title - the footballing masses were chatting all things 'Super Mario' on Sunday evening. Then, of course, Mancini's press conference was dominated by it.
Speaking after the game, which City eventually won 7-6 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time, Mancini said: "I hope this is a lesson for him. In football you always need to be professional, always serious and in this moment he wasn't professional. If you are serious, you can play 90 minutes. If not, you can come and sit by me on the bench. Mario is young, I want to help him and that is the end of it. To take him off after 30 minutes is enough punishment. It won't have been easy for him but it has to be a lesson."
But serious is dull. Let us remember that City were criticised last season for at times being uninspiring. Ironing out this type of expression is not beneficial to the game, nor the supporter. Football needs its characters, and Balotelli is a mighty one. Petulance should be rid from football, but the dare to be daring must stay. The innovators, the characters, the expressive - they make football what it is: fun.
Imagine if the effort had gone in, then Mancini would have been in quite the pickle. One chap Tweeted: "It is certainly an insult that he tried it. Very disgraceful and distasteful. Good for Mancini taking him out." This I can't comprehend, yet it seems the majority view.
During a period when the lead story is usually some quotes from a player's agent telling us all the top clubs in the world want him, Balotelli's act was a comforting reminder of the sport's ability to entertain.
But the lasting concern from the incident is the message that hauling off of a player who attempted something different sends to youngsters. Punishment for experimentation produces a fear of failure. This has been England's problem for goodness knows how many years. If this was globally engrained we wouldn't have the Blanco 'bunny hop', Johan Cruyff's copyrighted turn or that daft seal dribble Kerlon does.
Ultimately, we should make consider whether his spin really was "disgraceful" or "insulting". He didn't flick a V-sign at the crowd, or spit in an opponent's face. He just did something a little bit different. And that is what Mario Balotelli is all about.
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Beady Eye gigography and next tour dates


30 May - Forum, Milan, Italy (the first "Noeless" gig since 1991 when he didn't join Oasis yet)

summer tour without Noel


16 November - Andy Bell unplugged - Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden (bootleg)


3rd & 4th March - Barrowland, Glasgow, Scotland +here and here + bootleg
6th & 7th March - O2 Apollo, Manchester +bootleg 1 +bootleg 2
9th & 10th March - Troxy, London +bootleg 1
13 March - Casino de Paris, Paris, france
14 March - E-Werk, Koln, Germany
16 March - Alcatraz, Milan, Italy +dvd bootleg
18 March - La Riviera, Madrid, Spain +bootleg
19 March - Bikini, Toulouse, france
21 March - Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland (bootleg)
22 March - Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, Belgium (bootleg)
14 & 15 April - The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland here a bootleg image
17 April - Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
20 April - O2 Academy, Newcastle (a photo here)
23 April - Centre, Newport (photo and bootleg)
30 May - Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg, Germany
+a photo here + win tickets here
8 June - Saschall, Firenze, Italy +my story here +bootleg here +win tickets here
11th June - Papillons de Nuit Festival, Saint Lo, france
12 June - Isle of Wight festival +story here and here +interview here +videos here +interview and bootleg here
25th June - Theater of Living Art, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
30 June - Rock Werchter, Belgium (bootleg)
1 July - Main Square Festival, Arras, france +a photo here
7 July - BBK Live Festival, Bilbao, Spain
9 July - Oxegen Festival, Naas, Ireland
26 August - Reading Festival (win tickets) +videos here +review&video here +bootleg here
3 September - AX Hall, Seoul, South Korea
14 September - Twinkle Rock Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
7 October - Atlantico, Rome, Italy +main bootleg here +another bootleg here
+win the concert here
11 October - Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland (postponed)
13 October - Gasometer, Vienna, Austria (postponed)
31 October - Theater Caupolican, Santiago, Chile
2 November - Teatro de Verano Ramon Collazo, Montevideo, Uruguay
3 November - Teatro Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 November - Personal Festival, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 November - Planeta Terra festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil
12 November - O2 Academy, Sheffield
14 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham
17 November - O2 Academy Brixton, London
2 December - The Warfield, San Francisco, U.S.A.
3 December - Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, U.S.A. +another complete review here +win tickets here and here
5 December - First Avenue, Minneapolis, U.S.A.
6 December - The Rave Ballroon, Milwaukee, U.S.A.
9 December - Terminal 5, New York, U.S.A.
10 December - House of Blues, Boston, U.S.A.


new tour


3 June - Abbey Road, London (acoustic) +bootleg here
7 June - McClusky's, Kingston (album launch acoustic gig)

8 November - Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland


Noel Gallagher solo gigography, and Low Lying Turds tour dates

(although his blinded fans say he's a "new solo artist", it's 20 years he's around and already played "solo" gigs previously (the first one in 1994), with the help of other people of course, as the Unplugged 1996, the gig for Tibet, the tour in 2006-2007, London, Milan, Manchester, Moscow, Los Angeles, Toronto, Paris, Australia, etc.)


25 March - Royal Albert Hall - London


28 November - Alcatraz - Milan, Italy + review here +video bootleg here +audio and video bootleg here


lost interest... even Noel got bored of himself

10 April - Auditorio Banamex - Monterrey, Mexico (cancelled)



fans leave the gig again and ask for Liam again
..... € 10 = £ 8

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