When the board are bringing in a player that the manager has said that he doesn’t want, it probably shouldn’t be Mario Balotelli. The concerns of Brendan Rodgers weren’t enough though, and to make things worse for fans, the so-called “behaviour clause” which was used to assure fans may be the most useless clause since making the ball go forwards from kick-off.
If during each season of the term of this contract the player is not dismissed from the field on three or more occasions for violent conduct, spitting at an opponent or any other person, for using insulting or abusive language and/or gestures and/or for dissent by word or action . . . then at the end of each season he shall receive a bonus payment of £1m
What a wonderful contract for Mario. It’s surprising that more players don’t act in the same way if this is the sort of deal you will be handed. Basically, do not be sent off three times in a season and you get an extra 20k per week for the year. We’re not sure what type of player you’d need to be to be sent off for spitting at an opponent three times in a season either – the Italian was probably insulted at the suggestion!
Unfortunately for Liverpool, they were dealing with one of the greediest agents in the game. What does he even do? Are these agents even necessary? Probably… for the player at least. Judging from this deal where he was able to work an extra £1 million for his client, it’s clear that agents are able to manipulate even the world’s best clubs for that extra $ in their own pocket. Raiola and Balotelli 1 – 0 Liverpool. Ian Ayre has had a nightmare here – he’d have been better off being scammed by a call centre trying to fix his computer from India than in a negotiation with Balotelli’s agent.
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To be fair to Mario, he was actually well behaved at Liverpool – but he stuck to his lethargic play-style which doesn’t really suit the Premier League – especially the top teams and certainly not Klopp! It’s very unlikely the clause had any real effect other than preventing a complete meltdown. What were Liverpool thinking? Has a decent striker ever been sent off three times in a season? Interesting to think about.
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It’s good to see the Italian finding the net in Nice – it would have been a shame if a player with that much ability and potential ended up in a joke league in Qatar. Overall, he wasn’t too bad at Liverpool and was actually quite likeable which is why the Anfield crowd were desperate for him to do well. A gamble that never paid off for the Liverpool board but paid off nicely for Mino Raiola; certainly a lesson to be learnt for the Merseyside negotiations team!
Have a look at Liverpool’s greatest ever teenage goalscorers…
Michael Owen – The King of Cool himself, Michael ‘White Noise’ Owen was the previous record holder before Woodburn’s goal against Leeds. Owen’s first came on his debut against Wimbledon in 1997 and he went on to such career highlights as his World Cup wonder goal against Argentina, playing for Real Madrid in the Galácticos era and bullying that teenage goalkeeper on Michael Owen’s Soccer Skills, eliciting the timeless "Well done, he's 13" from Neville Southall in the process. Image Source: Twitter
The most recent of Liverpool’s teenage scorers before the Leeds game, Sterling’s name had been heard in dimly lit bars all over Merseyside following his incredible form for the youth team, and he confirmed the hype with a well-taken far post finish to give Liverpool a 1-0 victory over Reading in 2012. Image Source: Twitter
"I'm sat in the chair and she's gone round me and she's started placing her hands all over my head, all over my arms, all over my shoulders and she said I had two demons inside me, which was not bad because Gazza had five – I was happy with that.” This is a quote from Robbie Fowler about going to see infamous mystic, Eileen Drewery. Like Gazza, Fowler was never far away from controversy during his career, but had immense talent to match. Image Source: Twitter
Perhaps an unexpected addition to the list, Carragher went on to score only three goals in 508 games for the club. He may have had an illustrious career with the Reds, but to find him in a goalscoring list wedged between such legendary names as Robbie Fowler and Florent Sinama-Pongolle is surprising. Image Source: Twitter
Here he is: A man who brings a wry, nostalgic smile to Premier League fans and takes them back to halcyon days before Anthony Le Tallec became the new Zinedine Zidane. Sinama-Pongolle scored just four days after his 19th birthday to help Liverpool beat, funnily enough, Leeds. He then took the typical route up the footballing ladder, enjoying spells at Atlético Madrid and Sporting CP before securing a dream move to Dundee United and later Chainat Hornbill FC. Image Source: Twitter
It’s hard not to live in the shade of your father when he is both famous and as shady as ‘Arry, but Jamie Redknapp managed to make a name for himself. He was regarded as Liverpool’s – and England’s – next big thing when he got a winner against Chelsea in September 1992. Injury curtailed his impact on English football, but did he win an FA Cup, make millions, marry Louise and then secure a cushty punditry role at Sky; it’s not all bad, is it? Image Source: This is Anfield
Probably the biggest hero the Kop has ever had, which takes some doing when you think of all the greats to have played on Merseyside. His recent retirement means all the superlatives have already been recently used, but this is probably the player Woodburn grew up hoping to emulate. Perhaps Gerrard will even be tutoring the youngster if, as rumoured, he returns to the club in a coaching capacity. Image Source: Twitter
Through a quirk of David N'Gog being the oldest teenager to have scored his first goal for Liverpool, we’ve managed to save you the best until last. They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, so I’ll stop there rather than tell some long, imagined success story about Ngog’s career. Things didn’t really take off. Image Source: The Anfield Wrap