Balotelli, the grumpy, hugely talented but ultimately overrated Italian or Edin Dzeko, the hard working, not as skilful but of a sound temperament? That is the question, sort of. I’ve been to about 5 City games in the past year and coincidentally, despite neither striker being an automatic start these days for the club, both have played in every match at some point, for significant parts.
Personally, I’ve been impressed by Mario at times. When you see him in the flesh, as opposed to on the telly, he’s very quick and very strong and makes some very good runs off the ball, he makes himself available. That’s the good bit but unfortunately the bad bits are equally obvious. He only seems to score at home, he’s moody and at times you just think that when he’s not in the mood he just doesn’t give two hoots. I get a bit fed up seeing him skulking about the pitch, gesticulating at the bench or team mates. It’s annoying to see someone who is obviously very talented, at times not making full use of their ability.
Edin, on the other hand, can look clumsy, be off the pace and he can get some stick from the crowd but he does score goals, home and away and you know that he’s going to work very hard. He perhaps doesn’t have the natural talent of others, like Balotelli, but he causes less trouble and has a scoring record that is better than him. There was talk in the summer of City trying to move him on and you never know with these rumours how close they are to being true, I suspect that if City had managed to bring in Van Persie, then one of the 4 strikers would have had to have left and as Mancini obviously sees Tevez and Aguero as his first picks that would have made it a straight shoot out, pardon the pun, between Edin and Mario. The suspicion exists that Mancini has invested a lot of himself and faith in Balotelli and to sell him on would be seen as an admission of failure on his part, especially as the “Special One” himself described Balotelli as “unmanageable”, and Roberto seems to have taken it on as some personal crusade to show the world otherwise.
I hope Edin is here for a while. I’m not convinced he has been given a fair crack of the whip to date nor has he had a decent run in the team to bed in. He started like a house on fire last season and banged 4 goals in a 5-1 win at Spurs, his reward being to be banished to the bench for the very next match. Many say that was a mistake as he is a confidence player (who isn’t though?) and he struggled for a period after that. City don’t exactly play to his strengths either, we don’t really play with wingers at the moment and thus he doesn’t get the sort of cross ball supply that he would probably thrive on.