Brendan Rodgers ‘favouritism’ towards Mario Balotelli could be frustrating Liverpool stars

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Has Brendan Rodgers ‘favouritism’ towards Mario Balotelli been annoying other players…

Reports in the Daily Mirror have quoted a ‘source close to the players’ who has suggested that Brendan Rodgers ‘favouritism’ towards Mario Balotelli could be frustrating his fellow Liverpool stars.

The incredulous account even claims that fed-up Liverpool players have rounded on boss Rodgers for his poor management. They are believed to be angry that the Italian is in the team no matter how poorly he plays – and have even sent a senior Kop star to see Rodgers about it.

Admittedly, the former Manchester City forward has scored just twice since his £16m move from AC Milan, once in the Champions League and once in the Capital One Cup.

But the rumours have it that there is a feeling in the dressing room the boss has gone overboard with Balotelli – playing him until he breaks his duck in the Premier League.

Although his performances have improved lately, patience is wearing thin and a source said: “There is a growing sense of frustration. It seems no matter how badly Mario plays, he’s in the team. It’s almost like the manager is trying to prove a point, playing him until he scores.”

While such reports are surely exaggerated, it is worrying that such suggestions would come to light just as the Reds return from an international break, intent on turning around their indifferent start to the season.

Rodgers is not the first manager to stand accused of indulging Balotelli. Ex-City boss Roberto Mancini was often criticised for turning a blind eye to the Italian’s indiscretions, while others have suggested the striker’s fellow new signings – Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert – have not been given a fair chance.

But with Balotelli set to miss today’s game against Crystal Palace through injury, today could be the perfect opportunity for the former Saints contingent to prove a point.

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