Live

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

OTB Gold
Is Balotelli's Italy futur...
Soccer

Is Balotelli's Italy future under threat in the new Conte era?

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

21:58 9 Sep 2014

"The man counts more than the player. I have always relied on men."

Those are the words of new Italy manager Antonio Conte and for many it is a not-so-subtle snipe at Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.

The controversial forward was left out of ex-Juventus boss' first Azzurri squad for a friendly against the Netherlands and tonight's Euro 2016 qualifier win against Norway.

Balotelli was serving a one-match international suspension against the Netherlands in any case  - which may explain why he was omitted - but there is also a suspicion that Conte is not willing to cut him much slack.

"He wants players with character when the chips are dwon. I don't think he has necessarily closed the door on Balotelli but I do think that he wants to see a change in mentality. To go into the dressing room so soon after what happened [at the World Cup] against Uruguay, it's probably not a surprise that he was left out," said Italian football expert and The Guardian writer James Horncastle who joined us on the line.

Instead the Italy squad is packed with players that Conte worked with at Juventus, while Sassuolo striker Simone Zaza has been elevated to the forefront of the Italian forward line and is playing well.

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Soccer

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Up next

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on