A few days ago I discussed the idea of Balotelli and El Sharaawy being incompatible, yet this week's Italian National Team matches proved that they can co-exist, but Balotelli is getting all the results with a slew of goals since returning to the boot. Could anyone have imagined such a result?
Word of his arrival was met with a lot of support here at the ACM Offside, outside a few calling him a "bad apple" many held out hope that he would come "home" and settle down. He could be close to his child, partner, and family and mature into the football everyone knows he has the talent to become. Since returning he has shown his humility, his patience, his honesty, and his sheer brute force on the pitch. What many thought would be a poor move by Milan has turned into a catalyst for resurgence and a real opportunity for Milan to make a run at second place, maybe even first!
A person who has sat back rather quietly about this whole thing is Cesare Prandelli. The Italian National Team Coach is reaping the benefits of a refreshed and invigorated Balotelli. Sure he has only a bit of wear of tear on him from the season, but he looks determined and disciplined and may prove a crucial piece of the World Cup Qualification puzzle. That however rests on Mario, and if many recall we had the same warm fuzzy feeling with Cassano when he first arrived here at Milan, we know how that ended.
Yes it's early, and there is time for this "honeymoon" period to sour, but in the meantime I can't imagine anyone would have guessed how well this has gone!