Criticism unfair on ‘whipping boy’ Balotelli, claims Hull boss Bruce

first_img1 Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli Hull City manager Steve Bruce has sympathy for under-fire Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, claiming he has been treated as a “whipping boy” and doesn’t deserve the criticism currently being directed at him.Balotelli has been a divisive figure wherever he has plied his trade, from Manchester to Milan, and that is no different now in Merseyside.The 24-year-old has endured a slow start to his Reds career, scoring just once in ten appearances following his £16million summer move.And he was thrust under an even greater spotlight after the 3-0 Champions League defeat against Real Madrid, with manager Brendan Rodgers among those unimpressed with his decision to swap shirts with Pepe at half-time.With Hull heading Anfield on Saturday, Bruce believes the striker may not have been too far wrong with his famous ‘Why always me?’ statement.“It’s not for me to comment on other people’s players but from the outside he seems to be the whipping boy at the moment,” said the Tigers boss.“That’s always a bit unfair. There’s always a scapegoat and he seems to be the one at the minute that the media are on to, and everyone else too.“I think it’s a bit unfair on the lad.“There’s always one that people pick on. I suppose the changing of the strip (didn’t help) but I thought he did okay in that game.“There’s lots been made of the changing of shirts but we’ve seen it for years haven’t we?“It’s maybe not in our DNA in the English leagues but abroad they all do it and they think it’s nothing.”last_img read more