Mario Balotelli tracking back. Mario Balotelli avoiding reactions to strong challenges. Mario Balotelli providing a thumbs up to teammates. Mario Balotelli applauded by his beaming manager. Mario Balotelli smiling as he trains with his new colleagues. Mario Balotelli defending corners when he never had to do that before. Lots of things have been happening with Mario Balotelli on the pitch that have provided further evidence for the optimist who believe that he can make a significant contribution for Liverpool FC. It was only an hour but the promise of greater things is truly tantalising.
What's even better is that Mario Balotelli has taken instantly to the ethos of the club and manager. His agent's words were unusually strong but pointed to an expectation that this move should be the one where the talented Italian forward shines without reservation. He's already got a chant and the Liverpool fanbase has generally taken to him quite quickly unlike Daniel Sturridge who was viewed with suspicion early on as a potentially sulky and divisive talent. Sturridge has proven himself to be both capable and lovable yet if his chant does exist, it isn't one that is used often despite the fact that one has to go back as far as the late nineteenth century to best the England international's record in his first 50 games.
Tangents aside, Balotelli has been using social media to communicate the right things and it's instantly brought the fans closer to him. Every fan thinks their club is unique but Liverpool has a particular predilection for striker worshipping with the illustrious history of goalscoring strikers who made their respective marks at the club. On his facebook page, Balotelli posted a video of fans chanting his new song with the message following message: "That's why You'll Never Walk Alone. What a great reception!!!" That was away so he should prepare himself for a raucous Anfield chanting Mario fantastico, Mario magnifico, ole ole, ole ole against Aston Villa.
The Liverpool Echo obviously picked up the story but the Daily Mail also reported on Balotelli's response to his debut and also shared how the £16 million man also congratulated Steven Gerrard on scoring in sixteen consecutive seasons via his official facebook account. There's the rousing quote on Balotelli's instagram account from the immortal Bill Shankly, whose 101st birthday was on 2 September, about individuals servicing the needs of the team and how that team is united in its service.
This is a team of skill and character, with men eager and ready to do any job if it's for the benefit of the Club. We are a team. We share the ball, we share the game, we share the worries. No one is asked to do more than anyone else. We are a team. We share the ball, we share the game, we share the worries.
One could select from a number of Bill Shankly's utterances and inspiration would be the natural result for Liverpool's legendary manager knew how to use words to lift as well as educate those on the importance of togetherness and responsibility for a greater good. That young Balotelli chose to use that quote may be a sign that he has not only heeded the words of his agent but is ready to work for the good of the group, fight for his life everyday, and provide the essential percentages for success at Liverpool Football Club.