Mario Balotelli and Manchester City . From the very start the pairing resembled a splashy but ill-advised wedding, the splendor of which couldn't mask the incompatibility of the couple.
On the one hand there was Balotelli, who turned 20 the day the union was announced. The tempestuous but unfathomably talented Ghanaian-Italian striker was already flashing warning signs of his eccentricity and had been deemed uncoachable by former manager. That would be Jose Mourinho, famed for his ability to handle difficult characters.
On the other there was Roberto Mancini, who had preceded Mourinho at Inter Milan and now managed Manchester City. The former Italy superstar has a legendary temper and was known to be uninterested in nurturing players, instead using them as inanimate pieces in his grand game of tactical chess. Yet, Mancini was convinced he could change Balotelli.
In hopes of realizing towering ambitions, City had loaded up on superstars in anticipation of the 2010-11 season, meani...