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Redknapp happy to not have Mario problem


Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

Harry Redknapp thinks Mario Balotelli's off-field antics are a "real problem" for Manchester City and is thankful he does not have similar difficulties with reformed bad boy Emmanuel Adebayor.

Balotelli has gained cult status among football fans for his japery since joining Manchester City from Inter Milan two years ago. The enigmatic striker, who also had a series of disciplinary problems at Milan, set part of his house on fire after letting off fireworks indoors and has been accused of throwing darts at his own team-mates.

"Balotelli is not my problem, but he is a problem," the Tottenham manager said. "He doesn't seem to want to behave too well does he? It's a real problem. He has bags of talent but I suppose when you sign him you know what you're getting because (former Inter boss) Jose Mourinho had him and he bombed him."

The Italian's antics are in stark contrast to those of Adebayor, who has maintained a professional and mature attitude throughout his time at Spurs despite his history of disciplinary problems.

Adebayor fell out with Roberto Mancini when he was appointed City boss and caused outrage on the pitch with his controversial celebration for the Blues when he scored against his former club Arsenal in 2009.

The Togo striker showed how much he has matured by not celebrating his goal for Tottenham against Arsenal two months ago and Redknapp has been delighted by the attitude of his 14-goal striker.

"He has done ever so well for us. He has not been a minute's problem," Redknapp said.

"If you've got one or two bad apples they can just ruin everything for you. I think that's where we were lucky again this year. We changed things around and the people I brought in made a big difference to the club.

"Scott Parker, Brad Friedel, Ryan Nelsen. They're all fantastic professionals.

"You aren't looking around thinking: 'Billy Big Head - what's he doing today? Where's he been? What's he up to? There is no one like that here. They are good lads. That's been the difference."