Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has suggested that Brendan Rodgers' formation changes were to be blamed for most of his woes during a failed debut season with the Reds. The Italian striker joined the Merseyside club from AC Milan last summer, but failed to live up to expectations, managing just one goal in 16 Premier League appearances.
The former Manchester City forward has now returned to San Siro on a season-long loan after he was deemed surplus to requirements following the summer arrivals of Christian Benteke and Danny Ings from Aston Villa and Burnley respectively. The Italian international left a farewell message for Reds' fans and the club for the opportunity afforded to him last season.
Balotelli, was on his second stint in the Premier League, following three-years at Manchester City, where he won the Etihad Stadium outfit's first top-flight title in 44 years. However, he failed to meet expectations and was used sparsely by the Northern Irishman in the second half of the campaign.
The Northern Irishman experimented with a 3-5-2 formation midway through the season and the former Inter Milan forward has blamed the tactical change by Rodgers for his poor showing in front of goal in the 2014/15 campaign. However, he did accept some of the blame by admitting that he missed "easy chances" at the start of his career at Anfield.
"I must accept my faults but the formation chosen by Rodgers was not suited to my characteristics," Balotelli told Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by the Guardian.
"At the beginning I missed several easy chances, then I had fewer chances to score, a bit of bad luck, injuries. A mess of things," he added.
The 25-year-old striker, who is yet to show his true potential, has refuted allegations regarding his behaviour during his stay at Merseyside and insists that he was always professional when it came to matters regarding football and Liverpool.
"I never complained, I accepted the decisions of the manager and I always behaved like a professional. The professional Mario didn't just land here in Milan, even at Liverpool my behaviour and lifestyle were normal."
"Over the last year there was never a problem with my private life. I may have put pictures from restaurants on Instagram but that does not mean I did not train, even though I was not playing," Balotelli explained.