Manchester city manager Roberto Mancini has said that his players should not be criticising Mario Balotelli. Mario Balotelli has received a lot of criticism this season, but none more so in the last few weeks.

He has been subjected to criticism from his manager and his teammates. There have been a few bust up between him and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré. As a result of this incessant criticism, it is thought that Mario Balotelli will be demanding a transfer back to Italy in the summer. Now, Roberto Mancini has come out with a statement that players should not be critical of Mario Balotelli because he works hard for the team.

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong recently came out with a stern criticism of the Italian striker by labelling him as a fool. It has drawn a lot of attention on Manchester City, as they stumble across the finishing line. Manchester United overtook City recently in the Premier league table, while if their poor form continuous, it would not be surprising to see either Arsenal or Tottenham overtake them. Mancini has said that players should not be critical of Balotelli since he is very young and has a lot to learn in football.

"I can understand. I told him that if you played with me 10 years ago I give to you every day maybe one punch in your head. But there are different ways to help guys like Mario. It is always like this. Mario is young, he can do some mistakes, he has paid for his mistakes," Mancini said ahead of the match with Arsenal during the weekend.

City could well be eight points behind leaders Manchester United, as their arch rivals play against QPR on Saturday. Arsenal have won their last four matches at home.