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Mario Balotelli was rarely out of the headlines in 2011/12, between his eccentric habits and on-pitch antics.
Throughout all the success that Manchester City have achieved in the league this season, there has always been something going on away from the football, which has given them less a reputation as the "noisy" neighbours as the dysfunctional ones.
From Mario Balotelli dropping into a school (to "use the facilities") to Carols Tevez's six-month spell in footballing purgatory, Roberto Mancini's side has constantly seems to be in the spotlight. Their on-field performances ranged from the insipid to the sublime, but when they really played, they played some of the best football in the Premiership.
If there is a criticism to be leveled at Mancini, it is that he doesn't seem to have handled his players well at all. His four strikers have alternated with varying results, and he has played the "tinkerman" more than even Claudio Ranieri, as he has searched for that ever-elusive combination of flair and defensive security.
Pivotal to the success this season have been two men: Yaya Toure has been deployed as both holding midfielder and rampaging runner, with equal effect and ability, showing an eye for a tackle, a pass and a shot that defy most midfielders. Vincent Kompany has been the rock at the heart of the defence, a captain leading by example and a potent threat to score from corners as United recently discovered.
Keeping these two (and keeping them happy) is key to continued success.
Mancini also has to sort out what his is going to do with his strike force. Is Carlos Tevez going to stay? Is it worth persevering with the obvious talents of Balotelli, or is he too much trouble? Can Edin Dzeko demonstrate the sort of consistent goalscoring touch required in the Premier League, or is Sergio Aguero the only reliable front man they have?