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Mar 4, 2013

Ayew: Balotelli more trouble than me

Marseille striker Jordan Ayew believes he does not deserve his bad-boy reputation, claiming he does not do "half of what [Mario] Balotelli does".

• Remy wanted Marseille stay

Ayew, 21, was criticised for clashing with David Beckham in Marseille's Coupe de France defeat at Paris Saint-Germain last week - his first appearance since the end of a suspension for a red card, picked up within two minutes of coming off the substitutes' bench at Evian in Ligue 1.

Marseille assistant coach Franck Passi even suggested publicly that Ayew's father, former OM star Abedi Pele, would not be proud of his son's behaviour. Ayew, though, told L'Equipe he feels he does not get treated fairly.

"My dad is the first one to ask me not to stir things up. But he was a footballer, he knows what happens on the pitch," he said. "I think it's a bit too much. In Paris, because it was Beckham, the affair took on impossible proportions. If it had been [PSG's Clement] Chantome or whoever else, it wouldn't have been talked about."

Ayew added: "It p****s me off. People take the mickey. What do I honestly do? Not half of what Balotelli does, for example. In reality, I do nothing. Now, I'm going to shut up, you'll see, to the end of the season."

The Ghanaian, whose elder brother Andre is also at Marseille, almost left the club last summer - with Nice particularly close to signing him - before a late change of heart. He has since forced his way into the first team, while his emergence convinced the board they could afford to cash in on Loic Remy in January.

Although he has contributed seven league goals this season, Ayew's brooding on-pitch demeanour still makes him a target for fans, with his laboured, uninspired display against Troyes on Sunday provoking boos and whistles from the Stade Velodrome crowd when he was substituted late on.

"I'm going through a spell where everything is coming down on me. It's an experience," he said.

The Marseille-born forward, however, insisted he was unlikely to alter his approach to the game completely.

"I respect all great players. Beckham is a great player," he said. "If I bump into him, I'd be proud to say 'hello'. But when you go out onto the pitch, I'm sorry, there are no more great players. We're all the same. On that point, I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll change."

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