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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Balotelli: Mancini axe no surprise

Mario Balotelli has told CNN that he was not surprised by Manchester City's decision to sack Roberto Mancini.

Mancini was axed on Monday, just 12 months on from guiding the club to their first league title in 44 years.

One of the reasons why the Italian is believed to have lost his job is down to his handling of the players while in charge at the Etihad Stadium.

He had a mixed relationship with former City player Balotelli, and following on from a training ground bust-up, the striker was soon sold to AC Milan in January.

While Balotelli says that he could see the sacking coming, he does still rate Mancini as a top manager.

"I'm not really surprised but I know when I was with him he was a great manager and we had one of the best teams I've ever played with, the best players," he said.

"I don't know why they didn't win but obviously there some problems inside. I'm here so I don't know."

Balotelli, who joined City from Inter Milan in 2010, scored a total of 20 Premier League goals during his spell at the club.

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