Mario Balotelli was dropped for Brescia's 3-0 defeat to Inter Milan yesterday and coach Fabio Grosso claims that the unpredictable striker will only get back into the team if he shows more enthusiasm.
"Mario will always be a talking point because he is news," Grosso said after a loss that kept his team bottom of Serie A with seven points from 12 games.
"I coach the team and he can play a leading role if he has the desire, determination and enthusiasm. I'm the one who decides or not whether that is the case."
Grosso, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, has presided over two games and both have been defeats. Balotelli started the 4-0 loss to Torino but was substituted at halftime when his side was reduced to ten men.
On Balotelli, Grosso said: "He has the necessary quality to do well, but we are bottom of the table and you need more than a striker who can hit the ball hard and score when he gets it. You also need willingness, hard work and something more,".
"If Mario cannot make himself available, the team will struggle to support him."
Balotelli has enjoyed a colourful career, representing Inter Milan, Man City, AC Milan, Liverpool, Nice and Marseille and won 36 caps for Italy. Despite all of the talent, his progress has always been halted by disciplinary issues.
The 29-year-old was born in Sicily to Ghanaian parents and given up for adoption when he was 3 and has also had to endure unnecessary racist abuse from fans during his time in the Serie A.
Earlier this month, Verona was handed a one-match partial stadium closure and the club themselves banned one of their leading ultras for more than 10 years over racist abuse aimed at Balotelli.
The Brescia man has scored two goals in seven appearances since joining the club this season. Grosso's next assignment in his quest to claim Serie A points sees them face Champions League club Atalanta.
Follow Brescia vs Atalanta live on Futaa!