Having spent vast sums during the close season to develop a squad with the talent to win the Premier League, many people thought Manchester City could end up being a host of individuals rather than taking to the pitch as a team.
And manager Roberto Mancini has taken steps to prevent this belief turning into reality just a month into the season by warning players not to vent any frustrations they have in public.
Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland have already moved on from Eastlands, with some of the reason thought to be because of their attitudes behind the scenes, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Shay Given have also noted their irritation about being left on the bench.
Mancini is determined to enforce a squad rotation policy as City look to challenge both domestically and in Europe and has told his players that the right attitude is going to be pivotal if they want to witness success.
He said: “I played football myself and I understand why the players who are not chosen are unhappy.
“But at the same time it’s really important that we start to change their mentality because if we want to win something, to become a top team, it’s going to be impossible if every few days a player does an interview saying [putting on a sad voice]: ‘Oh, I’m not playing’.”
If Mancini can keep the squad happy then the 10/1 on offer for them to win the Premier League could prove a good price.
They face arguably their stiffest challenge next when they host leaders Chelsea and are 12/5 in the Premier League betting to win and be the first team to beat Carlo Ancelotti’s men this season.
City beat Chelsea 2-1 at Eastlands last season with Adebayor and Carlos Tevez finding the target. See the whole Manchester City vs Chelsea match betting market.