Both Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland recently went to the hacks with stories of City manager Roberto Mancini's alledged distancing himself from his players...
...and these are claims that City's stylish boss refutes:
'I am close with the players. If a player has a problem he can come into my office and speak with me. I can help him every time. I played football for 20 years, so I know all the problems that one can have, and if a player has a problem he can speak to me every day.'
Mancio has a reputation in Italy as a strict man manager and he's shown that on numerous occasions at City, not averse to substituting or dropping superstars when their form or tactical changes dictate:
'If they don't deserve to play, it's difficult. But this is the same for me and all other managers. I have a good relationship with the players because I don't have any problem with them. The problem is when one player doesn't play...Normally in a team the players who play are happy and the players who don't aren't. If one player deserves to play because they play well, then he will play.'
A legion of hacks, desperate to see City fail this season have made an enormous fuss over the subject of 'difficult squad rotation' at The Blues. As if Real Madrid and Barcelona don't have that issue...
'It's normal when one player doesn't play that he's unhappy.'
Meanwhile, as City prepare to take on Sunderland at The Stadium of Light, Mancio was forthright in his assertion of what he thinks his squad can achieve:
'I think that not only in England, but in Italy and Spain, you can win the title if you beat the teams who aren't playing for the title...you always win the title if you can beat those teams.'
VMC City Video Link: Mancini Previews Sunderland
Greater Manchester coppers have confirmed that new City striker Mario Balotelli's car collided with another car in Hulme on Saturday morning at 09h45. Super Mario, despite nursing Romanian knee knack was unhurt and the incident was an absolute non event for the dibbles.
Cue wild boy striker on rampage headlines.