Pep Guardiola stood between his two central defenders on a baking hot evening in Hong Kong last week, barking instructions as he directed the traffic in front of him.
His players were practising moving upfield. Guardiola was in amongst it as they built attacks, enthused by what he witnessed. The arms were waving, training was regularly stopped. The squad were probably happy for the breathers in the 35-degree heat.
There has been no great reinvention of Manchester City this summer but subtle tweaks are arriving as they strive to palm off the chasing pack again. They were becoming clearer against Yokohama F. Marinos in front of 65,000 fans yesterday.
The £62.8million capture of Rodri from Atletico Madrid appears pivotal, with the midfield three asked to rotate more often during the 3-1 win over their City Football Group sister club. Kevin De Bruyne was everywhere; David Silva almost an auxiliary striker alongside Raheem Sterling for much of the friendly.