The extent to which Manchester City’s squad want to impress manager Pep Guardiola became clear in the first week of pre-season.
They are given regimes to follow in the week before training restarts by fitness coach Lorenzo Buenaventura and head of human performance Sam Erith.
Whereas other Premier League clubs use gadgets to monitor how hard their stars have worked in the off-season, City’s programme is optional.
Guardiola’s problem is not that players refuse to adhere to it, rather that they are doing too much work during the time off. A number of first-teamers felt niggles during the early days back. Some had run to excess or spent too long in the gym after winning a second straight Premier League title.