Last Updated: Sat, 17 Aug 2013 17:04
Manuel Pellegrini is happy for Manchester City to be the quiet members of the pack chasing Barclays Premier League glory this season.
City have enjoyed a relatively straightforward summer while the footballing headlines during the build-up to the new campaign have been dominated by their rivals.
The situation contrasts from three months ago when City's sacking of Roberto Mancini soon after losing the FA Cup final and their bold ambition to win five trophies in five seasons filled back pages and bulletins.
Even after bringing in Pellegrini as Mancini's replacement as manager and spending almost B£90million in the transfer market, City have gone about their business relatively serenely.
After the "noisy neighbours" jibes and various off-field controversies involving the likes of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez in the recent past, the calmer life appears just the way City - and Pellegrini - like it.
Pellegrini said: "I am very pleased (about that). For me it was the best thing to do. That was why I spoke with (director of football) Txiki (Begiristain) at the beginning to try to settle the squad from the first moment.
"We are all settled. We knew what we needed for players for this year. We are very pleased about it. I don't know what happens with other clubs but next Monday, eight o'clock, we will see if it was a good pre-season."
City begin their new campaign when they host Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening.
Bookmakers rated them as joint favourites along with Chelsea for the title in the week leading up to the season starting, with champions Manchester United third and Arsenal a distant fourth.
Pellegrini, who has taken Villarreal and Malaga to the latter stages of the Champions League, is confident his side can justify that tag but does believe the competition is wide open.
"Twenty teams can win the Premier League," the Chilean said. "Then every week we will see which teams are stronger than the others. For me, the way I think, all of them can win it.
"Of course, I have a lot of confidence. We know we have a strong squad."
Have you an opinion on this story? Put your money where your mouth is and claim a free £25 bet.