Roberto Mancini's frantic cry for another burst of spending appears to be irony-free. It also seems to be utterly untouched by any understanding of the impending Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations.
Most intriguing of all, though, is the psychological effect on a team which, having just made the great breakthrough of the Premier League title, might have believed it had earned a little passing shelf life.
The judgement on two neurotic opening performances has to be that the champions are showing some signs of running scared.
Only new signings will save City's season, Mancini insists. However, trust is free and sometimes it can work wonders.