With pre-season now done and dusted, attention very much turns to the start of the Premier League and what is anticipated to be a long and successful season.
There are undoubtedly question marks regarding team selection and formation right throughout the team, with Roberto Mancini's likely 25-man squad featuring no 'fillers' or names merely making up the numbers. All players who do make the cut will legitimately feel they have a shot of making the starting XI.
With European participation during 2010/11 such numbers could become crucial as the effect of constant games takes its toll on a squad that saw many feature prominently in the recent World Cup.
The area that has the most intrigue surrounding it however is in goal, with two candidates for the number 1 jersey with very equal claims on the position. Certainly lookingg around the rest of the Premier League there is no other side who has two such strong and equal candidates battling for the goalkeeping spot.
Having spent last season on loan at Birmingham, my thoughts initially were that Joe Hart would be farmed out once again during 2010/11, with a further season under his belt seeing him then ready to take over from Shay Given in the summer of 2011. However, Hart's superb form last season coupled with the uncertainty over Given's fitness following his late season injury meant Hart remained at the club.
Interestingly though, Given has returned from injury far quicker than expected and is ready for the season opener, whilst Hart cut short his post-World Cup holiday in a bid to get a head start on the recent tour of the US. Having split time relatively equally (particularly the games against Borussia Dortmund and Valencia) pre-season has failed to separate the two and we are no clearer as to knowing who will be in possession of the jersey at White Hart on Saturday lunchtime with Mancini yet to tip his hat.
The difficulty for Mancini though may be not the decision itself, but the ramifications of it. Despite their different ages and futures, both are ambitious and know that they need to be number 1 - Given primarily due to his age and Hart to ensure that his likely selection as England number 1 is maintained. Judging by their recent comments neither will be satisfied being the back up: