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Former striker believes disputes will hinder their chances

Andy Cole does not believe Manchester City are serious title contenders due to issues surrounding the club.

The former striker, who played for both Manchester City and United, has written off their chances, despite Roberto Mancini's men being joint top of the league.

Mario Balotelli once again demonstrated his petulance by storming down the tunnel after being substituted against West Ham at the weekend, which was closely followed by Carlos Tevez's revelation that he had handed in a written transfer request just hours after the club had said that the Argentine was happy at Eastlands.

And Cole believes these in house disputes will be the downfall for the Blues when it comes to the crunch at the end of the season.

"There are a lot of problems there," he said to The Mirror.

"Anyone who has any common sense and understands football knows that.

"You can't have disputes with the manager at such regular intervals.

"Every other week someone is coming out saying they are not happy. You can't run a tight ship like that.

"You don't see it at Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea."

However, Tevez indicated that he had no problems with Mancini despite the contrary being displayed on the touchline against Bolton, where it was visible to see that he was angry at being substituted.

City will take the view that their striker’s apparent displeasure is because of their policy not to renew his contract midway through the season, where it is believed that Tevez was wanting around £250,000 a week.

The striker, who has three-and-a-half years left on his contract at the club, is due to come back from Tenerife early this week after being allowed to go and see his family.

"There are loads of issues," Cole added.

"It would be difficult for any team to win the title under those circumstances.

"If you have so many big players in one team who are not playing, it is going to cause you problems.

"You have to deal with them."

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