|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
Ajax winger Ryan Babel believes Manchester City lack team spirit due to the number of egos in the squad.
Ajax claimed a 3-1 victory at the Amsterdam ArenA to leave City's hopes of progress to the second round of the Champions League hanging by a thread, and Roberto Mancini's men have to beat the Eredivisie champions on Tuesday to maintain any chance.
Babel believes Ajax's victory owed everything to the team philosophy and that City could learn much from coach Frank de Boer.
"Against City in the first game, you could see the perfect example of a real team effort by Ajax against a team of individuals," Babel is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
"We noticed how the frustration got the better of them during the game, and we saw how the players were directing those frustrations towards each other. That is the danger of a club with so many big-name players and so many big egos.
"When the going gets tough, they are not prepared to do the hard work for each other. De Boer wants us to understand that we can beat the biggest teams with good football. We failed when we lost to Real Madrid, but that made it much sweeter when we did it against Man City."
Nonetheless, Babel is not expecting an easy match at the Etihad Stadium. "I think it will be a very different game than the one at the ArenA," Babel told Ajax Life. "This time, there will be pressure from the home fans and they will expect a better performance."
Dutch defender Karim Rekik is confident his City team-mates can claim all three points. "City have more quality, so they should win at home," he told De Telegraaf. "Ajax played very well at home and deserved to win. I think everyone was a bit scared during that game, but it was a deserved win for Ajax."