Arsenal looked like the real deal last season, pushing Manchester City all the way to the last few weeks of the campaign in the Premier League title race. At a point the Gunners were considered the most likely team to win the league as City struggled to keep pace with the then league leaders.
Arsenal were flying and accumulated a healthy lead over the Blues at the top of the Premier League table. Many were left questioning their earlier predictions for the season.
But things quickly changed in the last few weeks of the campaign as both Mikel Arteta and Arsenal were brought down to earth with draws and defeats that ultimately proved costly. Meanwhile, mentally strong and prepared for the task, City raced confidently to the finish line.
Just like the Arsenal faithful who had their hopes raised due to the team's performance for the better part of the season, Arteta was hugely disappointed at the end of the campaign. The Spanish gaffer was already looking forward to securing a special place in the fans' hearts by finally winning another Premier League title after almost two decades of watching the podium from afar.
In the end, the club had nothing to show for the effort put into the season except qualification for the Champions League. The Gunners' boss is still hurt by the outcome as revealed in a recent interview with Marca.
"To this day, it still hurts me deep inside not to have won the Premier League after 10 months of fighting with City," said Arteta.
"There were three or four injuries to important players and from then on, everything got complicated. When we had the full team, we were consistent. As soon as problems came, it wasn't enough for us.
"Our opponent was the best team in the world, the best squad in the world, the best coach in the world.
"We had no choice but to accept it and shake hands with the champion."
Having previously worked as assistant to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, Arteta learnt a lot and has shown that in his time at Arsenal. Watching Arsenal play sometimes feels like watching Manchester City dressed in red and white.
The 41-year-old manager may have congratulated the champions but it's clear he is bent on wrestling the title away from City's grasp.
However, he faces an uphill task to mastermind such a feat. The Blues don't look ready to let go of top spot anytime soon. The other top teams are also set to strengthen their squads to challenge for the title next term.