On Saturday the curtain was raised on the new Premier League season, we look at what pre-season has done for each club. Which teams are in a better state than last May? And which are worse off?
Last season - 3rd
Pre-season results haven't been the talking point at the Emirates. The main focus has been the arrival of Petr Cech from London neighbours, and title rivals, Chelsea.
John Terry predicts that Cech could be worth 12-15 points to Arsenal this season. If that's true, that should mean Arsenal hitting the high 80's in terms of points this season and seriously threatening Chelsea's stewardship of the Premier League title.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Add in an impressive performance against Lyon in the Emirates Cup and last weekend's victory in the Community Shield, ending Wenger's longstanding winless streak against Jose Mourinho, and Arsenal look like major title challengers for the first time in a long time. GOOD SUMMER
Last season - 17th
Villa's pre-season has yielded just a single victory, at League 1 Swindon but it is Villa's inability to defend under Tim Sherwood that seems to be the growing concern.
The feel-good factor that peaked with Villa's impressive display against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final is disappearing quickly. The expected departures of Delph and Benteke weren't helped by the nature of how they were conducted, particularly in the case of Delph's move to Man City.
The incomings have been plentiful but, Micah Richards aside, lack Premier League experience. The prospect of Adebayor excites few fans but could be as good as it gets. BAD SUMMER
Last season - N/A
Last season's Championship victory surprised everyone who hadn't been following the south coast club's progress under Eddie Howe. Racking up 98 goals on the way to clinching the league title, Howe's team played with a sense of swagger and grace.
This season, that challenge grows significantly. With no single player being the stand out last season, it means that Bournemouth's roster of heroes remains intact, minus the ones that were jettisoned willingly.
The addition of former Everton defender Sylvain Distin - should his 37 year old legs hold up - as well as two 'keepers, Artur Boruc and Adam Federici, means Howe is acutely aware of the need to add Premier League experience to his team. The signing of Tyrone Mings is one for the future and Cherries' fans, and most neutrals, will hope it is a future in England's top division. GOOD SUMMER
Last season - 1st
Chelsea's pre-season results include a couple of decent draws against Barcelona and Paris St. Germain and defeats to New York Red Bulls and Fiorentina. Their distinctly average performance in last weekends Community Shield has raised a few eyebrows as well.
Their summer though has all been about two players, one in and one out. Allowing Petr Cech to join title rivals Arsenal, although admirable, could prove to be fatal.
In the door comes someone purporting to be Radamel Falcao. Whether it is the one who terrorised Chelsea in the 2012 European Super Cup or the imposter who pitched up at Man United last season remains to be seen, but the early glimpses suggest it's the latter. BAD SUMMER
Last season - 10th
Alan Pardew's Palace revival continues unabated. Summer captures of Yohan Cabaye and Patrick Bamford (on loan from Chelsea) have excited fans, as well as the recent additions of Connor Wickham and Bakary Sako.
Last season's amazing turnaround saw them finish 10th with Scott Dann and Yannick Bolassie gaining most praise. If, as now seems likely, both players remain at the close of the transfer window, then an even higher finish is not beyond the realms of possibility. GOOD SUMMER
Last season - 11th
Everton's pre-season results and performances have been middling at best. The return of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona on a permanent deal, as well as the free transfer signing of Tom Cleverley mean they have more options in midfield.
The summer release of Sylvain Distin and Antolin Alcaraz means Everton are desperately short of experienced options in the centre of defence, with John Stones and Phil Jagielka the only recognisable names on the roster.
Stones' future remains uncertain also and losing him to Chelsea late in the window could mean Everton have little time to buy reinforcements. GOOD SUMMER (if they keep John Stones)
Last season - 14th
Leicester's escape last season was nothing short of miraculous and some praise was rightly reserved for club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha for not pressing the panic button when things were at their most dire (and boy were they dire).
That all went out of the window at the end of June when Nigel Pearson was dumped in favour of former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri. The reasons for the sacking weren't made clear but an already fragile relationship became even more strained following the antics of three youth players in Thailand, one of whom was Pearson's son, James.
Ranieri's post-Chelsea career leaves a lot to be desired and was a surprise choice amongst City fans. The arrival of Christian Fuchs, Shinji Okazake, Yohan Benalouane and N'golo Kante will hardly have them salivating.
The loss of Esteban Cambiasso could prove to be Leicester's biggest problem however. The legendary midfielder was instrumental in last years great escape and his decision not to sign for another season could be disastrous for Leicester. BAD SUMMER
Last season - 6th
Even with the departure of Mr Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, could this summer ever have been as bad as last year which saw the loss of Daniel Sturridge to long term injury as well as Luis Suarez's departure.
Brendan Rodgers seems to have done exactly as last year however by buying plentifully and expensively. This time though he has bought clever. The signing of James Milner on a free transfer was a no-brainer and the capture of Nathaniel Clyne was a good piece of business.
Christian Benteke should add goals despite the large fee and Roberto Firmino's skills should help ease the pain of Raheem Sterling's departure.
It feels like there's been a bit of a spring clean at Anfield and the ongoing concerns over Daniel Sturridge's fitness seem to matter a lot less than a year ago. GOOD SUMMER
Last season - 2nd
City have tackled their more high profile pre-season games just like they do the Champions League; woefully. 10 goals shipped against Real Madrid, Stuttgart and Roma mean that all eyes are on defence, with Eliaquim Mangala the main concern.
Their pursuit of Raheem Sterling paid off and the former Liverpool man will add pace and goals as well as some much needed youth. The signing of Fabian Delph seems to be a fairly 'like for like' replacement for James Milner whilst Patrick Roberts, Enes Unal and David Faupala are ones for the future. GOOD SUMMER
Last season - 4th
Second season syndrome isn't something you would associate with Manchester United but Louis Van Gaal finds himself under pressure to deliver at least a trophy this season. involvement in the title race will be the minimum expectation as well which means an improvement of 12-15 points.
It would be a surprise if David De Gea is still there on September 1st and would probably be regarded as a bigger coup than the signings of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Allowing Van Persie - who may still have something left in the tank - to leave with seemingly nobody coming in, coupled with Angel Di Maria's departure seems like bad business. Surely another striker is imminent... GOOD SUMMER (if De Gea stays)
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms