At the beginning of the summer there were few sets of fans who would have been happier than those of Arsenal.
For the first time in the last decade Arsene Wenger had announced he had major funds to play with in order to bring players to the Emirates, and with a strong foundation already in place, it looked as though the capability was there for Arsenal to compete on all-fronts once again.
Fast forward to the eve of the new season, and the grass looks a lot less greener than first envisaged.
Wenger has been largely frustrated in his efforts to bring players of world-class notoriety to north London, and a squad severely depleted by sales, exits and injuries have left his side's chances of kicking off their Premier League campaign in a manner befitting that of champions, looking increasingly unlikely.
With exception to Luis Suarez, who's 'will he, won't he' flirtation with Arsenal has slowly trundled on for the entirety of the window, Arsenal haven't made a formal offer or official bid for any of their transfer targets. Despite Gonzalo Higuain's father stating that a deal between Madrid and the Gunners was within hours of being struck, what has transpired since is that in reality, Higuain was as close to a move to the Emirates as he was to retiring from football altogether.
Other would-be acquisitions, notably Everton's Marouane Fellaini, Swansea's Ashley Williams and more pertinently Luis Gustavo, have seemingly fallen by the wayside, and Gustavo now has signed for VfB Wolfsburg.
Wenger can repeat his declaration about Arsenal's squad being good enough to challenger for Premier League honours without any alterations all he wants, that doesn't make it true. The stark facts are that Arsenal could well face Aston Villa in their opening game with a bench made up of un-blooded youth, un-wanted outcasts and general misfits.
Over the course of the summer they have been reduced to the bare-bones in terms of senior figures within the squad, and the only arrival thus far has been that of 20-year-old Yaya Sanogo.
In contrast, the teams they would consider to be their closest rivals, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, all sit in far more comfortable positions.
Sure, David Moyes has yet to bring marquee signings to Old Trafford, but their squad remains largely unchanged from the team that dominated the league last year. City have splashed millions bringing in the likes of Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas amongst others, Chelsea have attained the services of Andre Schurrle, Michael Essien, Marco van Ginkel and Kevin de Bruyne, and the bitter enemies of White Hard Lane added to their squad a proven goalscorer in Roberto Soldado, an exciting talent in Paulinho and prospective midfielder Nacer Chadli.
It's fair to say Arsenal are far from a club in crisis, but it's also undeniably true that there current squad will fall well short of the required mark in terms of competing for major trophies. Last season they were able to clinch the coveted fourth place position, providing them with their routine qualification for Champions League football, but with the competition at the summit of the Premier League as fierce as ever, will they be able to repeat that feat this time around?
Any signings Wenger manages to make now will immediately be disadvantaged by way of entering after the start of the season, and unless any purchases can gel quickly, it's far-fetched to suggest that imminent arrivals can become instant hits.
Far be it from me to rubbish Arsenal's credentials this season, but by the time the promised £70million is put to use improving the squad at the Emirates, it may be already too late.
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