Several Arsenal players and their manager Arsene Wenger used the club’s FA Cup final victory parade as the stage upon which they would declare intentions to win the 2015/16 Premier League title.
The progress made in the previous campaign is the foundation for these lofty ambitions, but did the Gunners actually get any better last time around?
No, is the simple answer; they actually got worse.
A stark improvement in form following a New Year’s Day defeat at Southampton in which the north Londoners won 11 of 12 league games saw them cement a spot in the top four for another season, but this surge of wins should not be mistaken for evolution into an outfit capable of pocketing top honours.
Second half of the season point-snaring sprees have become par for the course for Wenger’s men in recent campaigns and embarking on one in 2014/15 was essential after a fairly ordinary start to proceedings.
Defeats at Chelsea, Swansea and Stoke, as well at home to Manchester United meant that after the aforementioned Southampton reverse they were sixth, three points adrift of fourth and 13 off the pace at the top.
Had it not been for the humdrum seasons Liverpool and, to a much lesser extent, Man Utd endured, getting back into the Champions League spots from here would’ve been difficult.
Despite discovering a failsafe formula for victories after their St Mary’s slaying, the poor results recorded in the first-half of the season meant they actually finished four points worse off than in 2013/14.
The fact 79 points 12 months back was only good enough for fourth provides a sound indicator of how the standard in last season’s Premier League dropped.
As far as extra-curricular activities go, their retaining of the FA Cup against grossly inferior opposition represents a mirroring of last term’s achievements and while successfully defending a title cannot be considered a slight, it doesn’t suggest the team has got better.
Their fortunes in the Capital One Cup, where Southampton eliminated them in the third round, meant they fared worse last time, while a last-16 elimination from the Champions League signifies further stagnation.
Based on this evidence, money on the 4/1 about them winning the league next season spells a bad bet, with the 3/10 about yet another top-four finish the best they can hope for.