What can we realistically aim for this season?
Last season saw us miss out on a return to the Champions League by a margin of a single point. It was in our grasp, but a dismal final straight meant that our neighbours finished above us and consigned us to yet another Europa League campaign.
Talking of the Europa League, last season also saw us lose out on a major piece of silverware as we crumbled to defeat in the competition’s final in Baku, Chelsea giving Eden Hazard a fine farewell in his last match.
It meant the bottom line was a failure of sorts. Despite us closing the gap on the top four that we had in the previous season and coming so close to what would have been a fantastic season, we finished with nothing and failed in reaching our targets.
The question is, does our spending mean that our targets are higher than previously set?
Or does it simply mean that our targets have much more pressure on them than before?
Unai Emery has far more resources at his disposal than he had last season. He has one of the best attacks in European football. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Mesut Ozil represent true class and more than enough to trouble any opponent. Liverpool and City, both standout performers last season, have attacks that are on the same level.
It has always been our midfield and defence that has caused us concern though. But with recent additions of Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos, David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Sokratis the emergence of Jo Willock, we now have the depth that means that we can adapt to whomever we play, as do any top team.
No longer do we have to stick to Plan A, and no longer do we require more players to be able to successfully switch methods during a game. If Emery wishes to make a change, then the likes of Nelson, Mkhitaryan and the versatility of Willock can mean a more fluid approach that can keep teams guessing.
We can no longer have excuses. Emery has had a season to bed in his vision, tactics and more stringent pressing and fitness levels.
Now he has to deliver.
Top four is a minimum, a trophy is also well within our reach.
We’re all rooting for you Unai.