Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta knows it will take time for his side to get to the level Manchester City are at.
The Gunners’ faint Premier League title hopes went with a whimper after a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest handed City a fifth crown in six years.
Arsenal were insatiable for most of the campaign, spending 248 days on top of the table, and held an eight-point lead over City in March, but an alarming slide has seen them win just two of their last eight games.
That allowed them to be overtaken by Pep Guardiola’s relentless juggernaut, who have won 11 games in a row.
The Spaniard says Arsenal have to find a way to compete with City but it will not be a quick fix.
“This is my job, this is our job, and this is what this club deserves,” Arteta said.
“It wasn’t enough. I know we’re not at that level, but we have to find a way. This is not enough. It’s not going to change in three months time. We need to be at that level but we need to find other ways to do it.
“For example at Forest we needed to play much better. This is my responsibility.
“That’s why we have to push for that to happen. That’s not going to happen if we don’t make a lot of right decisions and think smart and have the mentality every day to get to that level.”
While Arsenal had a definitive outcome for their aspirations, so did Forest as they secured their Premier League status against the odds.
For large parts of the season, which began with more than 20 new signings, they looked destined to return straight back to the Championship, not least when they were on an 11-game winless run going into the end of April.
Boss Steve Cooper steered them away from danger, thanks to 10 points from the last five games, and he is thankful to the fans, who have been vociferous in their support throughout the campaign.
It looked possible that the Welshman could be sacked on two occasions during the campaign, but Forest fans voted with their feet and came out in unanimous support of their manager.
And Cooper will never forget that.
“My family and myself will be in debt to these supporters forever,” he said.
“What they have given me this year in an era of people always wanting change and having no patience, our supporters have been the complete opposite. They have been the best with me in some difficult times. That takes some doing.
“The whole sense of being part of something, being wanted and that sense of belonging is such a powerful feeling. Our supporters have set the standard for how to support a team.”