Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts there will always be a sense of regret around what might have been this season.
The Gunners prepare for their final Premier League home match – against West Brom – with title ambitions extinguished following costly defeats against the top three.
However, there is still reason to be positive after Arsenal recovered form to get ahead of Everton in the race for Champions League qualification, with a place in the August play-offs secure should they win tomorrow or indeed before if the Toffees are beaten by Manchester City this afternoon.
And Arsenal will contest the FA Cup final against Hull at Wembley on May 17 as Wenger aims to deliver a first trophy in almost a decade.
Nevertheless, the feeling of missed opportunities continues to sit uneasy with the Frenchman, who saw his team hit by injury to key men like Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil.
"When we came out of Christmas, we were in a strong position and what you want then is to have your strong players available in March and April. We had too many injuries," Wenger said.
Arsenal – who lost heavily away to Manchester City, Liverpool and then Chelsea, thrashed 6-0 in Wenger's 1,000th match – are seven points off the pace, having at one stage been well clear themselves.
Wenger acknowledges just being able to turn the draws at home against Everton, Swansea and Manchester City into victories would have seen them still have a fighting chance of the championship.
"Maybe one or two wins at home would have made that difference.
"The regret we have of the season is that we have been remarkably consistent, (but) it is against the teams who did not fight for the Premier League title.
Wenger expects the transfer market to heat up after the World Cup but maintains Arsenal do not need a "massive" influx of fresh talent.
Wenger feels the FA Cup finalists can bridge the gap to sustain their championship challenge next season, but as always claims it will not be just about adding numbers.
"It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close (to the title), we want to add something that makes us even stronger, but number-wise it will not be massive", said Wenger.