Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits last season was the most difficult of his career but remains confident it is his squad's "destiny" to win the Barclays Premier League title.
Wenger's team lost the Carling Cup final to Birmingham in February and were then dumped out of the Champions League by Barcelona before slipping to fourth in the Premier League. It all added up to a sixth straight trophyless campaign for the north London club, and Wenger found it a bitter pill to swallow.
"The last part was the toughest season in my career," he said.
"Emotionally, it was very difficult because we were on a low and then you could see the last three or four weeks were very difficult."
Wenger believes his young side will bounce back, though, and pick up their first piece of silverware since the 2005 FA Cup in the coming campaign.
Speaking in China, ahead of Saturday's friendly against Hangzhou Greentown on the club's pre-season tour of Asia, he added: "I believe that the real destiny of this team is now there.
"They know as well as I know that we were very, very close last season.
"You say, 'Okay, we missed our chance', or you say, in our position, 'Let's show everybody that we can do it and come back stronger' - which is what I think we can do because we are a young team and we can only be better.
"It demands the strength of character that the champions have. That's what we want to show."