Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal went "beyond expectation", despite another season at the Emirates Stadium which promised so much ending without silverware.
The Gunners secured third place in the Barclays Premier League - and with it automatic qualification place into the Champions League - after beating a much-changed Fulham side, who had one eye on the Europa League final, 4-0 in their final home game.
Wenger's young squad had twice hauled themselves back into the title race, before successive away defeats to Tottenham and then Wigan eventually ended any hopes of overhauling the top two.
The Arsenal manager reflected: "We have gone beyond expectation, if you look at July, but of course we are still frustrated, because one month ago we were in touch with the championship, but did not win it.
"Overall we had a season with a good attitude and strong character, the team has improved a lot on that front, but overall we conceded too many goals to win the championship."
Wenger insists had Arsenal - who finished some 11 points behind champions Chelsea - not lost the likes of Robin van Persie, captain Cesc Fabregas and defender William Gallas at various stages of the campaign, then the final-day outcome could have been much different.
"We did not have the players available in the last six weeks to fight for the championship," he said.
"When you go into the final sprint, you need your squad available.
"We had too many injuries."
Wenger continued: "It is a shame because we have gone out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League to the holders and have been beaten by Chelsea and Manchester United, who have strong squads.
"We were just a fraction short."
Andrey Arshavin capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to give Arsenal the lead after 21 minutes, before Robin van Persie fired in a second, with Chris Baird bundling in an own goal just before the break.
Fulham, who face Atletico Madrid in Hamburg on Wednesday, made eight changes, and substitute Carlos Vela rounded off a comfortable win with four minutes left.
Wenger is set to strengthen the squad in the summer, with the arrival of long-term target Marouane Chamakh set to be officially announced before the World Cup.
The Gunners boss, though, insists major additions are not necessary.
"We want to improve in quality. It is not necessarily a big number of players needed and overall I believe you don't win the title when you concede 40 goals," said Wenger.
"What the fans want concerns me. We both love the club and want the best possible team, but we live in a world not to be crazy.
"We have to pay our wages at the end of the month and we have to respect our business rules."Reuse content