​As the circus of transfer deadline day quietly rolls out of town, it looks as though things are starting to get back to normal - but perhaps they never really changed at all. After a frenzy of panic buys, transfer requests and last-minute deals, a comforting cloud of familiarity has certainly settled over north London. 


Once again Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has seen his own brinkmanship backfire, and once again, with painful predictability, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side look a few players short of a genuine title challenge. 


Some things in football never change. As the seasons tick by, players continue to appeal for throw-ins knowing full well they should go the other way, conning referees who continue to receive more abuse than any man should have to put up with; Olivier Giroud's hair remains perfectly maintained. 


A familiar aspect that seems to never change is the enduring faith of Arsene Wenger in the players at his disposal; a trait that continues to be both his strongest asset and biggest weakness simultaneously. 


Petr Cech was supposed to be a sign of things to come

Only this time, neutral Premier League observers and Arsenal fans alike, thought it would be different. 


Last season appeared to be something of a coming-of-age for Wenger's side, as they cast aside their frailties, particularly away from home, and began to get results against their title and top-four rivals. 


This was rounded off with an impressive dismantling of Aston Villa in the FA Cup final, before the transfer window was kicked off with the sensible and astute signing of goalkeeper Petr Cech. 


Hopeful murmurs could be heard around the Emirates. Perhaps this was the year. Buoyed by the apparent intention of the manager to solve problem areas with decisive transfers, Arsenal fans looked forward to the potential arrival of a striker to act as competition for Olivier Giroud. 


Maybe they'd be spoilt and Wenger would also bring in an upgrade on midfield hard-man Francis Coquelin. Whispers of Arturo Vidal began to surface; a player sure to bring some steel to a team full of charming young men you'd happily take home to meet your mother. The possibilities were endless. Arsene was about to get his wallet out...         

 

But whispers they remained. Arturo Vidal left Juventus for Bayern Munich, Jackson Martinez and Luciano Vietto headed to Atletico Madrid, injury prevented William Carvalho from leaving Sporting Lisbon. Cavani, Benzema and Higuain stayed where they were. Even Liverpool took a moderate gamble on Christian Benteke.    


England

Whether naive, bold or simply stubborn, Wenger ensured Arsenal were the only side in Europe's top five leagues not to sign a senior outfield player. 


Only time will tell if his faith in the current squad will be rewarded with fine seasons from the likes of Chamberlain, Wilshire and crucially, Giroud. Several Arsenal players certainly have the potential to light up the Premier League this year. 


Although with minimal cover in central defence, holding midfield and up front, and with the inevitable news that Danny Welbeck is out until Christmas after knee surgery, Arsenal look a few more injuries away from an underwhelming campaign for fans who expected much at the end of last season.

Watford v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

Just down the road at Tottenham, fans will again be ruing the last-minute antics of chairman Daniel Levy, who, despite acknowledging that hero of the last campaign Harry Kane requires some support this year, failed to land Saido Berahino after protracted negotiations with West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace. 


Despite knowing full well that West Brom wouldn't be willing to sell Berahino without time to find a replacement, Levy made several late bids in an attempt to get his man, further angering Peace with offers made up of relatively small up front payments. 


Support for Kane is something which should have been sorted out well before the final weeks of August, and there must be many Spurs fans wondering how they've managed to end the window still heavily reliant on goals of Harry Kane, which have been in short supply so far this season.  


Levy has a history of being an incredibly firm negotiator, and that reputation tells in the huge fees received in recent years for the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Gareth Bale. But with a net spend of just £12.3m this window, fans will wonder whether a marked improvement on last season's fifth place finish is ever going to happen.        

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League

It looks as though fans in north London will, come the end of the season, look back at the final days of the transfer window with regret. 


Although perhaps Tottenham and Arsenal are instead two of the few remaining clubs that still place a value on coaching, with the patience to build a team over time. 


Watching a team steadily progress toward victory will certainly taste all the more sweeter.