Louis van Gaal has blamed 'luck' and the lack of a 20-goal-a-season striker for Manchester United's poor performances. After limping to victory over Sunderland, when will the excuses run out?
As Tottenham prepare to face Chelsea, Adam Bate looks at how Mauricio Pochettino has changed Spurs. There's a massive emphasis on tackling and energy...
What they need: Danes. Lots of them, apparently.
Like Peter Schmeichel's sizzling bacon, the lure of Danish meat has whetted Swansea's appetite for the transfer market this summer. Michael Krohn-Dehli and Nicklas Bendtner are two tempting attacking options and Thomas Kahlenberg would be a cheap addition with plenty of top-flight experience across Europe. Gylfi Sigurdsson's goals carried Swansea through to the end of the season and they will need to find a replacement.
What they're likely to get: Krohn-Dehli offers experience and shouldn't cost a great deal from Bondby, while Bendtner will be a gamble at whatever price Arsenal demand. Michael Laudrup may use his knowledge of La Liga to snap up one or two new recruits but the most important aspect of Swansea's pre-season is for the new manager to impress his ideas and work through the transitional period following Brendan Rodgers' exit.
What's been said? Chairman Huw Jenkins: "We've discussed transfers right away. We were very interested in how Denmark performed at the Euros. But the crucial decisions on which players are coming to Swansea are up to Michael."
What they need: Perhaps Harry Redknapp hadn't realised, but Jermain Defoe is the only striker left on Spurs' books after Emmanuel Adebayor's loan came to an end and Louis Saha's short-term deal expired. At least two new forwards will be Andre Villas-Boas' priority, closely followed by sorting out who stays and who goes in midfield. It's probably time for Tottenham to cut the cord with Luka Modric, continuing the theme of a fresh start at White Hart Lane this summer.
What they're likely to get: Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen represent a solid start to Spurs' rebuilding plans and if newspaper reports are anything to go by, Villas-Boas could have up to £100million to spend on restructuring the squad. A move for Joao Moutinho, who performed brilliantly for Portugal at the Euros, looks possible, but unless two strikers are added it could be a frustrating season. Adebayor is keen to stay, but a new manager brings new ideas and Villas-Boas may look elsewhere for attacking recruits. Hulk may be the top-end target, while the club have a long-standing interest in Loic Remy.
What's been said? Joao Moutinho: "AVB is one of the best coaches I've worked with. I'd work with him again tomorrow."
What they need: It could be a difficult season for West Brom after a summer of upheaval at The Hawthorns. Given that this is Steve Clarke's first management role, he may look to sign players he's worked with before. A loan for Jonjo Shelvey would replace the hole left in the squad by Keith Andrews' departure, while a new striker is needed to offer competition to Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie. Marc-Antoine Fortune does a job, but there is better quality available. A winger and a new left-back should also be targets.
What they're likely to get: Clarke will be provided with the funds to make two or three new additions and Obafemi Martins is an exciting option in attack. Free agent Markus Rosenberg wouldn't improve on the strikers already at the club, but the names linked with the Baggies suggest Clarke will look abroad to find players who offer value. According to reports, a move for Gent winger Yassine El Ghanassy is on the cards. Securing a permanent deal for Ben Foster was a considerable boost.
What's been said? Steve Clarke: "I've been looking at the squad and deciding where we need to strengthen and what we need to do to improve. One of the first things I did was have a meeting with all the scouts just to see which players the club have been looking at over the last six months to a year. I've got lots of reports to read through and lots of DVDs to watch. I've been spending a lot of time going through them."
What they need: West Ham need to avoid planning entirely in the short term, but considering the names they have been linked with it looks as though they're prepared to pay high wages to familiar faces in their quest for survival. Planning for the mid-term would be a better approach, with three or four acquisitions that can offer something to Sam Allardyce's team for the next few seasons, instead of one huge payday. Nathaniel Clyne and Matt Jarvis are the sort of players to help the Hammers build on last season's success, whereas Louis Saha would offer little for significant wages.
What they're likely to get: Allardyce will sign a mixed bag of players, with a quality partner for Carlton Cole a key focus. The four free signings so far pad out the squad, with Jussi Jaaskelainen proven replacement for Robert Green. A bit of quality on the wing, such as Juventus' Milos Krasic, would help Allardyce inject some much-needed flair into his side's style of play. A raft of names have been linked, and it's important the Hammers find players who can gel quickly.
What's been said? David Sullivan: "We'll pay good wages but not be taken to the cleaners by agents and players at the expense of our supporters. Overpaying virtually bankrupted this club and we are still burdened by £100million of debt as a result of the excesses of the previous owners in giving too much to players."
What they need: Wigan's biggest coup of the summer was holding onto Roberto Martinez despite reported interest from Liverpool and Spurs. The manager will now set about improving his squad so as to avoid the need for another great escape at the end of the season. The departure of five first-team squad members requires Martinez to act relatively swiftly, with Hugo Rodallega and Momo Diame the most important players who need replacing. Wigan are desperate for a proven goalscorer and solid, dependable reinforcements in defence.
What they're likely to get: There's a good chance Victor Moses will leave the DW Stadium before the season kicks off on August 18. Wigan have been linked with Chicago Fire's Marco Pappa as a possible alternative and that indicates the area of the market in which they'll be shopping. In truth, the club struggle to appear an attractive option to top targets and have to compete with Championship clubs on the middle rungs of the transfer window ladder. Thomas Hitzlsperger would be an excellent signing, provided he stays fit, while there may be players at Blackburn, Bolton and Wolves who are looking for a quick return to the top flight.
What's been said? Roberto Martinez: "I do feel as though we need at least two players with experience and a younger face which will help to make the perfect number of the group."
Matt Stanger - tell him transfer rumours on Twitter.