Arsène Wenger confirmed what many Gooners feared today when he admitted that he has no back-up plan should his bid to buy Andrei Arshavin fail.
Wenger indicated at the start of the month that bringing in some creativity and someone to support in midfield were his main priorities – and as usual the silence has been deafening.
Although I would expect it to take some time for Ivan Gazidis to make his mark as CEO, the fact is that this has been a relatively quiet month for the Gunners.
Games on Saturday have not been intermingled with midweek Champions League or Carling Cup matches, giving Wenger no excuse about having other things on his mind apart from transfers.
Either Wenger is confident that his pursuit of Arshavin is all but signed and sealed, or he is playing into Zenit St Petersburg’s hands by allowing them to squeeze every last drop out of the deal, fully aware that we have no alternatives.
Watching the 1997/98 season on Arsenal TV last night reminded me of two things about that glorious year.
Firstly, in Dennis Bergkamp, Marc Overmars and even Ray Parlour, we had players who were fast and direct and didn’t muck about before having a shot on goal.
Our players could have done with watching that, realising that not shooting or waiting for the perfect opening is not what football is about.
Secondly, in the Dutch duo, we had players who had “Super Class” as Wenger calls it. In fact, despite some memorable performances from Dennis, who remains one of the best players we’ve ever had, it was actually Overmars who had a bigger say in our success that season.
He was dynamic, fast and had an eye for goal, often shooting at the near post when goalkeepers didn’t expect it.
In much the same way, Arshavin, though not quite as fast I don’t think, could add something to our attack that would bring all the other elements together, helping them to grow until such time as he becomes a cog rather than the creative lynchpin who we cannot survive without.
If Wenger is to be believed, we still won’t have some defensive midfield cover though, and that causes me great concern.