Ignore what Arsene says - Vela departure may prompt new signings

By Avenell Dave

Given the reduced price of tickets and the open market for the game last night, it was slightly disappointing to see how many empty seats there were around the stadium.

Of course, the snow and chilly weather must have had a part to play but even so, the atmosphere at Emirates was, again, way too flat.

The strength of the team Arsene Wenger put out underlined his determination to win the Carling Cup and with M*nure going out, we have to be favourites now.

There was plenty of debate amongst fellow Addicts before the game about Wenger's claims that he won't be signing any players in January.

There have been plenty of rumours and counter rumours during the last few days about possible signings with everyone from Karim Benzema to Gary Cahill said to be on their way.

If Thomas Vermaelen's Achilles doesn't recover soon, perhaps signing another centre back will be Wenger's priority, because considering Alex Song as a fifth option at the back weakens both midfield and defence.

But with Carlos Vela given a rare start last night, it was a chance for the Mexican to prove his worth as a striking option in the squad.

The fact that he is so rarely chosen to sart games, particularly in the Premier League, suggests that Wenger doesn't rate him very highly.

And to be honest, I'm in two minds about his performance last night.

On the one hand, he got into decent positions, never gave up and on another night could have had a hat trick.

But the fact is, he fluffed his lines on each occasion when he could have put his name on the scoresheet and as one of my fellow Addicts said last night, why didn't we sign Hernandez instead who really looks the part at M*nure?

When you're not a tall striker in the Alan Smith, Maroune Chamakh mould, you have to be fast like Michael Owen, clinical like Andy Cole or robust like Alan Shearer.

I get the feeling that Vela woyld be a big hit in a latin league, but just finds the physical nature of English football a bit tough to handle.

Whether he would improve wih more games, I don't know. He was a hit in Spain at Osasuna but has never really pushed on in North London.

One thing this squad really lacks is a top goascoring striker.

One comment made after El Clasico on Monday was that if we had a decent finisher, we would win a lot more games.

We may not be Barca but the number of chances we fail to convert is a testament to our inconsistency.

Sitting in a new area last night, I saw an Arsenalisation wall with Arsenal hat trick heroes on it. Ian Wright got eleven hat tricks for us and until Theo Walcott scored three this season, you have to go back to Andrey Arshavin at Anfield a couple of years ago for our last triple goal scorer.

Maybe it's time to sell Vela and bring in someone able to cope with the physical nature of the Premier League and able to score goals for fun.

They don't grow on trees but I wouldn't be surprised if Wenger has been scouting for a new forward to push us on this season.