By Avenell Dave
Arsene Wenger yesterday called not qualifying for the Champions League a disaster for Arsenal, and after becoming accustomed to it year after year, it's easy to see why.
Even forgetting the financial ramifications - and they are huge - so many of the players expect to be playing in the UCL and you have to wonder how many of them love the club enough to remain if we do not qualify.
Maybe that is part of the problem. For ever Jack Wilshere with the club in his blood, there are half a dozen Samir Na$ris who leave for more money (even if he did claim today that he was prepared to stay at Arsenal if the club had made him an offer sooner).
The problem of course is that Wenger is relying on some of the ten unfit players to return in time to make up lost ground - and you have to wonder if Ch*vski, our closest rivals for fourth, can possibly have as bad a second half of the season as they did the first, with AVB getting to grips with English football.
The whole point of our financial prudence, apart from affordability, was to be able to compete and take advantage of the financial problems that beset other, more reckless spenders.
Surely now is the time to take advantage of that, to give the team, the club and the fans a boost that we need. At the moment, everything is too flat.
Given the riches available it seems crazy to us on the outside that investments are not being made and yet none of us apart from managers, agents and directors know how much is going on to bring in new faces.
No club in their right mind would announce their intention to sign someone, lest they start a bidding war or the move falls flat on its face and given the lack of transfers, it suggests that clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to buy and sell players.
Of course, I hope above all that Wenger signs at least one attacking and one defensive player but all we can do, at another difficult time, is get behind the team.
Moving on to Sunday's game against M*nure and it's a match no one seems to think we're going to win.
After two straight defeats that have undone all the hard work that got us into fourth before New Year, the injuries are piling up just too fast and we're one van Persie knack away from disaster.
At least things aren't as bad as in August when an 8-2 defeat which will haunt us fans forever shook the club to the core.
We made some signings, but need more and a point on Sunday would be something of a moral victory.
The sad thing is that M*nure aren't playing brilliantly this season, they've had to recall Paul Scholes due to midfield indifference and would be there for the taking if we had a full squad and a couple of extra bodies.
How we will play is anyone's guess and without Mikel Arteta we're going to struggle ourselves in midfield.
I suspect Tomas Rosicky will play even though he doesn't have a Premier League goal for us in two years and I really hope Thomas Vermaelen is back to marshall the defence.
Koscielny Mertesacker Vermaelen Miquel
Rosicky Song Ramsey
Walcott RvP Arshavin