By Avenell Dave
I had a feeling Arsene Wenger would buy a player in the January transfer window.
I really felt he would have seen the shortcomings and realised that we needed more firepower and that by shifting a couple of players out (Arshavin and Squillaci perhaps, but move has to suit players and be affordable for clubs, something that hasn't happened yet) he would have freed up the wages necessary to bolster the squad with players who could have played an active part in the run-in.
Fourth is not good enough for us and yet that is the sum of our ambitions unless somehow the team gets together and goes on a great run.
I have absolutely no doubt that Wenger wanted to sign one or two players.
Maybe if Goetze had not got injured and looked to be out for a couple of months, he may have decided to join us and we may have broken our transfer window to do the business.
But there are some vital factors here that we have to bear in mind, regardless of previous concerns about the club being reluctant to spend money.
M*nure desperately need a central midfielder, regardless of having brought Paul Scholes back from retirement. Given their willingness to spend money, why didn't they go and get Wesley Sneijder or whoever?
T*tt*nh*m have the best chance of winning the title (of course we know they won't do it) for 50 years but decided to buy injury prone Louis Saha and freebie Ryan Nelson (not a bad player but not featured for Blackburn all season apart from one game and he's 34).
Liverpool apparently wanted another striker but did they buy anyone despite talk of Darren Bent? No.
The fact is, no one wants to sell and anyone who does wants top dollar.
The value of players in England is ridiculous when you see that Matt Mills goes to Leicester City last summer for £5+m and Alex leaves Ch*vski for just over £4m this year.
You've also got to think about players wanting to prove themselves on the international stage, much as we hate it.
Theo Walcott has been a shoe-in for England since 2006 and yet was dropped from the 2010 World Cup squad.
If you were Podolski, Goetze, Hazard or M'Vila would you want to move to a new country, a new team and a new environment mid season where you could initially struggle and lose your international place?
I don't think many would, to be honest and that's why so many international moves simply didn't happen last month, notwithstanding the recession and financial meltdown.
If we have a summer like last year, there will be hell to pay, no doubt, and unless RvP signs a new contract early, we're going to find ourlseves having to sell him at the earliest opportunity and sign new strikers capable of hitting the ground running.
Let's hope lessons have been learnt from last summer, RvP stays fit and signs a new deal before the end of the season, Jack Wilshere's injury is not as bad as has been reported today and that we go on another great run.
Starting tonight at Bolton (who won't be able to play Ryo Miyaichi despite signing him on loan).
Coquelin Koscielny Mertesacker Vermaelen
Ramsey Arteta Song
Walcott RvP Oxlade-Chamberlain