Wenger must use Arsenal's Premier League position as springboard for signings

By Avenell Dave

I said yesterday that a Cardiff win shouldn't be taken for granted, whatever the form or standard of the team we faced and the chaos that has ensued since owner Vincent Tan decided to make get rid of his manager.

City were dogged, time-wasting and the weather, just as against Chelsea, was a great leveller but credit where it's due.

We were sluggish again but remained focused on the task and made our own luck with two late late goals.

Arsene Wenger also deserves some credit, not just for changing things with Rosicky and Bendtner coming on but even for changing the shape with Theo Walcott pushing up as we looked for a winner. He gets a lot of criticism fo his substitutions and tactical nous but deserves the plaudits when it comes off.

The first thing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should do if he is mad enough to take over is put his new squad through a fitness routine.

It's an old joke that new managers taking over struggling teams often criticise the standard of fitness but when you look at how Cardiff have conceded four goals in the last ten minutes over their past two games, you can see a case for it in this instance.

I have to give some credit to my Emirates neighbour Henry, who seemed to stay calm when all around him were losing their heads.

I was quietly confident as we started the second half, but with ten minutes left, passes going astray and the visitors digging in, I was starting to wonder if we'd get the result we wanted or find ourselves starting the New Year with a whimper.

Cue mayhem when Nik Bendtner scored but in a way, his injury has done us a favour.

There was a risk if we cantered to a heavy victory that Arsene Wenger would see no reason to strengthen the squad and in particular the striking position but the Dane's ankle sprain underlines how "short" we are as Le Boss put it.

It was fascinating to listen to his interview on the BBC afterwards, where he essentially admitted that he doesn't see Lukas Podolski or Theo Walcott as central strikers in the long term.

Given that Theo made a fuss about playing centrally when he signed his new contract, I wonder how he will feel about his manager's assessment but in some respects, I'm reassured by the appraisal.

Who we can or should buy (Benteke??) who will add something to the squad, hit the ground running and score a hatful of goals is anyone's guess.

People are saying that e should throw whatever is needed because a striker could be the difference between winning the title or not and to a certain extent I agree.

Costa at Atletico Madrid may seem a perfect signing BUT: he is a Brazilian who has just transferred his allegiance to Spain and so won;t want to leave his newly adopted country in a World Cup year and perhaps slip off the radar. He may also struggle in his first few months in England and not make the Spanish squad. Plus Atletico are second in La Liga and giving Barca a run for their money. I just can't see it happening.

Berbatov has been mentioned this morning and he is a fine player but perhaps too languid for us. What we need is someone with pace and power who can scare defences and score a load of goals.

And there's the rub: signing big world class players in January of a World Cup year is almost impossible unless they are out of favour and desperate to get back on the field. 

He may not be a striker but how I'd love to see us sign Juan Mata - he would add something to the squad but there is no way Mourinho will sell to us.

What Wenger must try and do, and is something that perhaps he has failed to do in the past, is sign players when we are in a position of strength, such as being top of the table, rather than when we are desperate and the creme de la creme is not available or interested in coming to us.

After the FA Cup game against Tottenham, we have nine days and, while logic seems to play no part in our transfer dealings, that would seem ample time to go out and finalise a deal rather than wait until the end of the month when we may not be doing so well.

A new player or two will give the entire squad a lift and will ease the burden on Olivier Giroud, IF he can be identified and signed up.

Wenger may well play it down as he did in other interviews, but I'd rather we strengthen when we are doing well than when we are desperate.