Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has issued an apology of sorts in advance of the closure of this transfer window.
A lack of activity in previous windows has often been a bone of contention with Gunners fans and this looks likely to continue after Wenger's press conference on Thursday.
According to Yahoo/Eurosport, Wenger feels a little guilty that he has no signings lined up:
Unfortunately no. I feel a bit guilty always going to a press conference during the transfer market and having nobody to announce, but I don't want to lie.
It (new signings) looks very unlikely. We are 23rd January today and at the moment I must say we are not close to doing anything.
Whilst such a statement might give supporters even more cause for concern as they look for the club to build on a successful first half of the season, the manager defended his strategy by suggesting that his squad already has the strength in depth required:
We have just had (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain back, Bendtner back, I hope to have (Mikel) Arteta back next week and (Aaron) Ramsey. Overall I feel we have the needed squad.
We also have Yaya Sanogo coming back into the squad next week as well.
Overall we have a very strong squad. If something exceptional turns up we will do it, but not everyone will strengthen—they buy, but that does not always mean strengthen.
The doom-mongers would have you believe that the Premier League title is at stake if Wenger doesn't secure at least one big name by the closure of the window.
In truth, such a standpoint is a grave lack of respect towards a manager that has always delivered over the years and who has changed the footballing model of the club into one that is revered Europe-wide.
Yet respect of the manager has never seemed to be high on the agenda for some supporters as Jan Aage Fjortoft pointed out:
Either you scrap it [January window] completely, or you leave it open until as long as possible to the last four games.
It is like running a relay, then in the middle of the relay you change your runners. It gives teams a chance who are already convicted, it gives some teams hope.
But when I arrived in England, the window was open until April, the whole season, and it was not a problem.
If you look at the players that will shortly return, then Wenger is completely correct in his outlook. There is little point in profligacy when talents such as Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey et al will soon be back in situ.
Should they hit the ground running and be anywhere near the form of earlier in the season, it's fair to suggest that most teams will struggle with the expansive nature of their play.
Ramsey especially has enjoyed a fine recent period in his career.
With other top clubs positioning themselves at the head of the queue for available players, it's perhaps easy to forget that, not six months ago, Wenger was decisive in the transfer market when the right opportunity presented itself:
People were questioning whether I could deliver quality. My commitment has never been a problem. I am convinced I can.
This question is not about me, it’s more about 'Do people believe Arsenal can compete?' The fact we bought Ozil in at top-level money has turned belief around.
Mesut Ozil's capture was certainly the catalyst for the wonderful first half of the season that the Gunners have enjoyed, but the rest of the squad is more or less the same.
By guiding Arsenal to the top of the table and having kept them there, Wenger has essentially presented a cogent argument to the way in which he works.
A perfect example of his studious management and expert stewardship of the club.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!