Arsenal Message Board
We're a little over two weeks before the start of the season, rivals have strengthened, the pick of the talent has been hoovered up by ambitious clubs. And the team beaten by Blackburn and Bradford before squeaking into the Champions League has stood still. Again.
The noises emanating from Emirates Stadium may have been all the right ones to cajole fans as their season ticket renewal forms dropped on the doormat. But, within the inner sanctum of the transfer bunker - where we know there to be at least £70million burning a hole in the floor - the sound of the famous fax machine whirring into action has been conspicuous by its absence.
There have, of course, been bids, big bids. But one by one, targets have slipped away when Arsenal were laughed out of the negotiation room. Bullied, out-muscled and outfought. In some cases, they weren't even outbid, yet still lost out.
Stevan Jovetic, flirted with, bid for, negotiated over... then watched move elsewhere. Gonzalo Higuain, the same. Wayne Rooney, Jackson Martinez, Edinson Cavani, Radamal Falcao, Robert Lewandowski are all or have all been on the market this summer. So too was Yaya Sanogo, but luring an out-of-contract, injury prone Under 20 international from the second division in France is a very different ball game.
Even Tottenham have managed to spend £50million.
Every summer starts with the promises of available funds and ends with second rate acquisitions. The change of tact this time feels like nothing more than posturing to appease fans.
'At least we tried this time, they just wouldn't sell. But I am happy with the belief in my squad,' says Arsene Wenger in early September. Probably.
Arsenal didn't win the lottery, the vast transfer fund didn't just suddenly appear overnight. So why the poor planning? Why the scattergun approach to centre-forwards? Is there a good enough support network to Wenger? And until something, or someone, changes in the dugout or the boardroom, expect little different.