Julian Draxler, Cristian Tello, Christian Benteke, Dimitar Berbatov, Jackson Martinez, Alvaro Morata, and even Alex Song; these were some the names that were linked with a move to Arsenal when the transfer window initially opened. Some of these more fanciful than others, but there was a general air of enthusiasm around Arsenal that with at least one of these players, Arsenal would strengthen a weak point in the side and would be able to take on all comers in the: FA Cup, Champions League and most importantly, the Premier League.
Since then, Arsenal have seen their lead in the Premier League taken away from them by an invincible looking Manchester City; they have had to re-examine their FA Cup hopes after being drawn with Liverpool and following suspension to Flamini during an important period; as well as injuries to: Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, Arsenal's match with Bayern Munich suddenly looks that much more improbable.
The main reason for the dejection is because along with the injuries, Arsenal have not signed anyone. Well they did sign Kim Kallstrom, but ironically, after being brought to provide cover for the injured players, Kallstrom himself has been ruled out of action for 2-3 months after a back injury in his first training session with Arsenal.
Even if Kallstrom did not sustain an injury, a past it 31 year old who could hardly get a game for Europa League side Spartak Moscow would have severely struck fear into the hearts of: Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City (sarcasm).
This January window was built for Arsenal to sign reinforcements and they have failed to do so. From Wenger's point of view, I can see why he went for the low-key purchase of Kallstrom - though, perhaps tellingly, it has nothing to do with his quality as player. Arsenal play with 4-2-3-1 formation with Arteta, Flamini and Ramsey rotating between themselves to form the '2' of the formation. Indeed, the three of them have marshaled those positions well. Buying a player on a long term contract for the sole purpose of a few months would not have made much financial sense.
However, if Arsenal do not win anything yet again, they may look back at this period of the season and discover a lack of depth is what costed them. Other managers such as Jose Mourinho would have taken a more draconian approach and would have essentially told Aaron Ramsey: "tough", and brought a replacement on the basis of winning trophies for the club was more important than player loyalty.
Where I really have a problem with Arsene Wenger is the fact a striker was not brought. With Giroud as the only striker available (even if Bendtner was not injured he is not in favour), Arsenal needed another striker. At the beginning of the month I wrote that Arsenal would not be able to buy a world class striker until the summer. However, they could have armed themselves with a top class striker to see themselves to the end of the season.
The fact Wenger tried and failed with loan bids from Miroslav Klose and Solomon Kalou suggests Wenger knew more bodies were needed. Therefore, it is even more baffling that he did not entertain a Berbatov bid. Many of his doubters will state his laziness and lack of movement, yet that did not stop him from trying to loan Kalou.
Given the choice, I am sure Berbatov would have chosen Arsenal over Monaco (despite Tottenham past). If anything, Fulham would have pushed a loan move to Arsenal considering the damage he could have done to their rivals.
Wenger does deserve praise for pushing out Emmanuel Frimpong. After a brilliant start to his Arsenal career, Frimpong has suffered many injuries and has shown himself to be rather unfocused with football and more concerned with a rap career.
Arsenal's January transfer rating: E - The only thing saving them from an F grade is the logical behind Wenger's refusal to sign a central midfielder.