Daniel Snowden reports on another missed window of opportunity for the parsimonious professor.

Another transfer winter window slammed shut earlier in the week, but this time it went out with more of a whimper than a bang, with clubs reigning in expenditure in light of the new Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP).  Although these do not come into force until the 2013-2014 season, the 2011-2012 season will be the first set of accounts taken into consideration under the new rules.

This has led to a number of clubs tightening their belts somewhat as they attempt to comply with the new regulations and avoid any sanctions UEFA wish to dish out.

However, for Arsenal this window felt like pretty much any other winter period, with precious little activity, especially on the inbound front with only Thierry Henry coming back to the club and even then only to sit on the bench, providing cover while Chamakh and Gervinho have a mid season trip to the African Cup of Nations.

The lack of action is not unusual, with Wenger treating the club’s cash as if it were his own and only buying what he deems to be exceptional talent.  In some ways this is beneficial to the average Arsenal supporters’ health. There is no need to spend all day checking NewsNow, The Guardian, BBC, Twiter etc to see who has been signed. Indeed, many supports were caught off guard by the arrival of Thomas Eisfled from Borussia Dortmund, although Arsenal quickly moved to temper expectations, saying that the rest of this season will act as his adaption period. Hopefully it will be more successful than Park’s….

Part of being a football fan is the excitement and intrigue a new signing brings.

The transfer window has moved from frustration to exasperation for Arsenal fans now, with the closing of the August window and sudden panic buying proving to be the exception to Arsenal transfer activity, rather than the rule.  Indeed, last winter only Ryo Miyaichi arrived, winter 09/10 just Sol Campbell and 08/09 saw Ashavin join the club in one of the most protracted transfers ever. No one of note joined the club in 06/07.  You need to go all the way back to winter 05/06 to get a real window of activity, when Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adeboyor, Abou Diaby and Carlos Vela signed, and even then only one player has really worked out (and that is subject to some debate). Maybe Wenger has done Arsenal supporters a favour though. If FFP means that all windows will be like this, at least until clubs get their books in order, then Arsenal fans will have already adapted to the new way of doing things. So, while other fans run around shrieking that it is the most boring window ever, Arsenal fans will be able to put their feet up and relax, going to bed before the window closes, well
practised in the lack of activity, having learnt not to get their hopes up.

That’s boring though. Part of being a football fan is the excitement and intrigue a new signing brings. Will he be any good? Will the team change how it plays to accommodate the new player? Will he be a total waste of money like Andy Carroll, or a bargain of Demba Ba proportions? Will the new guy spur the rest of the team on, or will moral be destroyed? Who knows, but part of the fun of being a football fan is finding out, as well as taunting friends which support teams that have not made good use of transfer funds. But with no signings, none of that excitement arrives, leaving the season to float along. That is, until the next window opens and the Sky hype machine whirls back into action.