The next fortnight is crucial to Arsenal's future. Champions League qualification must be secured while Premier League ties with Liverpool and at Manchester United must be negotiated with minimal damage. It is however off-season matters at the once most stable of clubs which threaten to derail them.
Arsenal fans are fed up. Trophyless for six years, seeing former captain Cesc Fabregas receive a medal after 15 minutes at Barcelona only served to rub in the pain.
Fabregas' sale raised £35 million while Samir Nasri is expected to raise another £20m. Not to mention income from Eboue's transfer and possibly Nicolas Bendtner, financially this has been a good summer for Arsenal.
That will be little comfort to Arsenal season ticket holders paying a six per cent increase, to see a below par side. Fail to adequately strengthen the team, and it could be the start of a more severe downward spiral. With around £50 million likely to be available, Gooners should be forgiven for dreaming of signing big.
Oxlade-Chamberlain is a big name alphabetically, but is not the marquee signing Arsenal want. Gervinho and Jenkinson are also solid signings, but neither address problem areas in central midfield or central defence. Which is why some of the names Arsenal have been linked with are underwhelming to say the least.
In midfield a creative diamond is needed. If £30 million is needed for Juan Mata, spend it. Signing Mario Goetze star of Borussia Dortmund and Germany would be possible, while Eden Hazard could be bought for £20 million.
Jose Enrique could have been bought at left back for £6 million, another problem position.
There are still many positives for Arsenal, Woljcech Sczcesney, Thomas Vermaelen, and the midfield future of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey.
A solid central defender and a creative midfielder to supply the bullets to Robin van Persie would put Arsenal back in the trophy hunt. But, Wenger admirably refuses to be held to ransom in the market.
Well the time has come when the fans refuse to be held to ransom in the stands.
If Wenger's stubbornness lets the star players slip away, the fans will demand a new manager who is willing to splash the cash.
Image: © Matt and Kim Rudge