Transfer window is open, speculation is mounting and Craig Gardner is off

Morning all welcome to the transfer window. The window has been open for a few days and Martin O'Neill has already changed his stance on what he is going to do. While I suspect this is more down to players wanting to leave, you never know, Randy Lerner could be offering up the money to get a top four finish. What do you think it is?

O'Neill has admitted recently what we all know; Craig Gardner wants to play football. So, chances are, now that that is in the public domain, he will be off this month and it's not nice. It's not nice because, well, it doesn't matter, it has all been said before.

So, with the news that Gardner wants to play football we also have news, okay, speculation, that we are after some players. The first we are apparently 'waiting in the wings' for is French 31 year old striker Frédéric Piquionne.

Piquionne is currently on loan at Portsmouth who are in meltdown, so he'll probably join the first club to guarantee his salary, but it won't be us. Or actually, I hope it won't be us. It's not that I'm sure he wouldn't be able to do some sort of a job, it's that I know how long O'Neill spends on evaluating a player and he would simply be wasting his time targeting a player that is 32 years old this year.

We all know the type of player we want. We have entered this year two places worse off than last year and we need to make serious inroads into bringing the type of player to the club that can help us take the next step and not just the next mile.

But, that is what makes the transfer window and this time of the season interesting. You don't have to be a genius to know who is going to win this league at the start of the season and you don't have to be a genius to figure out where we are going to finish if we don't strengthen. Yes, we have optimism and hope and we can pray for a miracle or we might get lucky, but we failed last January and the January before that.

Now is the time. We either add the quality or we don't. It isn't about numbers as we know O'Neill won't use them or doesn't really need them, it is now about quality. The real quality needs to come. Come on Mr Lerner, surprise me.

IF the surprise comes, I'll let you know, otherwise, this might be it for today.