I’d like to say that it’s a good thing Arsenal brought in a player of excellent quality on deadline day, but it’s perfectly clear that Ignacio Monreal only arrived because Kieran Gibbs picked up a lengthy injury, and not because the club appeared particularly worried about that area of the pitch.

But once again, Arsenal are playing with fire for the remainder of the season, and this time Robin van Persie isn’t around to bail them out. Arsenal are currently in sixth place and a million miles away from the top of the Premier League. Even the top four looks quite a distance away because of the team’s patchy form this season. There are good players at the club, but most fans would surely want to understand why so little is being done to help the team finish in the top four.

If the board are less concerned about playing Champions League football because of the rise in television revenue and the new shirt sponsors, then fine. But the squad needs investment, and only far more uncomfortable truths are likely to keep Arsene Wenger out of the transfer market.

It would have been interesting to see how strong Arsenal would have been if they had followed through on some of the reported transfer targets. The team would certainly have been considerably stronger than they are now. In fact, with Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh leaving on loan, Arsenal are now weaker than they were at the start of January.

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