James McNicholas is Bleacher Report's lead Arsenal correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here.
Speaking at a press conference to preview Arsenal's Premier League clash with Aston Villa, Arsene Wenger was determined to emphasise that he is not desperate for additions to his squad. Should Wenger decide to let the month pass by without improving the squad, it could come back to haunt him before the end of May.
Despite losing Theo Walcott to a cruciate ligament injury, the Frenchman clearly feels that the imminent return of both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nicklas Bendtner ensures that there is no urgent need to buy.
The response is typical of Wenger, who has spent many hours of his press briefings reiterating the laudable message that spending money should not be regarded as the answer to all sporting problems.
Some managers relish the transfer window. Harry Redknapp built a reputation and arguably a career on his canny ability to wheel and deal in the market. He seems to thrive on the time pressure and chaos of the January transfer period.
Wenger, however, is more content to come up with internal solutions.
Although Wenger has made many astute acquisitions, he never seems to particularly enjoy the process. Speaking to Arsenal.com ahead of the Villa match, he made it clear that he regards transfer talk as a distraction:
The priority is to play well on Monday night with the players we have, and to win the game, that is our priority. After that, the priority for the media is to talk about the transfers but for me it is to talk about football. I do not want to speak about any specific names. For us it is important to prepare well for Monday night and to win the game on Monday night. The people who are in the newspapers do not help us to win the game on Monday night. It is the players who play here.
Wenger's focus is admirable. The Villa game will be an important one for Arsenal: By the time the match is played, the Gunners could have fallen into third place. A win will be vital to maintain momentum and a place at the top of the table.
To a degree, Wenger's bullishness about his squad depth is justified. Arsenal would not be at at the summit of the Premier League if they did not have a team packed with quality. The Gunners have coped well with the injuries they've suffered to date, covering for the absence of the likes of Lukas Podolski and Oxlade-Chamberlain without missing a beat.
However, those injuries came in an area where Arsenal are particularly well-stocked: the wings. That depth is not consistent across the pitch. A couple of injuries in key areas could derail Arsenal's entire season.
As things stand, Arsenal have just two fit senior centre-backs. If you count Podolski as a winger, they have just one fit senior centre-forward in Olivier Giroud. When compared with the rich depth of the squads available at title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners' options look worryingly thin.
If Wenger opts to head in to the second half of the season without strengthening his squad, he will be forced to cross his fingers and hope Arsenal escaped any kind of injury crisis at either end of the pitch. Arsenal's chances of lifting their first title in 10 years would no longer be in the hands of the Gunners but instead in the lap of the Gods.
Given the prize at stake, that would be quite the gamble.
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