By Richard Clarke

Saturday’s defeat at Fulham will NOT influence Arsène Wenger’s moves in the transfer market between now and the deadline.

The Arsenal manager has been after a central midfielder for some time and now has only a week to get his man. However before the game at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Wenger was indicating he might look for a replacement inside his own squad and, judging by his words afterwards, the manner of the disappointing reverse has not changed his mind.

“When you lose a game the solution is not always to buy,” said Wenger. “Did we play at our best? I say no and so we have to look at why?

“We had problems to win our first few games last year but we won them. This year we did not win - that is the reality. We had 60 minutes to come back on Fulham and we did not do it. Is that down to Fulham’ s quality or the fact we were not good enough? Only the future will tell us that.”

However the departure of key midfielders Alex Hleb, Gilberto and Mathieu Flamini led some to suggest Arsenal are weaker than last season despite the acquisition of Samir Nasri and Mikael Silvestre.

“Let’s not make too much comparison the team is almost the same," said Wenger. "The goal on Saturday was conceded from a corner and was not excusable. You can accept it sometimes when someone jumps higher than you but not when they scored from the middle of the goal area on the six-yard line. That is where we were guilty.”

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25 Aug 2008