Thierry Henry says Arsenal missed any chance of winning the title this season by their failure to truly strengthen their squad this summer.
Manager Arsene Wenger did not sign any players on deadline day, meaning the only new arrival at the Emirates this summer was Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.
That has led to some questioning why the Frenchman did not bring in a new striker before the window closed on Tuesday night.
Persuading the likes of either Real Madrid foward Karim Benzema or Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani to move to north London is no easy task, Henry believes.
“I do not know if the boss wanted Benzema or not, but the player must also want to come,” the Sky Sports pundit said.
“What are you going to offer to the guy who is playing for one of the best teams in the world, knowing that he is playing there week in, week out, and performing well?
“So I do not think that Arsene did not want to bring any other players – that would have been another story if he had really said: ‘I do not want to bring in any other players.’ But he said that if it can be done, then I will try to bring someone.
“But how do you get Benzema from Real Madrid when he plays there and Cavani also from Paris Saint-Germain – he scored again at the weekend? It is a difficult one.
“I do not think he did not want to bring in anyone, he wanted to bring players as we know, but it did not happen.”
However, Henry thinks that Arsenal’s first-team squad is now not strong enough to win this season’s Premier League title, especially given Manchester City’s impressive start to the campaign.
“Right now they are already five points behind City, still have not won at home, won two games by an own goal, which is actually their best goal scorer at the moment,” the former Gunners captain said.
“Ideally it does not look right now like they are going to win the league like this. But I think Arsene believes he can win the league with that team and that team is good enough. And that is his prerogative.
“I think he should have tried to bring players and I think he did try, it could not happen, but I still think that team needed some players.”
Barton, a free agent after leaving QPR, last week joined Burnley after West Ham decided against offering him a contract after talks.
Hammers fans had made it clear they did not want the club to sign Barton, but the midfielder believes any number of Premier League clubs would have benefited from signing him had they done their homework into his character.
Barton told the Daily Telegraph: “From time to time, people think it’s Charles Manson or Fred West that is going to come into the building, but that’s the ridiculous legacy I have, which is baffling.
“Most people who have met me know I’m hard working and I’m opinionated, but if you’re handled with respect, I’ve never had an issue with anybody. That gets lost with me from time to time because people start worrying about the baggage and how you’ll contribute to the group and how you’ll react if you’re not playing, which is lazy on their behalf. That’s how I see it.
“I think if you’re a Premier League club, anyone from 10th downwards, and you had the opportunity to take me on a free transfer it’s an absolute no-brainer. But they are lazy, they don’t do their homework so they tune into things you did in 2006, 2007, rather than look at what’s going on, what you’ve done in the last three years, how your family circumstances have changed.
“You go from being a single lad, who has had a lot of baggage and been in trouble, to starting a family, in the process of changing your life around and start progressing.”
Asked why his move to Upton Park fell through, Barton said: “Depends who you listen to. It just never got over the line. It was the 11th hour. It was really late and really disappointing. I felt I could have played there, but West Ham’s loss will be Burnley’s gain.
“They’ve got their reasons for not doing it. It’s probably a better fit for me here. It’s not Premier League football, which I wanted, but the aim is to be there quickly.”