Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the injury list at the Emirates Stadium is the longest he has ever had to endure, but insisted that he will not be turning to Inter Milan midfielder Patrick Vieira to help him out.
Following Saturday's 2-0 home win over Stoke City, Wenger now has 12 players missing from his squad after Emmanuel Eboue, William Gallas, Tomas Rosicky and Armand Traore all sustained injuries.
While in-form Dutch forward Robin van Persie will miss the majority of the rest of the season after damaging ankle ligaments while on international duty.
"Yes, at the moment it is our worst season for injuries," Wenger told the Gunners' official website.
"What happens is that we have injuries in the same area. Last year it was defensively, this year it is up front.
"For example Tomas and Eduardo get injuries because they have been out for a long time. Then you have Robin who has been injured with the national team and Theo is in and out."
The Frenchman's mammoth injury-list suggests he will have to splash out on a forward in the upcoming transfer window, but he admits that finding one will be tough.
"Let's not dream too much in January that we can find a world-class player - that is what is needed to strengthen our team - who is not cup-tied in the Champions League and who is free," he said.
"You need a good Father Christmas for that!"
And the Gunners' boss also rubbished reports that former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira could be returning to North London, insisting:
"He is not a striker, and I don't believe we are especially short in midfield, I just believe we are short up front."comments