Bryan Robson was putting a brave face on it but you could see that he was cursing his luck.
West Bromwich Albion are surprisingly sitting in the bottom two of the Premiership table, goals are in short supply and his squad has been hit by injuries to four significant players.
The good news? If there is any, it might be that Arsenal appear to be in transition as they prepare to face Albion at The Hawthorns tomorrow.
Nwankwo Kanu ( hamstring), Diomansy Kamara (illness), Zoltan Gera (groin) and Kevin Campbell (ankle) all face a race against time to be fit for the Baggies. Fortunately, Hawthorns manager Robson has a large squad, but he could do without this inconvenience.
"I'm hopeful that a couple of them will be fit and I'll give them until Friday to assess their fitness," said Robson.
"I don't think it is right for the players to have any doubts in their mind right up until Saturday for a game like this. Gera has a groin injury, Campbell has an ankle problem, Kanu is struggling with his hamstring and Kamara is ill."
For Kanu and Kamara, the injuries come after they suffered a failure to qualify for the World Cup finals. Kanu will not be going to Germany next year with Nigeria, while Kamara has missed out with Senegal.
"Kanu was making good progress with his hamstring but then he played 20 minutes for Nigeria at the end of their game on Saturday and he started to feel it again," Robson said.
"We were hoping he would be 100 per cent fit by now, so it is a bit of a concern."
Robson has confirmed that Andy Johnson could join Coventry City on a month's loan, probably today. Robson wants Johnson, the Albion midfield player, to enjoy regular firstteam football as a way of improving his fitness.
Johnson remains part of Robson's plans and the move will not become a permanent transfer but Robson has refused to reveal whether goalkeeper Russell Hoult will be extending his loan spell with Nottingham Forest, which is set to end after the League One outfit's game against Hartlepool United tomorrow.
Johnson, who is in his fifth year at The Hawthorns, had his return to the Premiership cut short in January when he suffered a serious knee injury in a 1-0 defeat away to Fulham.
He has battled back after a successful operation but has slipped down the Albion pecking order with the arrival of Richard Chaplow form Burnley and Darren Carter from Birmingham City. Johnson, aged 31, who signed a two-year contract in July 2004, has been restricted to four appearances this season.
"Coventry have made an enquiry about him because of all the midfield players I've got," Robson said. "With him coming back from a long-term knee injury, I think it would be good for him to go out and get some first-team football.
"There are still some details that have to be sorted out with Coventry and it would only be a one-month loan. There's a good chance it will happen."
Hoult will return to The Hawthorns on Sunday after a successful month under Gary Megson, the former Albion manager, at the City Ground.
"Russell is due back on Sunday and I have to assess his situation and where my other goalkeepers are at," said Robson.
Albion drew 1-1 away to Arsenal last season and tend to rise to the big occasions. A home match against such a talented team could, according to Robson, be just what Albion need to revive their flagging fortunes.
" I cannot emphasise strongly enough how important it is to record back-toback victories," Robson said. "If that happens, suddenly we are in mid-table and everything looks different."