Arsene Wenger has confirmed Arsenal will still be without Alex Song for the Premier League clash with West Brom on Saturday and rejected suggestions the midfielder's absence has played a major part in the club's recent troubles.
Arsenal have seen their dreams of glory in the Carling Cup, Champions League and FA Cup all fall apart in recent weeks, with Song consigned to the sidelines with a knee problem ever since the Wembley defeat to Birmingham City at the end of February.
While acknowledging that the Cameroon international's injury has been a blow to the squad, Wenger insists it cannot be used as an excuse for recent disappointments - noting that the team has also had to accommodate a setback to captain Cesc Fabregas and will now have to overcome a season-ending shoulder injury to central defender Johan Djourou, picked up in Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.
"I don't think it's down to one player," Wenger said. "We would like Song back and we would like Fabregas back. We have now to cope with Djourou [being] out and he is an outstanding player."
The Premier League is now the only trophy the club can contend for, with the forthcoming game against West Brom at the Hawthorns potentially significant in that quest. Unfortunately for the Gunners, Wenger is adamant it will come too soon for Song to participate.
"I don't know [when he will be fit again], but certainly not for Saturday," Wenger said.