Cesc Fabregas will miss the first two weeks of the season with a hamstring injury, with Aaron Ramsey set to step into his shoes tonight.
"Basically, it is a choice of a young player or an even younger one.
"As well as Fabregas we are without Toure, Senderos, Nasri, Diaby, Rosicky, Eduardo, Song and Amaury Bischoff.
"I have never known such a problematic start to a season.
"The trouble is, when you have to play Champions League qualifiers so early, you push players and they get injuries, which is what has happened."