Feb 13

The curious case of Lukas Podolski

Podolski

Following Arsenal’s disappointing 0-0 draw with Man Utd, many fans were questioning the decision to leave Lukas Podolski on the bench for the whole game.

The German has been a peripheral figure since returning from injury against West Ham on Boxing Day when, ironically, he scored and changed the game after coming on as a second half sub.

Podolski also netted a brace against Coventry in the FA Cup when he last started a game but has yet to start a game since.

The rumours are that Wenger does not trust Podolski’s work rate when he starts and this is evident in the amount of games he has actually completed during his time at the Emirates.

When he does start a game he is subbed 66.7% of the time, usually around the 70th minute mark which suggests he cannot maintain the high fitness level required to play in Arsenal’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

But while he may not be able to maintain his levels for 90 minutes, there is no reason he cannot have an impact from the bench if he is used for the final quarter of a game.

Podolski has the pace to run in-behind defenders unlike Giroud, Cazorla and Ozil while he also has a torpedo of a left foot that he is not afraid to use from distance.

Alternate option

When Arsenal’s intricate passing game is failing to fire like against Man Utd then the direct option of Podolski offers something different and the fact the he was not brought on speaks volumes.

The need to consolidate and re-group following the 5-1 hammering at Anfield was understandable and the performance against Utd was a mirror image of the 0-0 draw with Chelsea following the defeat at Man City.

The main objective was to keep a clean sheet and that was accomplished thanks to stunning save from Wojciech Szczęsny to deny Robin van Pesie in the second half.

But when you are chasing a title, you need to take risks and Podolski should have been given 20 minutes to inject some much needed spark into Arsenal’s timid attack.

Throughout the game Ozil was yearning for somebody to make a run in behind the defence for him to slide a killer ball though but it never came.

The German is a popular figure at the club and amongst the fans with his social media ventures but he seems to be nothing more than a glorified cheerleader for the team.

My feeling is that he will be sold in the summer and while it will be disappointing to see him go, it would make sense to have a player in the squad that Wenger trusts to do a job for the team.

And this is evidently not the case with Podolski.

15 Responses to “The curious case of Lukas Podolski”

  1. Colin says:

    Last nights game left me wondering why Wenger didn’t use Podolski, Bendtner Sanogo yesterday, especially as Giroud is looking off the pace. Surely, if he doesn’t trust any one of those 3 strikers above Giroud, whose performance against Man U was not convincing, then they shouldn’t be on the bench.

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  2. Hans says:

    Totally agree with You. Was just waiting for him to come in and make the difference we so much needed. He is a direct forward player and just as you write a player Ozil was looking to find. I like the Ox but he is still too young to be a match changer like Podolski who knows everything about the game.

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  3. Nelly says:

    Sometimes I keep wondering what usually runs in the professors head when he fails to bring him on in such games yet is capable & has been productive when offered chance.Instead of bringing on the Ox,Pod should have been the one to come on.Switch Ozil to the right,Pod to the left,Carzola behind the never impressing Giroud,we would score a goal.I think the reason why Ozil is off is the absence of Rambo,Rambo had formed a formidable partnership with Ozil & so his injury let us down

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  4. Noko says:

    Sometimes you’ll think that arsene wenger has a hatred over podolski,because yesterday’s game wanted a player like podo bt he kept giroud on,en he also replaced an experienced player llike rosicky wth ox come on wat do you expect

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  5. ozed says:

    Sadly truth be told, podolski does not have the close ball holding skills needed to fashion out a shooting space against a team like Man U with a compact defense, except if they are already a goal or two down (at which point they would be a little more open). He is certainly more clinical than Giroud once a chance is available, but he does very little to help create the opening unlike Giroud.

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  6. Abdulmajeed Abdul says:

    I hate to say this, but Giroud was not in the game. He spoils our counter with his wrong passes. Seriously, I hate when Podolski is not played. He is fast, has accurate shot and pass & ambitious just like Santi and Wilsher, I was expecting him at the 70th mins, but Wenger screw up and I hate him for that.

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  7. fidote says:

    Arsene, this is a competition, not a french trial or academy, how can you still believe in giroud and arteta? He can’t pass, head, and shoot on target??? You need to make use of your players ability.. Seems like all ur player are stuck with your stupid formation.. Leave arsenal!!!!! Fan from malaysia

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  8. kemsley okoh says:

    Wenger’s over reliance on Giroud is killing Arsenal. Even Bent’ner or Podoski is better than him. A striker who cannot score for over six matches is not worth. African supporters of Arsenal are going through hell. If Wenger is not ashamed, let him be ashamed for our sake.

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  9. SHAKESPEARO says:

    I posted yesterday my utter disappointment with Wenger in dealing with Podolski. If Wenger is treating Podolski like AVB treated Adebayor, he should just look at how Tim Sherwood’s use of him (Ade) is helping Tottenham. Why give the man number 9 jersey and fail to use him when he is a better striker? Who can shoot from afar and near with the accuracy of Podolski in the squad, even in the premiership? If Wenger gave him game time, Podolski would easily be in the league of top goal scorers in the league. What else should Podolski do again to convince Wenger – when he scores every now and then? That charge of laziness or not holding up play or not defending is a very naive and stupid one. If the guy’s strengths are his POWER SHOTS, GOAL SCORING, SHOOTING ABILITIES, ACCURACY, DARING etc, all of which we are badly lacking, why not let him focus on that and the team help him with balls for overall success? YESTERDAY WAS A BADLY MISSED OPPORTUNITY, and from the way things are, UNLESS WENGER CHANGES his course of action, there will not be hope. What must he change?
    1- USE PODOLSKI and give him more game time and play him as a co-striker
    2- Let the boys shoot the ball sometimes from outside the box, and they will score goals. Yes, we have the chance of winning, but if we continue to do the same thing, without improving, why should we expect a different result?

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  10. Ronnie says:

    Giroud helped creating the openings?
    How many openings he created in the past 2 games, in the past couple of months?

    He lost possessions more than he held the ball up.

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  11. kendo says:

    i seriously think podolski should come instead of the ox.cos we had more space on the left

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  12. Steven Coulter @weecoulter says:

    There is absolutely no need for Podolski not to get some game time. He is by far our best finisher. If Giroud was German and Podolski was French, would it be different?

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  13. Agina Anthony says:

    Wenger is creating great pains on arsenal fans, due to his prefrains in using Giroud, who have never been able to score any goal for long now, while we have players like podoski and Bentnand, who I believe could have done better. Wenger is making some of us fans, believe he has something with Giroud, as been a french man. How the other strickers improve when you dont give them playing time as Giroud is giving. We lost to Man. United becouse Giroud was not in place to be connected with Ozil, Cazolla and players asissts. Wenger should try other strickers in other games. Ozil needs a good stricker who can run in possition for good passes. Lossing to win any title this season, Wenger has to carry all the blames. Gunners 4ever.

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  14. Jap's Eye says:

    Playing with a loan striker and five shot shy midfielders at home to League One opposition is one crock of shit, but playing the same against unarguably the most shit Man U side to come visiting for decades is simply a disgrace.

    But, M. Wenger is paid £7m a year to pick the side and he thinks that Giroud will get there.

    Sadly M. Giroud has a miss rate that makes the great Andrew “Andy” Cole seem less of a twat. On the other hand, Andy was a proven 30 goal striker when he hit the target…..

    On Wednesday we looked like a side that didn’t give a fuck about winning. Wenger wanted not to lose and let two valuable points get pissed. So once again we fucked up the chance to go top. Fucked up a chance to beat one of our perennial rivals.

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  15. Noko says:

    For arsenal to be strong again mr arsene wenger must sign more players who hv hunger,skillfull en strong physicality

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