Blog by: Puneet
The man from Germany has many fans across the world, including the socialite Paris Hilton, who thought in addition to his ability on the field, he is extremely good looking too.
But his good looks don’t seem to cut it with Arsene Wenger of late, who has allowed rumours to surface, that will certainly not go down well with the FIFA 2006 World Cup Best Young Player, Lukas Podolski.
Reports, as always, put out mixed signals, and some state that Podolski has asked for a loan to Bundesliga’s Schalke, in a bid to garner more first team time, to enhance his chances of inclusion in the German first team for the upcoming World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
It seems that Lukas Podolski may just be the next name to be added to the outgoing list this year, joining the mini-exodus that has already transpired at the Emirates.
Podolski joined the Arsenal just last season, where he made 33 appearances, finding the net 11 times in the Premiership. At 28, the attacking midfielder may just be taking a chance with the move, with a calculated guess that this may just be his last chance to participate in the biggest extravaganza in global football.
Let’s quickly take a look at why this supremely talented individual is in dire straits.
Podolski is one of the finest attacking midfielders to play in the Premiership. His versatility helped him find his feet in the first place, when he completed the move from FC Koln.
Podolski will never be the lone target man for certain, but he is a fantastic supporting striker. Podolski’s left foot is a beauty to watch, and promises a blistering shot, similar to the two he pumped in at Fulham.
He also has considerable pace, which helps him double up as a winger if needed. His control too is top notch, which he mixes with his creativity to find teammates in sticky situations.
What he lacks, is the overall work rate. Podolski rarely outruns his teammates, seldom falls back and almost never plays the entire 90 minutes. Now, as a forward, he doesn’t really need to fall back, because that doesn’t fall under his Key Responsibility Areas, but the other two are noteworthy, especially when you rub shoulders with the likes of Mikael Arteta and Jack Wilshere.
At 180cm, Podolski isn’t usually the tallest guy on the pitch, and that trickles down to his ability to head the ball, which is always a plus if you intend to score goals. He lacks the spark that would set a Sturridge or an Oscar apart, which is why Wenger chooses to play specialists in positions of plenty, as opposed to a jack of three trades.
Podolski is certainly a master marksman, but he will never be able to give you the confidence that a Bale provides on the wing. The manager will always be stuck in a “will he, won’t he” situation, and would rather bring him on at the hour mark, than risk an ineffective first hour.
Lukas Podolski is seen warming the bench more often than not, simply because he is inconsistent with his form. Last year’s 11 goals were not really a letdown, if you see that he had scored 18 and 13 goals over the last two years before he joined the Gunners.
So, if you bring in a period of teething, Podolski actually did quite well. But is 11 goals enough from a player who is touted to be one of the best German midfielders?
He averaged 1.6 shots a game, which is a tad too less for a forward attacking player. He did however grab the second most assists, with his 9 falling just one short of Walcott’s 10.
But Podolski rarely has shone against the cream of the Premier League, which is essentially the top 4.
In his last campaign, Podolski scored one goal each against Liverpool and Spurs, which are formidable oppositions, but are not in the list. The remaining nine goals came against weaker opposition. He has been unable to prove himself as a big game player, and that will not go down easy with Wenger.
If Poldi does want to cement his spot in the first team at the Emirates, he will need to recreate the class he displayed at Craven Cottage yesterday.
Scoring goals and creating sharp chances is the only way he can carve out a spot for him, because if Wenger does really mean to spend, the attack will get a greater share of the transfer chest, and that could spell the end of him.