Finding a player that has both passion and zeal for a football club and also produces on the field is a great delight. To also find a player who is adored by the fans is just splendid.
Some players tick all boxes, some dont, that brings us to Lukas Podolski.
A German World Cup winner, capped more than 120 times by his countr, loved every where he goes and a real good lad.
If 100 arsenal fans are asked if they would love to see podolski in an arsenal shirt next season, an overwhelming majority would speak in the affirmative. Even Podolski would also want that especially with his latest comments:
They (Arsenal) are a great club and i think I can help them. I can confirm there has been no interest from Werder Bremen
The Big question is: can Podolski help this present Arsenal team?
First, he was shipped out on loan to Inter Milan primarily because he did not have sufficient playing time. Even when at Inter Milan, he did not get as much playing time as he would have loved and when he eventually scored his only goal against Udinese, it was greeted with lot of relief.
The problem with Pofolsski is not that he is not a good player, he is an exceptional one and I can bodly say thatvhe has the best left foot in the world. The problem with him is his overall contribution to the game.
At Arsenal, the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1 suits him as he can occupy the left side of the front three, but can he work as hard or be as fluid as Alexis Sanchez is on that wing? No!
He has said that he sees himself as a striker, but that experiment has failed many times.
Roberto Mancini prefers to play a 4-3-1-2 and Podolski, when he played, featured as part of the front two but as his heat map shows in the game against Fiorentina, he still favours drigting to the left, where he can cause more havoc, expecting his midfielders to lay the ball on a plate for him to slam it into the net. When that is not done, he cuts an isolated figure up front, adding almost nothing to the game.
German Captain, Bastian Schweinsteiger said recently:
in my eyes, he is often underrated……he is always in a good mood.
Technically, he is, but what Podolski has failed to do all these years is to understand where his strengths lie and what position is best for him. At 30, he is surely the envy of many players, a World Cup Medal, an FA cup medal and so many others.
My advice to him,go back to Cologne, he is a hero there or if he feels it might be too early to go back home, find a club in Turkey, Greece, France or so…
Podolski is too big a player to be an impact substitute and yet too rigid to play in a fluid 4-2-3-1 Arsenal team. 😉