It’s one of those you don’t need to wait for it to appear on Arsenal.com before believing it. For one, it’s on Inter’s Official Website: “World Cup winner joins Inter MIlan”.
It’s taking various interview rants, going to Cologne to shoot Mr Macho, ‘storming out’ of training, and aimlessly searching for his shinpads, for Podolski to finally get his way out of Arsenal, albeit on a temporary basis. We will not be seeing #RedArmy #COYG tweets from Poldi for the next six months, at least.
And factually, maybe forever. After two-and-a-half seasons at the Emirates, Podolski has all but waved London goodbye. For good.
It’s a transfer window where we expect to be stronger but we have kicked it off by letting go of some more players. At the moment when Olivier Giroud remains suspended, Danny Welbeck injured, Yaya Sanogo on the verge of a loan exit and Joel Campbell unfancied, Arsene Wenger, in his infinite wisdom, has thought it right and just to let one of those whom he had ranked as one of his strikers leave the club, without any addition or replacement as such.
One fact many won’t dispute is that Podolski was largely unlucky with the players he has had to compete with this season, as against previous campaigns in which he has been a shining star, of some sort. He did not get as many appearances last season as he did in the first, but with Ozil and Walcott unavailable towards the end of the season, he still got very close to his goal tally in the first season. But even with both not available at the moment, the irrepressibility of the newly-acquired Alexis Sanchez as well as the variety in pace and work rate offered by Danny Welbeck and Oxlade-Chamberlain have given Wenger good reasons to leave the German on the bench more often than he appreciated.
Maybe the stats were against the World Cup winner in that he had only scored 3 goals in 13 appearances, but how many of those appearances were made as a part of the starting XI? After coming on to win the match at Anderlecht, why was there no recompense on the following Match Day at the Stadium of Light as one of those to start the game. And if he had done so well in the ‘dead-rubber’ against Galatasaray, would it have been too much to give him a start at home to Newcastle?
Excluding penalties, Podolski’s shot conversion rate is better than every other Arsenal player’s own, including Alexis and even without looking at the stats books, no one quite can get so much power and pin-point accuracy behind a football than Lukas Podolski, as shown by some simply unbelievable goals at home to West Ham and Montpellier, and in the draw in the Champions League against Bayern Munich last season.
With the FA Cup added to our fixture schedule, beginning with Hull on Sunday, one would have thought it would be wise to have as many players as possible in the squad as fatigue and other stress factors could hamper the ability of the ‘regular’ players to deliver. The likes of Ozil, Gnabry, Walcott, when they return, will take some games to find their feet but we could still have made do with the ever ready cannon ball that could proceed from Poldi’s trusted left foot.
There are not many amazing teams in the Serie A, but when he begins to bang hard on a regular basis, questions will be raised as to why Wenger hasn’t done enough to convince him to stay. Letting him go could be one to haunt for the next six months.
And if he really does well there, he surely won’t be coming back; another potential stinger to Wenger, and Arsenal in general.
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