Arsenal Debate: Wenger vows to persevere with Podolski – Is he right?

In the second half of the season, many Arsenal fans were clamouring for Lukas Podolski to be given more time on the pitch, then when he was finally reinstated to the starting XI, the calls started for him to be given the chance to replace Giroud as the out-and-out centre-forward.

Now the fans have finally got what they want but, but after two matches as the main striker, suddenly Podolski is making Giroud seem like he is a natural goalscorer! So the experiment doesn’t seem to have worked and Arsenal are struggling to score goals again. Many pundits have been trying to excyuse Podolski with the rumours that he is set to have some surgery on his ankle in the close season, but Wenger denies that and has vowed to give Podolski time to develop in the central role.

The manager said after yesterday’s match against QPR: “He has no injury problem. It’s only his second game now up front. We have to give him a bit of time.”

This follows on from Wenger’s comments after Podolski seemed to flop in last weeks game, when he said: “He was a little bit rusty [against Manchester United] because he had not played a lot. I believe it is his best position maybe because on the flanks he needs to work so hard and he’s more a finisher than anyone else in the team. Him and Theo are two finishers.

Despite the German being played at Number Nine in those two games, it was Theo Walcott himself who scored the only goal in both games, bringing his total for the season to an impressive 20 goals. Perhaps it really is time to give the Englishman the chance to play in the centre?

There are only two more (extremely crucial) games to go, so is it wise to stick with Podolski considering his performances in the last two games?

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61 thoughts on “Arsenal Debate: Wenger vows to persevere with Podolski – Is he right?

  1. Alhaji

    Yeah give him more chance..he just need to improve his movements so that he can get chances..we all know that he’s a great FINISHER!

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  2. Dave

    lol @ people saying “he’s better on the wing” after crying out loud for him to play centrally.

    Yeah, let’s judge people off two games, especially while they’re playing in pain.

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  3. Hafiz Rahman

    anyone who has real life management skills will know dropping Pod will cause a drop in confidence not only the player but the entire team confidence and morale….

    at such crucial stage…experience is essential

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  4. Alhaji

    If you put theo in the top9 the probablity of him to be marked is too damn high..then who will score the goal when he’s marked?? Stick to the poldi it give theo more space to score and poldi too can also score as well

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  5. Vic

    I say give him time arsenal are use to giroud, and u can see that he is not that kind of a player so the team must get use to him

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  6. AFCEdwards

    Wait, you were all calling for this weren’t you? Maybe Wenger does know alot more about his players than you lot. You’d do well to remember that

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  7. el gooneraldo

    Didn’t think I would say this but Gervinho looks more dangerous upfront than Poldi

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  8. Ricardo

    If Theo could header the ball , tackle , track back and help the RB defend once in a while. He might become a good player.

    Podolski, just needs some time , its only been two games for pete’s sake. he can and will play up front and score goals.

    Giroud is good and just needs some confidence. This is his first season, and the expectations where so high (RVP) No need to re-invent the wheel or go searching for a new striker. Just give Giroud and Podolski time / a second season.

    As long as we can keep the team together over the summer, and chop the deadwood, we will be in good shape for next season.

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  9. Sam

    Cazorla loves to come inside, Walcot disappears for most of the game. There is not wing play. When Podolski play left wing, he created many tap in chances (10 assist, without taking set pieces and corners like Theo) for Giroud and Walcot. Now fans expect him to take the ball dribble pass 4 an score on his own. Podolski needs The Ox, Wilshere, Rosicky and Cazorla. Player that are heavily involved in games and creating chance for the team. Not selfish play boost their own statistic for the season. TEAM FIRST, YOUR STATS NEXT…

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  10. Hafiz Rahman

    @ el gooneraldo

    do agree with you Gervinho look more dangerous..he dares to dribble and has great pace…

    but he lacks good finishing and experience…

    hes someone that could collapse easily when lack of confidence

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  11. landmind111

    Walcott and Poldi have scored goals and made assist from the flanks, that is what you want from your wide players, they are successful there! I don’t understand why fans say they should play in the middle if they are doing the job on the wings!!! What is the logic??? If it aint broke, don’t fix it!!!

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  12. para

    I think AW either don’t think he is ready for that position yet, or he is making him yearn it a little more. Maybe next season will be the change that we are all looking for, players played in the positions they excel in.
    It looks like AW wants 3 players playing in that position all at once, interchanging throughout the game, which is good, but it just is not happening yet.

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  13. Twig

    Sadly, Podolski is neither a world class centre-forward nor a world class left winger. He is an enigma. He can shoot hard and accurately though, and he can provide a decent cross (when no one is marking him). It’s now becoming clear why Wenger had persisted with Giroud for so long.

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  14. nickw

    I wanted to see him up front but to be honest I’ve been very unimpressed. I think Giroud offers more as a centre forward and Walcott is better coming in off the flank. Not sure what the answer is besides buying a new striker which doesn’t help for the Wigan game. I do prefer Cazorla in the middle though I think we create more with him there and put the Ox on the wing perhaps that could help with improved service.

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  15. Twig

    Benteke
    Oxlade-Chamberlain Cazorla Walcott
    Wilshere Capoue
    Gibbs Koscielny Mertasacker Sagna
    Szczesny

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  16. Marvin

    Giroud was giving the midfielders a chance to penetrate opposition defences…he can play alone and was a good target man….we can play long ball and he give more solution….Podolski is load different…he should play with another striker…he is someone who can be dangerous when loose ball came to him….Theo is too short and physically not ideal to play infront…defenders used their body weight to easily control him…thus, he become lazy and frustrated…..

    bang! bang! ARSENAL !!!

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  17. Sam

    Arsenal fans no longer love quality play. Fans are calling for Giroud so we can play LONG BALL AND DEFEND SET PIECES…THE CENTER FORWARD????? its pathetic how every body is been tricked to accept mediocrity.
    For now Podolski is the best striker in the summer a WORLD CLASS striker is required. Giroud would warm the bench at most premier league teams (LOOK AT CHARMACHK AT WEST HAM)

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  18. Ergs

    @twig agree podolski has very average attributes he’s never going to improve massivley at his age!
    Those who keep saying he’s playing in pain rubbish if he wasn’t fit enough he wouldn’t play!
    He’s just not world class and Giroud for all his wastefulness at times is a much better lone striker.

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  19. JackGooner

    it’s amazing how many ignorant people are determined to hate Giroud and find excuses for Pololski’s mediocraty down the middle.. Giroud’s hold up play is in my opininon second to none in the league and he adds something to our team that we haven’t had for the last few seasons. If we’re going to play Poldoski through the middle we either need a change of formation so that he has more support or a more direct “ball over the top” approach like Cologne play.

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  20. Twig

    LoL, what’s wrong with my lineup? Isn’t that the lineup all gooners would loooooooovvvve to see next season? :-D

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  21. Th14

    “There are three teams chasing those two positions, City are obviously going to be second. And I will play my strongest team out of respect for those two other teams. I said to Arsene Wenger after the game last week – don’t worry we’ll play our strongest team, we’ll play a team to win,” thanks rudolf, RVP do us this last service and take chelsea to the cleaners.

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  22. JackGooner

    @twig

    have you ever watched Capoue? I mean like a match and not just youtube clips? Not good enough for our starting XI, he’s behind Matuidi in the french national squad ffs

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  23. andy

    I’m not going to indulge and go into saying how much fans are lacking in knowledge of their football and question their real understanding in the game. The result will be very one sided from me aggrovated from disgust rather than a fair judgement and to be honest, I don’t know them. But one thing I do know and can say is this, a lot of the fans in football and not just us at Arsenal often catch the band wagon. It applies same here when people keep on asking for Poldi to play the central role when half clearly just imagining him scoring goals in that position than actually have having a clear analysis. I’m not saying Poldi don’t have the chance to do it, even Wenger has put faith in him, but many of you should keep an honest observation before jumping the gun. Voicing your opinion is everyones right but when you are starting to become critical on this matter and begin pointing fingers at people, then you have lost the plot really.

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  24. Sam

    HOW CAN SOMEONE WHO MISSES OPEN GOAL CHANCES (LOTS OF THEM AS WELL)BE BETTER THAN SOME THAT IS A GOOD FINISHER??????????????????
    JUST EXPLAIN HOW????????????
    GIROUD 33 GAMES AS A STRIKER 11 GOALS 3 ASST 64 PASSIN SUCCS
    PODOLSKI 31 GAMES 3 AS STRIKER 9 GOALS 9 ASST 83.8 PASSI SUCS

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  25. Greg

    Although he is not at his best wenger, should keep faith with him! Hey! We did it with rvp and look how he turned out to be a 30 goal a season striker!

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  26. Art

    This guy that guy….did you ever play upfront by yourself in a match guarded by two fullbacks???? Need 2 in the middle unless you play the wing game and cross the ball in. How many times did we do that against QPR ???not many, no matter what striker we have, he needs to get the ball away from the defenders, quickly, close to the net, otherwise he is just a CF not a striker. So I hope that Poldi and OG play together as CF and ST and both utilize their skills.

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  27. STAMINA

    Polddy, appears to be very lazy whenever he is on the pitch. However, could be Very deadly with his left feet. He should be given more time to adapt to his new role.

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  28. Ergs

    @sam
    Pulling the stat card out is the only thing Podolski has going for him right now his general play is poor and he’s bin average overall all season!
    Giroud and Cazorla have bin good signings take the blinkers off.
    I’d rather have Andy Carroll leading our line then Podolski Ivd rather see him paired up top with a partner the lone striker roll I the most difficult in football.

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  29. Th14

    @Sam as every one has established playing as a lone striker in a 4-3-3 is alot more than just being a finisher, or else theo would be upfront.

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  30. JackGooner

    @sam what open goals? if you’re referring to the Everton game then they were hardly open goals.

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  31. Sam

    JackGooner:
    You won mate, you convinced me Giroud is better that Podolski. So lets hope he scores 15 league goals next season and we get another top 4 finish.
    Im off!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  32. Previgo

    AFTER GIROUDS RED CARD AGAINST FULHAM..I REMEMBER SOME ARSENAL FANS JUBILATING..DAT HE WUDNT PLAY FOR D NEXT 3GAMES…. I SAID TO DEM… U’ALL SHALL REGRET DIS… HAVE U EVER SEEN GIROUD BEEN BULLIED BY ANY EPL DEFENDER???? DATS WAT HE GIVES TO US, HEZ WORK RATE IS MAGNIFICENT, HEZ NEVER DIE ATTITUDE IS WAT ALL OUR PLAYERS LACK… AND HEZ WILLINGNESS TO TRY JUST ABOUT ANYTIN IS WAT MAKES HIM A FUTURE WORLD CLASS PLAYER.. NEVER REMEMBER HOW MANY WU CALLED JUDAS WEN HE 1ST ARRIVED @ARSENAL.. WE STARTED CALLING HIM WORLDCLASS WEN HE WAS 28, GIROUD IS 26, WEN HE GETS TO 28 AND HEZ NOT WORLD CLASS, DEN U CAN CRUCIFY HIM FOR ALL I CARE

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  33. rosicky7

    Even though gervinho lacks composure,his movement and trickery opens up space for himself and others to score.podolski is a great finisher but he is static,he gives our midfielders no options up front.i cant see why wenger shouldnt play gervihno up front.

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  34. marko

    Podolski actually wins a lot of balls in the air! I felt he did all right yesterday, he just needs to remember how to play there.

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  35. davidrusa

    My disgust with many fans is that they are as gullible as they are subjective. All along I have been arguing that the issue is not either Podolski or Giroud but we need both. Right from the beginning of the season any serious analyst should have realised the strengths and weaknesses of both players. That’s why I argue that both should be played concurrently to complement one another. However if it was a question of choice between the two I would go with Giroud. The reasons are simple: Giroud is very hard working, holds the ball and allows others into play, makes a lot of assists, defends well on set pieces, keeps the opposition defences on tenterhooks and wins aerial battles. As for scoring, both players can score but Giroud’s additional attributes make him more favourable to me and I believe others have also begun to appreciate his value. I get amused when someone brings utopian statistics to show why one player is better than the other! There is no formula in football that if I score 2 goals in 5 games if I play 20 games I will score 8 goals. Hence trying to compare players using a constant model is very faulty. There is a dip in form for every player and that affects one’s performance. At any rate a player who has rested has more chances of scoring because he is fresh. My own view is that all these are our players and there is no need to love some and dislike others unless it is on very objective grounds.

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  36. Bob2

    Two games to go and we’re still talking what ifs?
    We deserve more than this next season. Two proven new strikers needed!

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  37. Vonmich

    Podolski and Gervinho out. These guys are simply not good enough. End of discussion. WE NEEDS FIGHTERS… With class if possible :D

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  38. Latimer victor

    I really don’t care where Podoloski plays, center or wide, the guy is good and should be given more time to play. Wenger himself made him rusty, the same way he is bound to make Oxlade and Jenknson rusty. Has anyone forgotten that Pod plays on the Germany National team? This justifies how good he is

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  39. dalinho

    @sam and every other fool on here!
    GIROUD 19 GOALS 11 ASSISTS and an alround brutand is far better than poldi would do at CF which btw stands at:
    POLDI CF 0 GOALS 0 ASSISTS and makes Arsenal play like 10 men with no contribution to the team what so ever but at least It makes WALCOTT take charge and get the job done himself coz he was happy to let every1 else do it for a while but poldi has made theo have stand in and get us CL

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  40. Mk

    It’s amazing how many try ignore Gervinho or try to label him a very bad player.Talent can not be suppressed and facts can not be ignored.Gervinho has what it takes to be a good striker .He can terrorise opposition defenders through his dribling skills.He can draw defenders to himself opening space for others.His goal tally Isn,t bad considering the number of games he played.He has shined at international stage scoring some crucial goals for his country.Among the available options he is the best to plag as a CF.

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  41. Wanchor

    NO NO NO NO. Get Poldi left Theo up top and chambo right. Give Santi a breather coz he looks tired and get Jack Roiscky and Arteta in midfield.

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  42. Kron

    I don’t hear none of you mugs saying podolski’s a proven striker now.. Giroud’s beast and is key to the way we play.

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  43. Va va voom

    Poldi through the middle again. We didn’t give him any service at all. Most he got in the game was a couple of balls booted upfield by Chezzer and he did pretty well to win them in the air against Onouha and Hill.
    But then again, Wigan will play a very open game so Walcott’s pace could be handy through the middle on the counter. I’d start with:
    –Alex OC–Rosicky–Cazorla–
    ———–Walcott———–

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  44. Fabalien

    All the players mentioned aren’t good enough or we’d already be qualified for the Ch’ league, so we need to buy world class striker we got no time to lose. Let.s get Reus and certainly not Remy as rumour has it. Wecan’t settle for Walcott or the Pod they’re not good enough, period.

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  45. Ian Matthews

    Wenger is dillussional if he rates Podolski.

    Sell him.

    We do not have one player in midfield who can dribble and beat 2 players.

    We do not have that in attack either.

    That is our problem.

    We probably pass the ball more than any other team but it is 80% backwards or sideways.

    Never any penetrating balls with nothing to run onto.

    Walcott would score 30 goals with this kind of service.

    Bring in somebody who can if you do not by Cesc back.

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  46. RSH

    Wigan aren’t a fast team. We can beat em with pace.put Gervinho down the middle and Walcott on the right would be a great substitution if things aren’t looking good again. Wenger shouldn’t hesitate to make the move

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  47. Saffat

    He’d do fine in the middle next season if we switch to a 4-4-2 formation. He’d then have somebody to play the ball off of like he does when he plays for Germany

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  48. Saffat

    Podolski would do fine in the middle next season if we switch to a 4-4-2 formation. He’d then have somebody to play the ball off of like he does when he plays for Germany

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  49. dan

    I keep hearing he is carrying a injury well i hope thats true cos he has been dreadful given nothing to the team we badly miss geroud would stiil like to see him at arsenal next season and if he does not improve then can be sold!

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  50. toumazis

    PODOLSKY forget him let him go not up 2 it,he is not the player use 2 it remember playng 4 bayern what aplayer was but not a SF.

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  51. YEMMY

    PLAY GERVINHO AS 9 AND THIS ARSENAL WILL BEAT ANY TEAM FOR NOW.
    PLAY WILSHERE AND ROSISCKY IN THE MIDDLE LET ARTETA BLOCK. I DO TELL U PODY IS OLD AND LACK FOOTWLK, GERVINHO MAY NOT BE TO GOOD AS STRIKER BUT ALWAYS DANGEROUS OF HIS PACY MOVE. CAN SOMEBODY HELP ME TELL WENGER TO REST RAMSEY????????????? OUR WORST PLAYER ALWAYS

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  52. YEMMY

    WALCOT CANT SCORE NOR TWIST TO THE LEFT. AND ALSO SCORE WITH HEAD.
    HE IS NOT A COMPLETE STRIKER AT ALL BUT DEADLY WHEN HE PLAY FROM RIGHT AND WHEN GAME PLAN CHANGES, HE CAN BE SEEN AT FRONT OR GERVINHO.

    WENGER IS KILLING THE TEAM HE SELECT RUBBISH MENNNNNNNNN
    THE MAN IS OLD AND CHILDISH AGAIN

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  53. sku

    I don’t see the team changung to a 4-4-2 so any striker will have to adapt to play alone upfront.I think any striker we buy will have to know how to do this. Not many top Euro teams play two upfront I can’t think of one.

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