Lukas Podolski has made no secret of the fact that he is unhappy with being on the bench at Arsenal for nearly half the season, but he was given a great opportunity last night to show why Wenger should not be ignoring him. He played the full 90 minutes for only the second time this season (the first was the League Cup defeat to Southampton) and knocked in two goals in the 4-1 win.
He said on Arsenal.com after the game:“We came here and left some players at home but you could see the mentality of the team in the first half was very good and the performance was as well,”
“Of course we are very happy, we won away in Turkey against a good team. It is always difficult to play in Turkey, with the atmosphere and the fans, but we did it well and we won 4-1, which is good.
“I had the chance to play today and I always want to score, give assists and play well. For me it was important to play 90 minutes and keep going. It is not always easy to come in and do well so it was good for me to do that.”
It was good for him in two ways. It will either persuade Wenger that he should be playing more regularly, or it will make potential suitors stand up and take notice that he still a great player and worth bidding for in January.
This was only the 55th start for the German international in his third season at the Emirates, but he has now got 31 goals in that time. In the exact same period Olivier Giroud has started 82 times and scored 42 goals.
But who will bet with me that Poldi will find himself back on the bench this weekend? Use him or lose him Arsene!
Wenger gave this reason for Podolski’s bench time after the game: “It is competition for places that is difficult,” the Gunners boss told the club’s official website. “I had Welbeck, Sanchez and Giroud at home and you can only play a certain number of strikers.
“He came back later from the World Cup but he is now coming back to a very strong level.”
Can someone remind Wenger that the World Cup was FIVE MONTHS ago…….