Arsene Wenger has admitted German international Lukas Podolski has been left frustrated with his lack of chances but insisted that with his ‘fantastic spirit and attitude’ he will be back sooner rather than later.
Podolski has started in just two Premier League games and made a total of five appearances. It must be rankling for a player like him to sit out of games, especially with the World Cup just on the horizon. He moved to Arsenal so he could make the German team but sitting out so many games will not help him do that.
Podolski has made an impact the few times he has been deployed from the bench and it is a promising situation for a player coming back from a massive injury layoff. Wenger is perhaps a bit cautious with him as he has seen too many players face recurring problems after being rushed back to the team after long injuries. The player too, possibly, understands this but is still frustrated with the lack of game time as was apparent with him shaking his head on the touchline after not being brought on as a substitute against Villa.
But Podolski can be assured that if he can maintain fitness, he will be a more integral part of Arsenal’s campaign. Arsenal will head into another busy period between February and March and will need everyone to contribute to keep alive their title aspirations. Also, there is only one recognized striker at Arsenal and sooner or later someone will have to step in if there is any injury or the more inevitable, loss of form.
Speaking after the Fulham match, this is what Wenger had to say:
“Every player who is on the bench is frustrated but Lukas has fantastic spirit and attitude and he showed that when he came on,”
“He will play. He has been out for four and a half months – it takes you time to get back, but he now looks sharp and when he comes in, he gives us something. First of all, he occupies the flanks, his left foot is intelligent and dangerous but he’s now physically ready.”
On Podolski getting chances down the middle:
“He can as well, yes, because in front of goal, you give him one chance it’s a goal with him. He doesn’t hit it in the stands.”