Lukas Podolski seemed to settle into life at Arsenal football club as if he had been here all his life, but his performances have fallen away recently, and his international team mate may be able to tell him why. Arsene Wenger has noticed, and believes that the culture shock is catching up with the German.
“He’s not used to working at that level of intensity.
“When you come to England, it’s a shock. When Robert Pires arrived, his first game was against Sunderland and I put him on the bench. I said `Today you will sit next to me.`
“At the time they had Peter Reid and after 20 minutes (in which) they kicked us, he said to me `is it always like this?`
“In England, everyone works their socks off. There is no room for anybody to work less or you don’t exist.”
Per Mertesacker spoke a few weeks ago about how hard he found it in his first season, physically. He has proved this season that he can be one of the best defenders in the league, but he had to adapt. I don’t think it will take Podolski very long to adapt, and I don’t think it has helped him having Andre Santos behind him to worry about.
Wenger may consider resting the German, which will give him an opportunity to play Walcott and Giroud as a strike partnership if he wants. Podolski could then be a very effective substitute as the other players get tired. We don’t want Podolski to get burnt out, because he is a world class player and will be an important player for us this season. With a midweek game for Germany, it might be better to rest him today in order to have him fresh for Tottenham next week.