Friday, 14 February 2014

Why Does Podolski Not Play Centre Forward?

Such a simple question, yet often misjudged. I think when Podolski signed both he and Wenger had hoped he could return to his central role but it seemed to fit better with the German in his often familiar left wing role. 

So it all began against Sunderland at home at the beginning of last season. A sweltering day and Lukas was given his first start as the focal point of our attack. 
Of course it was a day better remember for Giroud missing a glorious chance late on. *sighs*

It would be a while before Poldi made his return to the striker position and it happened to be on one of our darkest days in the Premier League last season - Swansea at home. Again his production was lacking.

This isn't going well is it? At this time Giroud got a slight injury but didn't return to the line up for several games and Theo Walcott began to get a chance and it wasn't until Giroud was sent off at Fulham that the German go another chance as striker. 

QPR Away

Another grim day for him. For those keeping track that's three games, no goals and not a single shot on target. 

Then hallelujah, we strike gold - Wigan and an inspired Santi Cazorla. Poldi comes to life 

Two goals, one a real poachers effort from a corner and the other a neet finish to seal victory. This left Wenger with a tough decision ahead of our final game at St James' Park. Does he stick with two goal Podolski or does he recall Giroud. He went with the former and we went on to seal 4th place but it wasn't a great day for Lukas

It ended a turbulent season as he seemed to fall out of favour but he kept getting goals from left wing. Much the same as is happening this season. 

As we all know Podolski got a serious hamstring injury against Fenerbache days after he'd notched a brace against Fulham. When he returned he made a big impact at West Ham and he won us the game by creating one and scoring another. He was recalled to centre forward on New Years Day as Arsène had made a New Years resolution to start him upfront more but again it failed 
Bendtner came on to save the day. Just let that sentence sink in for a minute.

So all in all he has started six league games as our line striker. In five of those games he hasn't even registered a shot on target. It's far from convincing. 

Aside from his poor record, he offers little in the way of runs, an aerial threat or any way of holding up play. Lukas has played that many times as a left winger that I truly believe he's forgotten how to play the role. I just don't see the clamour for him to start as the old fashioned number 9. He is best suited to the left wing. He appears to be a player that likes the game played in front of him, rather than with his back to goal. He also has a good understanding with Giroud. We need players that have an understanding as we have too many players fighting over who will drop the deepest to have possession. 

He is a huge asset to us on the wing but Wenger (foolishly) doesn't fancy him (not sexually) anymore. The bloke scores goals and this side is struggling with the loss of 21 goal Theo Walcott and also Poldi scored 16 times last season. So that's 37 goals missing from our front three. That actually makes it less surprising that we are struggling to break teams down. 

Why doesn't he play? I have no idea. 

Why didn't Wenger chuck him on for ten minutes against United? Answers on a post card. 

However, the truth is he has struggled as a centre forward and he's not even half the player Giroud is. The Frenchman is in a rut and due to the fact we don't have anyone capable of playing his role his is expected to play week in, week out. Somewhat unfair but that's the position we put ourselves in. Sadly, we have two massive cup games upcoming and I have a sneaked feeling we'll be seeing Super Nicklas Bendtner be in the side. Go on Super Nick. 

Just don't be fooled by pictures of him on Instagram and judge him by his performances on the pitch and inparticular upfront. 


  1. How was the pod played at Koln he scored plenty in a team that got relegated. was he leading the line or playing off a target man? He was not Lw. Why do we not try playing him how he was a success and getting goals. This is what we need at the moment we know he can break the net when he gets the chance.

    1. Liam, that's why I truly believe Wenger wanted him as CF but he's just forgotten how to play the role. Do you not think he is best suited on the left? Far too often Giroud is isolated. I look at games like Fulham at home last year when he loiters in the box and he picks up goals

  2. I strongly disaggree, There is no way Podi is behind Giroud. Giroud is just given a chance being the Boss' country mate. all in all Podi is the best. No Podi, no Goal for Wenger.Sigh*****

    1. I think that's a naive and unfounded reason behind Giroud playing. He has been scoring of late, just not in the big games.

  3. If Wenger keeps playing 4-2-3-1, Poldi should not be our lone striker.
    Still, Podolski should have the game time he deserves, not to be benched by some personal/non-football/unknown reasons (Yesterday agaisnt United was a great example).
    Only Wenger can do this to our players.

    1. I totally agree his exclusion is absolutely baffling. For a man of such intelligence he does make some stupid decisions at times.