Lukas Podolski has completed his loan move to Inter Milan, where he will spend the next six months before leaving the Arsenal permanently. His career in London is all but over, shall we have any regret seeing this world champion leaving? I don’t have any.
Honestly, I am not dazzled by his goal-scoring record; he scored 31 goals in 82 games for us, some of them were beautiful and important but his overall contribution over the past three years has been quite poor. As much as he’s been played out of position, didn’t get enough minutes on the pitch or wasn’t trusted enough, his performances were often poor. He can score goals but he can’t beat an opponent, he has zero skills and he rarely makes goals for his team-mates, how can he have an impact? Moreover, he’s defensively inept.
I do believe we can expect a lot more from a player who is rumored to be on £ 90,000 a week (didn’t really have a chance to look at his bank account, recently).
In my opinion, it’s no coincidence he failed at Bayern Munich and failed again here, he’s only real success were the two stints at FC Köln, where he was the star and pressure wasn’t the same. Coaches like Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jürgen Klinsmann, Joachim Löw and Arsène Wenger gave him a chance, waited a bit and then turned to different options.
Would you say none of them really knew how use Lukas Podolski or would it make more sense to say the player didn’t match their expectations?
When you are a one-dimensional player like Lukas Podolski, you have to be exceptionally good. You can’t be Lukas Podolski, you have to be Filippo Inzaghi or your name won’t be the first one on the team sheet. At his peak, the Italian could be annoyingly useless but you knew he would score from the first half-chance you would offer him. He couldn’t pass, couldn’t beat an opponent and couldn’t shoot from outside the box (forget about creating a chance for a team-mate!) but he was always in the right spot at the right moment. If you don’t reach that level, you are destined to fight for your place in the team and possibly warm the bench.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for his enthusiastic approach, the great relationship with supporters he ably created and his amazing PR skills, Lukas Podolski would have been another Andrey Arshavin or another Nicklas Bendtner – nothing more, nothing less.
As said, no regrets for me – maybe some frustration because the game he played against Galatasaray away from home showed he could do a great job on the wing.
Unfortunately that was the exception, not the standard.
So goodbye Lukas, have fun in Italy.
Thirty-something Italian, currently in Switzerland. Gooner since mid-ninties, when the Gunners defeated my hometown team, in Copenhagen. Twelve years ago I started my own blog (www.clockenditalia.com) after after some experiences with Italian websites and football magazines. Debate, don’t insult or you’re out.