A goal/assist every 103 minutes: can we really let LP09 go?

cropped-pod-pic.jpg

Lukas Podolski just turned thirty, yet he has played 125 senior games for Germany (48 goals), and 321 club games (114 goals) already. I find it weird to believe that he is only thirty as it feels he has been around forever. Yet, he has a number of good years ahead of him and could still play a vital role at Arsenal.

During his three seasons at Arsenal, Prince Poldi has played 4000 minutes for the mighty red and white and amassed 39 goals (27) and assists (12) for us; that’s a goal or an assist in every 103 minutes on the pitch. I understand why Arsene allowed Lukas to go out on loan to Inter this season: the German wanted to play regular football, which is commendable, and we had Alexis on the left wing playing superbly. Yet, I reckon we missed him, especially in our two games against Monaco when we needed a super-sub to come and get us a goal.

To be successful, we need a super-sub who can come in and do a cold-blooded job in a short period of time. For example, we had Wiltord who scored 44 goals in 173 games between 2000 and 2004, and before that Davor Suker who scored 8 important goals in 22 matches.

I cannot think of a better candidate for this role than our Prince. When the pressure is on to get an equaliser or a winner, time is running out and the next decent chance will need to be converted, we will want it to fall to LP09’s left foot: It’s precise, powerful and deadly. He is also a good passer of the ball which is partly reflected in his impressive assists tally.

Theo was used regularly last season as a late super-sub, but he hardly had an impact on the games. Sanogo and Wellbeck are options but for me they are not efficient/clinical enough to really make a difference. Wenger might be after another quality, more all-round attacker this season: one who can play on the wing as well as in the centre and is better equipped to help out defensively as well. If this is the case, Lukas will likely be let go, as that player might also take on the super-sub role.

Yet, if we can afford it, we should have a proven super-sub on top of Giroud, Alexis and whoever we will get. For me, it is a no brainer to keep Lukas but key is that Wenger re-motivates him to accept the role of super-sub and be part of something big. Maybe the German’s disappointing stint at Inter will have helped him to reassess his options and accept his faith. Both Arsenal and Lukas would benefit tremendously if this were to be the case imo.

But what do our fine fellow blog-Gooners think?

By TotalArsenal.

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25 Responses to A goal/assist every 103 minutes: can we really let LP09 go?

  1. frank says:

    He is waaaaaay past his sell by date.
    Think of Arsenal’s front six – where can you place the plodding Podolski?
    If anyone still wants to keep Podolski, remember the FA Cup final last year. Absolutely invisible. Not a big game player. Take £5m for him and wish him well.

  2. Prince says:

    In the words of that chubby bloke ‘Meatloaf’- “…and you took the words right outta my mouth…”

    @BKs- hope your all well. Keep it cool

  3. Gerry says:

    If I go back to the start of last season, I said something along the lines, as long as Podolski would be happy to play a bit part season, then we should keep him.

    He clearly wasn’t happy with that. But what you are proposing TA is exactly that. Is he going to be any more happy with that now?
    He did not endear himself to Arsene either, with publicly stating he did not get a good bye message.

    I agree with your assessment on his ability though. He can be lethal in the right set up.
    But as I recall, in the ’12-13 season he was not lasting the full games either. Two years on, I don’t see that improving. And if he is only a ‘from the bench player’, he will have to have the team playing in such a way that suits him, and his game. If he replaces Alexis, for example, that would be a big difference to which the whole team would adapt?

    It all adds up to a move. Ideally he would like to go back to Cologne, but they were not keen last time. The Turkey move would give him financial security, but would their playing style actually suit him. I don’t see much of their football, but the players I do see tend to be quick and skilful?

    I like Luka as a person, and the players have all said he is a great fun guy to have around. But that and ‘fan love’ may not be enough to persuade Arsene? Especially as HT pointed out, spots in the squad will be at a premium, if the likes of Bielik are taking one, not being a ‘B’ list ‘Home Grown’ and all?

    If he doesn’t move for a fee, it might make it possible that a newly promoted Bundesliga side could afford him?

    Sadly, I think his time has gone at the Emirates …

  4. Retsub says:

    T A spot on with your assessment. In the final quarter of a game when we need a goal, no one is better equipped to slam the ball into the back of the net than Prince Poldi. All that and a smile on his face as well. That said, I don’t think it’s fair to ask him to be a super sub. We should let him go with our thanks to somewhere he will be appreciated

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome back, Prince, and no surprise you like this one! 🙂
    How is life treating you and what have you done to Oz and Alex?

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Gerry, good points. If he comes on, I would take Le Coq off and play 4-1(Ramsey or Jack)-3-2 with both Ollie and Giroud in the box.

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    I meant Ollie and Poldi

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    The thing is Retsub that Poldi could become happy in this role and win some good silverware in the process… what else is he going to do?

  9. Retsub says:

    T A if he was happy to do it, it would be a no brainer. Just can’t help thinking he should be playing regularly, even though it would mean dropping a level

  10. allezkev says:

    Blimey Total, that’s another interesting post.

    I kind of agree with all those who have pointed to his ability to come off of the bench and score important goals and how valuable an asset that can be…

    The only fly in the ointment for me, is his £100k pw salary…
    Not sure that Arsene would be happy paying that for a super sub?

  11. henrychan says:

    Hi all.. Long time no see.. Hhehehe..
    TA.. Maybe you’re the only dutchman who love Germany so much hahaha..
    Ozil.. Gnabry.. Podolski.. Zelalem.. The only one you don’t really rate is our BFG.. Hahaha..

    Podolski back.. No for me.. He can’t made it at Inter.. So he will never be good for us..
    With Vidal close to Emirates.. Even Wilshere won’t have enough time to play.. I hate to say it also Cazorla and Ramsey.. I wish it will be Ozil.. Hahaha.. But this Germany is one of Wenger favourite player..

    If Cech in.. Who will be sell or loan..?? I wish Szczesney.. Hahaha.. Why people think Ospina should leave..?? I don’t think Wenger will let Ospina go.. I never remember he did it with his only first year players..
    He used to sold our captain.. Hahaha.. I think he will do it again with Arteta and I hope Mertesacker also..
    Funny to think that almost our ex players especially captains.. Win the title after leaving us..
    Don’t you see it as a rare coincidence.. That Barca buy Vermaelen not to play him.. But to get a lucky arsenal ex-captain.. Hehehe
    So.. Maybe Spurs need to buy our captain to change their luck.. Hahaha..

    Very interesting what will happen soon in this very sort time..
    Onething for sure.. We will be a better team.. Hahaha

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    I would respect that Retsub, but I reckon he would slide into oblivion that way. Yet at Arsenal he could be very important, and I cannot think of a better player who suits the super sub role better than Poldi.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Allez, Allez Kev 🙂

    £5m for those additional points and cup wins would be worth it, no?

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Don’t speak Vidal Sosoon, Henry! 🙂

    I Am a big fan of BFG too. 🙂

  15. allezkev says:

    Ha ha Total, you make a good point amigo…

    £5 million is a bargain for the EPL title…
    That’s if Poldi can deliver?

    But if he could, then I’d be very happy…
    You could even say that Poldi is ‘Goedkoop met tweemaal de prijs’.

    I love Google, 😉

  16. Gerry says:

    Well starting the week afresh, we might have few matters confirmed, but wait and see, eh?

    I am expecting an HT ‘New Post’ to cut this short, but I did want to touch the conclusion of the previous post.
    Glowey, who like allezkev said, put his case forward very well, and in a very civilised manner, against a pretty hostile set of comments. His final one is well worth noting for their(Man City) up and coming youth.. It made me laugh because he sounds like me, naming the ones as potential good ones, only later to find real life mucks it up.

    He is probably not used to the way HT throws in a curve ball, and then pleads innocent for what he says after. I ignore his little digs at me for my mention of players getting some game time. The is truth Arsenal are not much better than Chelsea when the crunch comes. They did not play Loftus-Cheek until the title was won, and we did not vary from the core squad from January onwards. Understandable, but hypercritical to point the finger at others?
    I even saw a blog title saying we should not play Szczesney in the Cup games this coming season. I ask you, how are you going to keep players motivated if they don’t get any game time at all?

    But as far as restructuring the league to make it a little fairer to other clubs, that HT touched on. Well I have already sent my thoughts to the FA. If my email gets past the first hurdle, it might make its way to the Greg Dyke ‘Think Tank’, but most likely binned. It was not a pro-Arsenal slant, so I won’t repeat the contents here. But needless to say it did address some of the things HT raised.
    However, I did throw in a suggestion for a ’10 minute sin bin’ for the players who indulge in the the ‘professional foul’. That might make for a more open game where skill wins out over thuggery?

  17. geoffchase says:

    Hi TA

    Interesting two posts. Some quick fire thoughts from down under:

    A. Nasri would likely be better here, but he wanted titles as second fiddle to something better than thru hard work. I think he’s a lot like Santi. Not a master of pace, power, sight, or trickery, but a user of all. Where Santi is is now, after a few years is where Nasri shoulda been. Always a hard road for those types, and who knows what will happen? However, Kev noted, AW likes a bargain, so …. Personally, I think we could do better

    B. Poldi, I think impact suits him nest. He falls a mystery as to why with all his skills he can over deliver at a wildly outmanned Cologne, and equally for a not at all outmanned Germany, but not at Arsenal or Inter!? Weird… If he accepted the role, then yes, else, let him pursue a career at whatever level, where he plays more. A pros life is short, and he’s been very fair/good to us, so no reason to hold him back…

    That all said, we do need sudden impact off the bench. A star team vs a team of stars argument is brewing underneath all this perhaps(?)

    Cheers — jgc

  18. jnyc says:

    Hey T ..
    Thanks for giving me the stats as i thought they were.. impressive production. ..

    When i used to watch lukas for germany before Arsenal, i thought he was a hard worker. Id be surprised if the german coaches thought he was lazy, because they continued using him alot.

    That changed around the time that Arsene stopped using him. Has pod changed that much?

    Either way,nit doesnt matter, because it seems Arsenes mind is made up. And pod did go on loan complaining that Arsene didnt even wish him luck.. thats a no-no. Nyc_

  19. jnyc says:

    And about the Nasri post, i hate him as much as anyone who has left us. He was the most selfishly timed and opportunistic of all..also greedy..
    . He owed Arsene and Arsenal one more contract.

    At least rvp was on his last big contract situation, to me, more understandable. Nasri going with cesc made it like rats fleeing a sinking ship.. very disloyal to Arsene in the most difficult time.

    I also think nasri never, ever has produced much for all his seeming skills. Id like to see his goals and assists per min.

  20. Hard to start the week fresh for me, Gerry, given that I can’t get my Euros out of the banks here in Greece and I left my Drachmas back in the States… 😀 No posts coming from these parts, neither…

    I’m kidding, of course, just as I assume you’re kidding about sending e-mails to the FA… On the other hand, it’s probably no more a waste of time than posting in the comments here… Thank Dennis (or maybe TA, with these recent posts…) that we’ve got nobody traipsing around our brains and poaching our ideas on the transfer front… (Quick comment there: it sounds like WC is playing very well in the U-21s–even at the age of 23–and somebody should stump up to meet his release fee… Monaco seems to have the inside track with the Lisbon clubs and need somebody to replace GK… Too pricey for Arsenal, I fear…) More Smileys, eh…

    Which brings me to the topic at hand… Poldolski back to Arsenal as our super-sub? It makes a certain amount of sense given that we bought him to replace the guy who will surely be United’s super-sub (RvP)… Personally, I don’t see it. For a bit there, during one of his injuries, he was tweeting about his efforts in the gym, but I see Lulu as a guy who really believes that running–and other forms of athleticism–are parts of the game for the other guys… As such, I cannot see him making a meaningful contribution to our current group, nor taking a roster spot from younger and fitter players. If only we could graft that left foot onto some of our other attackers… Rosicky’s energy (and all those right footed touches) for example… If TA is writing about older (and former) players who might have a role to play, TR7 would seem the logical next post… (Arteta, Flamini…Oh wait, the BFG is on tap?… Keep them coming, I say…)

    Back to Lu-Lu… The goals/assists per minute stat does look OK, but stats lie. Trying to remember back, I see goals vs Galatasaray and Anderlecht but also a Lu-lu introduction being an element in our meltdown vs the latter in our home stadium. Also, I think dismissing Theo’s contributions as a guy who can help later on in matches sells him a bit short. That was a big point he won up at Old Trafford even if it was only a “cross-shot” (patent pending, as we say over here…) which got deflected in… (And he almost got us going vs Monaco…Don’t forget about the Ox either, who probably has a role to play even if it’s not in the first 11…) If Theo is playing for a new contract I think he can do at least as well and his little run there at the end of the season would seem to justify another chance as the new season gets going. If AW finds value-for-money in the market and brings somebody new in…BOTH Theo and Lu-Lu could end up making decent money for doing not very much… I really can’t say. Has the manager moved to the point where he’s OK wasting wages or do big contracts mean players have to play? Somewhere in the middle is my expectation, which says (to me…) “Theo, yes, Lu-lu, no…”

    As always, however, What (TF) do I know?…

    😀 Happy Monday…

  21. Oops, sorry there jnyc…didn’t mean to bury your comments with my drivel…

    Also, I think you make an interesting point about Lu-lu and hard work… To me, with Arsenal he does appear to be “working hard” but just looks so much slower (and less useful on the ball) than everybody else meaning he’s wasted if he has to drop deeper to help with the build-up. When he drifts into scoring positions, left foot hammer in the cocked position, however, he’s always worth keeping an eye on… I just think AW is looking for guys who can help in a variety of spots on the pitch, Giroud being the obvious model for the other forwards…

  22. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150629/petr-cech-agrees-to-join-arsenal

    Seems like somebody is gonna have to write a post… 😀

    This must mean that Abram-moo-vich feels that we are not a true contender for the title… 😦 Or something…

  23. Gerry says:

    It is not like you to offer a transfer item, HT.

    I think the Under 21s either flatter WC because of his size, or he has come on a bundle since I last saw him play. His big weakness back then was that he did not look like he could tackle very well. I am not sure I’ve seen him make a tackle in the tournament either?

    He certainly looks more mobile, and can play some good one touch passes … at this level.
    His buy out clause is pretty close to £34m, so I don’t see AW rushing in there?
    The other Portugese guy in the same competition looks much more an AW type for the front line, but I think his price will shoot up if they win it?

    I am not sure what to make of the Vidal situation. One part of it is the fact that he and Alexis are still involved in a very important gig right now, the other is the story that Juve have already sold him. That, if true, might be our first ‘pre-snub’?

    It will drag on a bit more if Chile come through their semi on Tuesday I guess. So unless someone else pops up that we haven’t heard of, I guess it is a wait and see job.

    As for Poldi, I think half is problem is the German manager telling he has to play. Clearly AW told he could not guarantee that, so now he is checking out Galatasary.

    I saw a blog ask the question ‘Koscielny for Bezema?’ Which is almost as irrelevant as ‘Ospina or Szczesney, who should leave?’ as neither take into account what the player might think.
    Ospina had already got the wheels in motion as to where he was going to be, long before the ink was dry on Cech’s contract. As for Kos, he may fancy the idea of playing out there for one big final fling. But another part of him clearly would like to finish the job here and win the league with us. Tough decision for him without anybody else butting in I would have thought?

    I get the feeling, after Wednesday, this TW will be pretty quiet will all the pre-deals being done.
    That should make a couple of people happy on here 😀

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks for the comments guys 🙂

    New Post New Post – Cech this out!

  25. henrychan says:

    Wow.. Petr Cech is a Gunner.. Hahaha.. Do we ever win to Chelsea when he is around..??
    With Ospina as our backup.. We will have a very strong GK..

    Petr Cech had been at Chelsea as long as our last PL trophy.. Isn’t it..??
    Still can believe we ever sign a very experienced (old) man.. Is it the 20years of Wenger.. Make him change his approach in players.. Hahaha..

    If Arturo Vidal come also.. I will think it as Wenger final year.. That he must leave a perfect legacy.. By winning PL and CL also.. Hehehe

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