After spending some weeks hanging by the pool, I’m back from suspension and ready to go. So let’s get this Doppelpass feature started. We’ve got some topics to discuss.
The first thing is about Lukas Podolski and his near return from injury. Poldi is back in full training this week and will be back to normal in about three weeks, according to Arsene Wenger.
During the last few weeks there were some discussions about whether he is good enough to lead our attack and take some pressure of Olivier Giroud upfront. Or if we need to get back into the market in January and buy another high-profile striker.
First of all I think we need to get another word class striker whether it’s in January or next summer. But that has nothing to do with Podolski’s ability to lead our attack. Podolski has not been used as a central striker in recent years when you look at the German national team. He has always been used on the flanks where he could cut into the middle. And with his left foot that’s a position he’s good at. But as I have written many times he can easily play as a center forward. He’s done that for cologne for ages as he has been the main target up front for them all year long. So if people think he’s not capable of that they should check his record at Cologne and the national team.
I also don’t get it why some are criticising a player who has been injured for the last three months. Podolski had a great first season for us (on and off the pitch). There’s probably no other foreign player who identifies with the club more than he does. Or can you think of someone who went to a local pub to watch some boxing? I cannot.
And apart from the fact that he can and will do more, he was interrupted by his latest injury. Podolski is a fighter and will work his way back into the first team. And even if he does not start every match, he is of the highest quality that we need to compete with the best over a long season. We need to be capable to get players of his calibre in and turn things around if necessary. So relax and enjoy the Poldi show…in about three weeks time.
The next topic is German players. I know we have a lot of them and there’s probably nobody more excited about it than me. But many Gooners seem to be more German focused than Joachim Löw himself.
We have world class German internationals and prospects in our squad. And that’s the best thing which could happen to us at the moment. But theres no need to go after every German player that’s out there. Not every player with a German passport is a good one. There are many bad ones believe me. We need to focus on players like Julian Draxler.
Just like we did with Mesut Özil in the summer; quality is the key. Many clubs bought tons of new players with “names” which has lead them to a midtable position. When Draxler was interviewed prior to the England vs. Germany friendly last week he was quick not to get into detail which club he likes best in England. But I’m pretty confident we are top of his wishlist at the moment. And with Schalke struggling this year to keep his star player he will be on his way out next summer. So let’s just focus on quality not passport quantity.
The last point for this week is Per Mertesacker and the question if whether or not he would start in Joachim Löw’s side if everyone was fit. People ask that a lot as he’s not rated in Germany in the same way we do at Arsenal. Per has been around for years and has always been a Löw favourite.
Joachim Löw knows about his qualities, his tactical ability, his vision on the pitch. He knows that he won’t win a sprint race against Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He’s the rock in defense every team need. A player Nemanja Vidic was for Manchester United some seasons ago. So in case every defender from Mats Hummels to Holger Badstuber was fit, I would still play him as a central defender. He has the experience to lead a team from the back which is what counts most in international tournaments. So yes, Per is still first choice for me when it comes to the German national team.
That’s it for this week.