Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wenger: I’m working on ‘striker’ Poldi

Arsene Wenger has hinted that Lukas Podolski could lead the line at Arsenal after indicating he’s been working on the player in training.

The 27-year-old signed last summer having spent two years as a central striker in the Bundesliga, but despite spearheading the attack on his debut against Sunderland has been predominantly deployed from the left flank.

With a creditable 14 goals this term, including the third in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Norwich, Wenger admitted that the German international has proved he has an eye for goal even if playing time has been limited in the last two months.

“Podolski was injured when we played at Bayern and won,” Wenger told Arsenal.com on Saturday.

“After that, we won at Swansea…sometimes you have periods like that and I think he can play as a central striker as well.

“I work a lot with him as a central striker at the moment. He is a quality player and when he comes on you can see that straight away. You don’t get 100 caps by luck.

“Honestly he has a great attitude. He never moans, he never has a bad phase, he is always positive.”

Meanwhile Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, another of the Gunners weekend super-subs, has spoken about taking confidence from last year’s run in as Arsene Wenger’s squad again look to secure Champions League football with a late charge.

“It helps to know that we managed to squeeze in last season for the Champions League in the way that we did,” said the England man.

“If you look at Wigan and the way they stayed up last season then I’m sure the confidence and belief in their camp is high.

“That’s what it does for a squad. Previous experiences can help you and contribute to the way that you feel the season afterwards. The fact that we did it last season definitely helps our confidence to do it again this time.”

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Kenyangoon

I wonder if we will ever see a 4-4-2 formation again. I see giroud being great next season and poldi as well, would be a headache for any manager to pick between the two in a 4-3-3 formation. Play poldi on the wing you say, but who gets benched in his place? Gerv, theo, ox?
Haha, wait a minute, with quality comes selection problems, i shouldnt be complaining. Its all good.

adi

I’m pretty sure we ended the last game as a 4-4-2. Ramsey went to right back. Walcott on RW, Ox on LW, Arteta and Santi CM. Poldi played central (as was clear from his goalscoring position), so did giroud.

non-mouse

There were a handful of occasions before Podolski’s goal when he linked well with the HFB, so things look promising for that partnership.

I think teams are so used to Arsenal dominating midfield with 3 possession players that a 60-70 minute switch to a direct playing style could really pay dividends. Norwich really crumbled after Wenger’s substitutions.

Arsene Wenger

The reason 4-4-2 is not favoured by most teams is that it gives you less manpower in midfield, which is crucial in the modern game since long ball tactics aren’t as prevalent now.

If we came up against a team with a strong 5 in midfield we could struggle, but on the other had, in our 4-4-2, we always could have one of our strikers drop back and help defend when we aren’t in posession.

Hmm…

Rufusstan

I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that formation in the traditional sense is becoming meaningless other than something for commentators to talk about. The best clubs are playing in a way that is far too flexible to be tied town. This season I’ve seen us described as a: 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 4-2-1-3, 4-1-2-3, occasionally by different media types about the same game. What it comes down to is things like this: Walcott is a winger, drives to the byline on the right. 3 minutes later he is in the box, waiting for a cross from Sagna. Is he a second striker… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

this^
Since the modern game stresses passing and pace, positional discipline no longer has to do as much with holding the position but more covering the positions, so swapping and shifting players in and out of places has more to do with opening option routes at the given moment. The problem with Arsenal’s leaky defense in mid season is that the movement of swapping basically left them defensively vulnerable – their attacking was undisciplined as compared to now.

Lec

The minute you started laying one onyo walcott, I started reading all this differently.

I can’t see Giroud being anything other than average. He’s a nice utility player, but we need an Aguero, Suarez, Falcao type who will BANG in the goals. If we had one we’d be amazing. Oh wait, we did last year and we still flopped. We really need one though. Giroud is alright. He holds the ball up well and makes loads of great lay offs, but I think we need a faster, cold-blooded killer up there. Would rather Podolski was starting ahead of him against teams that don’t try long ball tactix.

Glory Hunter

We are to the top 4, what Wigan are to escaping relegation! I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing!!!

ckmma

I think most people would rather we were competing for the league with manure like we used to. But considering the lack of resources in recent years I think its a good thing. Also it seems odd you would say that as your name is glory hunter 😛

Mikel Artekkers

I would rather we were competing for the league whilst manure and their little boy were languishing in the Conference.

john jensens goal

Resources have been really tight. We are having £5.5 million a year from shirt sponsorship, compared to £25 million that liverpool has.

Lec

Uh son, it is a bad thing. We’ve been fighting.for top 4 too many damn times wouldn’t you like us to go on ahead and challenge for the title?, I sure would.

Wigan would also very much enjoy a move into the top half. I’m sure they’re sick of scrapping for their lives.

P/s I want a stoke relegation. What am I saying, Top flight football needs that ffs!

Kenyangoon

Also if all players keeep improving like at this rate, next season myt be awesome. Provided no one is sold, for once i dont think any of our players are on any clubs’ wish list.

Boo-urns

Sagna?

Zeddington

Hopefully we show him the potential this team has, refuse to sell him in the summer, and he does a Theo next winter and signs on. His experience will be invaluable.

Aero

I’d hate to lose him, such a great player. I hope what happens to him is not the same as how Lauren’s last season panned out. From what I have read it is more to do with length of contract rather than money. A lot is said about overpaying players and our wage bill needs a restructure but I would have no problem paying Bacary a bit more or give him a longer contract just to keep him in the team. If we were ready to sell him or get rid of him then Jenkinson would play more frequently than… Read more »

Midfield Corporal

I’m not sure Sagna has a future as a RB with us, which is a shame because he’s been a great pro for us. He doesn’t seem to be able to take on the opposite full back and whip a cross in anymore. On Saturday he had make sure the ball was dead before stepping back like a rugby kicker to hit a cross that can’t beat the first man. That said I’d use him as a CB and cover for Jenks but I fear we’ll take the money rather than value his experience.

Rufusstan

I wonder if the issue with Bac still is connected to his long-term recovery. He has not quite been himself all season, but how much of that is down the the 2 broken legs he got last year? It may well be at the end of the season they look and see if his form now is a one off, and next season he will be back to his best or sadly, he will never get back to his old level. If he is OK, sign the man up. If the injuries have had a permanent impact, We could sell… Read more »

All for it

You are right, this team has shown to have fight and spirit; something Wenger’s previous teams have lacked

Saketh

well you know who vermaelen’s agent is ..

Bould's Eyeliner

Vermaelen’s agent works for Vermaelen. We know who Vermaelen is.

North Bank Gooner

Would love to see Poldi off Giroud, picking up those knock downs. He has shown that when he’s in there and a chance comes he generally scores.

Aero

The evidence is there to say he scores more centrally and ideally ot would be nice to see him play there more. The thing that has made the boss aprehensive about playing him there is the shape and balance of the team. Giroud is perfect for getting other players into play as well has holding up the ball. Podolski playing there means losing that CAM behind him so therefore we have to lose the effecitveness of Rosicky, Cazorla and Wilshere, which would be a disaster to our game. Had we lesser offensive midfielders you can bet Wenger would have been… Read more »

davethegooner

Very very well said mate!

Bould's Eyeliner

I agree with what your saying, and it is super I don’t think Podolski needs to move central. In the current way Arsenal attack, it doesn’t matter so much who is in the center, because it only matters when the ball first enters the final third of the opposition – Giroud’s hold up play to keep it there has been the most essential statistic for our offense to me, largely because our crossing rarely leads anywhere (and rarely does for anyone anywhere). So once Giroud gets the ball, it leaves the option of scoring, passing or dribbling (ha..), and for… Read more »

Aeon

I wonder why our cross is so bad coz in my mind i think Giroud is the best striker bellow 30 in the air.

Goonerworld

Oh yeah. I wanna see more of that hammer-like left foot in front of goal.

Aros

would love to see prince poldi more up front!

Adesola

I have no problem with Poldi’s performance so far. His first season has definitely not been a failure. And in how many season did our former 30goals-a-season-Striker better Poldi’s first season performance in a new League?
And talking about breaking the duck and getting the monkey off his back from that PENALTY he scored, he never scored in open play in 10 matches to me. So, I don’t know what the fuss is about him coming back to the scoring sheet. Anyway, he’s dead to me.

Prince Poldi, carry on! I love ya!!!

Adam, Watford

Ha ! So, what say you, Theo ? Central striker ? No ? Going to throw your toys out of the pram again because a better player might steal your berth. The one that was pretty much integral to you deciding to grace us with your presence for another 3 and a half years ? Why thank you, kind sir. I hope the extra dosh you are getting helps with your disappointment at this news. Now get on the wing and do your job for Podolski. I have been hoping for Poldolski to go more central for a while now.… Read more »

THEREISBEARCUM

1) He’s not actually reading this.

2) What even is the point of this post?

3) You sound like a twat. Wrap it up.

Fatgooner

Why are you so sure that Walcott and some of the other players don’t visit this website?
From what I’ve heard most (vain) Premier League players frequently peruse their club’s fan sites, desperate to know what we think about them.. And Arseblog is the most-visited site for Gooners.

So, Theo, sort yourself out – ok?

ckmma

Hmm, thats never occurred to me, which players would actually read the comments section here though? Maybe Chambo and Jenkinson, I have a feeling the British players are more likely for bragging rights, I would love it if Jack reads this stuff, maybe it will give them a boost. I have a feeling they also watch highlights of themselves on youtube, I wonder if they actually defend themselves and we don’t know its them, it would be amazing if Ramsey was actually responding to critics on the internet without people knowing…

Bould's Eyeliner

I honestly doubt though that they’d really take the time to sort through all our comments – this takes me about an hour every time there are a few new articles… Could you imagine the first string just sitting around with their laptops going
“Oh, blimey, look at what this bloke wrote about you Theo”
“That fucker.”
“Giroud, people are going gay for you”
“Fantastique~”

Midfield Corporal

Thereisbearcum- do you ever have an opinion on The Arsenal? All you ever do is belittle other people’s comment and call them childish names to make yourself feel self important. Maybe try putting forward an opinion yourself for others to disagree with.

Frog

Heh. Ya you twat!

Lec

Now who let ^^ this one out?

Adam, Watford

Dear Bearcum, I am sure I shouldn’t reply but since you made the effort, out ofpoliteness, so will I. 1) I know Walcott is unlikely to be reading this. I was using something called artistic licence or some sort of device for which those better versed in literature, no doubt, have a big word, or maybe a small word. 2) The point being that if Poldi is being groomed as a ‘ striker ‘ by Wenger then it will give Walcott even less outings in a position he made a bit of a fuss about being deployed in, before signing… Read more »

Matt

I’m sorry, when did he throw his toys out of the pram? Other than saying “I’d like to play in the middle” – which he’s allowed to say if it’s what he wants, he didn’t once refuse to play anywhere else, or criticise the team, the manager, or the club. All he did was state a preference, and say that if he was going to stay he wanted to know he’d get the chance to play in the position he wanted. That’s not such a terrible thing for a person to do is it?

Midfield Corporal

In fairness Matt, he did sort of hold the club over a barrel, if we didn’t show him he could play up front then I don’t think he’d have signed a contract. I don’t really blame him as its his career but I think it’s created an animosity with some supporters which will rears its head whenever he hits poor form.

Adam, Watford

Agreed it is his career, however to run his contract down to the wire, and possibly hinder any plans that Wenger might be needing to make due to uncertainty about Walcotts future is a little bit selfish. If Wenger had decided to cut his losses and replace Walcott in the summer due to Theo’s intransigence then the media scum would have been all over us like a bad suit . . . Arsenal lose another top player and all that jazz. Considering how precarious this season has been, and particularly until just now, it is unforgivable and I would bet… Read more »

Lec

Adam watford doesn’t like Theo that much. This much is clear.

I think when @midfieldcorpral says “it created an of animosity with some supporters” you’re one of those.

Eurazian

Poldi doesn’t have the physical robustness of Giroud with which to lead the line, but we don’t necessarily need that. It should be noted that both Manchester clubs in the last few years have prospered with strikers who are hardly traditional target men – Rooney, Aguero, Tevez, etc. Even when Gervinho has played in that role, the team has played well even if he hasn’t finished the chances. If the rest of the team can learn to play to Poldi’s skill set, he can become very successful as a lone striker.

Mayor of the Woolwich

Wenger…the Magic Wonder! And, when he finishes his work on him, Poldi himself will be proud of himself, and become the envy of the whole of Europe. IN ARSENE WE TRUST

goonerdan

Don’t wanna count my eggs but next season is looking prretty optimistic atm. Starting XI and squad players happy, ooo im so excited.

goonerdan

*slaps self* calm down Daniel we still have 6 games to go

Alex

Just hope this doesn’t mean that Wenger won’t buy another striker this summer! Well chuffed with our result on Sat and will be staying awake to 2am Wed to watch us again. COYG!!!

skunk killa

Alex from new delhi?

Alex

From UK but live in Bangkok now

rijojohn85

I don’t see what the big fuss about Poldi is! He’s actually done better than my expectation when he came into the squad! And i honestly love Giroud! I feel he’s someone we’ve been lacking for sometime ! A little improvement I’m crossing and he should be scoring a lot more! We don’t play to his strength, but he still has scored! He was involved in all of the three goals last game! I thought his knock down to Theo for the last goal was brilliant!

Eurazian

I like Giroud a lot too, but he’s still got some work to do before he can cement himself as the undisputed number 1 striker at Arsenal. He is frequently outstanding at winning the ball in the air and bringing his team-mates into play, but he has disappointed in other areas – his shooting and poaching instincts, relative lack of mobility, and ability to create his own shot. I think he can improve, and hope he does, because he is a handful for defenders.

Erwandy

The recipe for success is when Poldi and Giroud are paired. Just look back when both of them are on the field and it is hard not to notice the scoring/assists success ratio between both of them. If 4-4-2 is needed then by all means we have to do it!

Mayor of the Woolwich

…and for Chambo’s case, I’m sure such experience will help the team to League and cup double next season.

COYRRG!

Aero

Ox’s performance showed how far this team has come, typically our subs would come and kind of do the same thing as those playing before, Theo and Rosicky are probably the only ones who have a better chance of changing games when coming on but Chamberlain’s directness, confidence and ‘FUCK YOU NORWICH’ attitude helped us win that game. HE took it upon himself to change the game he started that move off and played that ball in. From what I saw no one else tried remotely the same thing. Credit to Ox for not letting lack of playing time and… Read more »

Goon

When we attack past the half way line he can drift into a central position, which both wingers already do.

davo57

Our Manager is praising many players in this last run of success. Cazzola, Podolski, Girvinho, Gibbs , Rosicky and Giroud. This is great. Good for the players good for the fans. Good for the Manager too to associate ones self with those who are succeeding, especially after a ninth successive trophless season. I hope this does not mean the Manager can say ” Well the whole team is playing well so no need to open the warchest in the summer”. With the team playing well, ECL all but guaranteed and a bunch of expensive deadwood still on the books limiting… Read more »

Zeddington

It would indeed be interesting if Wenger were actually looking to play him up front. I quite like the sound of the rumors about Jovetic and/or Gotze (and I understand that they are just rumors) – they would certainly make sense if Poldi was seen as a central striker with Cazorla left, that means there is space for competition with Jack for that CAM role.

All conjecture at this point.

Rad Carrot

I’d urge calm on all fronts. We’re highly optimistic this morning but there’s still a potential of 18 points to win this season, and we need to get as many of those in the bag as we can. Plus, as much as I hate to say it, the last two wins have been nail-biting stuff against lesser opposition. We’re up against Everton tomorrow, then salford two games later, and we need to make sure we get something from both games to have a shout at the top-four. Plus, I don’t want those cunts winning the title at our home. Also,… Read more »

idk

Our attack was completely shuffled from last year to this – hence the poor start. We won’t have to deal with that next season 😉

Harish

I think there is more optimism this year because not only are we winning, we have genuine impact subs and creative substitutions. I genuinely forgot the last season where we had a team of players we can rely on who will start as well as who will come on. I can’t even pinpoint who will start anymore, previously for me it has always been so obvious! Every man could be made out a couple days before a game (last min injury aside). Now it’s all open, and I couldn’t be happier! The best thing though is that next year the… Read more »

RadCarrot

All true, but remember the chav game? That was less than three months ago, and we were getting beat – so we looked to the bench, and saw two young, raw midfielders, three defenders and a chunk of a man short of confidence. We didn’t have a game changer, which shows that we’re still light on the ground – a couple of injuries, and we’re in trouble again. Again, not trying to be downbeat – I’m pretty optimistic about the end of this season and the next – but it can all change in an instant with the Arsenal, for… Read more »

Harish

You make a fair point, but that’s why I also noted creative substitutions. Wenger pretty much used the same 11 players for around 4 months at the beginning of the season and played players where they didn’t look ideal (Ram as RW, Gerv as ST), then injuries happened around January, new players got rotated and everything went pear shaped. Lately, Wenger has been rotating player at a much better standard so everyone is more confident out on pitch. With that being the case, and now Wenger using form and more unusual mid-game winning tactics, it seems to have played into… Read more »

Giroud's less hot cousin

I wanted to type this super long thing about potential signings, Sagna’s contract and other tired-ass shit regarding money, but I thought it’ll be better to bring up the hilarity of Norwhich’s keeper crying himself to sleep Saturday evening after Poldi made him piss himself with that fingertip save AND scored in the space of 5 mins.
Ps. the thought of Poldi playing striker with Giroud in front of Santi, Jack and Mikel just makes me want to jizz time and time again.

Aziz, KL-Malaysia

Arsene, don’t “work” on him as … just put him into the damn central striker position … He’s almost as clinical as Klinsmann decades ago, look at the places from WHERE he made his goals – from the center !!
Even if he would have wasted as well half the clearcut chances of Giroud and Gervinho, he would be top of the golden boots table – by miles ….

Gurri

I don’t see why its so much talk going on about playing 4-4-2?! It ruins the CAM role and if so cazorla would be played on the flank and i thing the team would lack som speed then.

Anyway strengthen up with a decent central defender is really needed. Hopefully someone really good would comes in to make the competition in midfield better.

Next season is ours!!

YG Gooner

How about playing like this

Sagna Mert Kosc Gibbs

DM
Wilshere Arteta
Cazorla

Podol Giroud

Arsene Wenger

4-4-2 is not always two banks of 4.

For exmple, you can have 4-1-2-1-2

Which gives you a DM, 2 midfielders and a CAM.

The only issue is whether Arteta/Ramsey can play that lone DM role, which I don’t think they can.

IceCoolMilkyT

We don’t have tough enough midfielders to play 442 against the best.

Giroud is the perfect striker except he does everything too slowly. That’s why most of his good work is from a first touch.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Having read the comments above, I get the feeling that the “eggs are being counted before they have hatched”. Yes the table does look good right now, but come on, its not like a top 4 has been secured already. Arsenal have so far shown patchy form, and while its definitely one of the highs right now, lets not get carried away. Lets take it one match at a time, and while each win gets us closer to the target, but we will all do well to keep in mind, that there is still only one point in this. I… Read more »

Arsene Wenger

Yeah, this is true. Last month, Sp*rs fans were thinking they could clinch second. Look at them now, CL football is not even in their hands any more.

A N Other

But Sp*rs always fuck up at the end of season. They should have known better.
Anyway its time we should get a bit optimistic. It has been really bad for us fans for last few years nothing much to cheer about except beating Barca at home and beating Sp*rs black and blue…

I hope AW signs a back up for Giruod in the summer.

Fatgooner

Why has it taken so long for Wenger to consider playing Podolski as a central striker? Ridiculously, he has preferred to play Gervinho up there instead of an experienced German International.

Dave Gooner

I agree FG. But is there some problem with LP’s fitness? He rarely plays the full 90, and that is certainly not for reasons of his performances which have been uniformly excellent and committed in my opinion. So fully fit he should be an automatic starter. And I am interested to see Arsene’s comments – he has had success in bringing strikers in from the wing before, to be fair. This is a big big game tomorrow. David Moyes remarks on Saturday’s MOTD about the (clear) penalty decision were petty I thought (but then isn’t he always when it comes… Read more »

Fatgooner

Shouldn’t LP be a long player?

arseblog

heh

Dave Gooner

Nice one.

OzHamish

Striker Poldi would give us some interesting rotation options, I like it. He obviously has the finish for it. Thing is he might not have the physical and positional awareness that Giroud has, not for a full 90. So if he was lets say starts on the left, behind Giroud, but is given the freedom to move into the center when need be, either Nacho or Gibbo could provide support from behind him? I mean it seems as though he drifts center as is anyway, I mean he’s scoring his goals from there at least.

non-mouse

Apart from their game against Spurs, Man City have an easy run in. They’ve also a game in hand. I think the contest for 2nd place is pretty much over.

With Man Utd, Everton, Fulham (away) and Newcastle (away) still to play, I don’t think fans should be feeling complacent.

Arsene Wenger

At least Tim Krul is out for the season for Newcastle.

I reckon he’d make a mess of his underwear coming face to face with the team that put seven past him anyway.

non-mouse

It’s totally backwards, but I’d actually feel more confident about the upcoming game if Newcastle’s recent form had been better. As it stands, they’ve made a right mess of their season, considering their squad, and they might still be battling to avoid relegation by the time we have to play them.

Fulham are, of course, traditionally strong at home, but they have little to play for. So, I think they’ll be an easier task than the Geordies.

Adam, Watford

Hopefully Stoke will have sewn-up the third relegation place by then !

hmm

this is weird. Wenger is acting like nobody knew Poldi could play as a striker and all…

gues what, it’s his natural position! You dont need to work on it or think abt deploying him there. Just do it since that is where he wants to play and has been playing for a few years now!

Pat Rice

Podolski is a better player than RVP for me. Don’t refute me straight away. The reasons why I say this are: 1. Podolski is a far physically stronger player. He can’t really get pushed around. His muscle built and strength is undoubtedly more. If he and Van Persie were to have a one on one fight. Podolski would kill him inside 2 – 3 minutes. 2. Podolski is versatile. Can play in the wings as well as central striker. 3. The power of Podolski’s shots are probably unmatched. 4. He can volley better than Van Persie (I’m saying this despite… Read more »

cakmak

Podolski as striker? Wenger playin’ too much fifa, right?

Bonni

I just want the coach to instruct the strikers once they are in the box, not to try to dribbling the goalkeeper once he can see chance of put the ball in the net or give the ball to other, its not good to be playing selfish this time around and cause the team points again. And this should also applies to the midfielders as well, selfish no room in the team now and to the defenders please communication is needed with goalkeeper and everyone at the back….slow play does not work ever!

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