It’s been reported by pretty much every media outlet including Internazionale’s twitter account, Roberto Mancini’s twitter account and Lukas Podolski’s many social media accounts.
It’s hardly a secret that Podolski will be joining Inter Milan on loan until the end of the season at least. He’s hardly featured this season and it became clear, about a year after his move from Cologne, that he was not a Wenger favourite.
He’d been mainly put out on the wing where he rarely finished a whole 90 minutes of football. And because of his ability to finish as well as Giroud’s ability to miss chances, there were calls from many fans for him to be played through the middle.
On the odd occasion that he was put there, he did very little to impress. A seeming lack of interest and being unable to hold the ball up meant his stints through the middle were short-lived. His appearances on the field at all became less and less as his low work-rate and over-reliance on his left foot were increasingly exposed.
It was brought to my attention by a few Arsenal fan accounts about the comments Berti Vogts, former Germany manager, made about Podolski in 2012.
He allegedly said: “I am happy that Podolski has left Cologne. He had too many friends in the city. He got praised as a great runner if he ever got back to defend three times in a game.
“He got an easy ride and he believed his own publicity. But now he has a coach at Arsenal in Arsene Wenger who will make him work hard in training as well as matches.
“If Podolski fails to train properly twice or three times he won’t get games. That is the way to develop him into a true professional.”
Wenger clearlt agreed and when we failed to score goals Arsene was criticised for leaving out Podolski. However, I have to agree with the manager in that when he did play he just didn’t put himself about enough to warrant a regular place in the team.
Although his social media posts seemed passionate and couldn’t help but make you smile, you wonder how much of a good player he could’ve been had he put as much effort into his training as he had into his branding and social media presence. There’s no doubting his ability but as is becoming increasingly apparent, that alone won’t make you a success.
In fact, it was via Instagram where he announced his departure from the club rather than it being done so on Arsenal.com. Then again, it’s hardly a surprise that everyone knows everything before the club belatedly announce it. They have history on that!
His departing post read: “I can’t express in words my gratitude towards Arsenal fans for all they have done for me in my years in London! Please know my heart always holds a place for you. I’ve loved every minute playing for the Arsenal & I hope I have left my mark on the club & fans alike. Hopefully we shall meet again! COYG #AFC #RedArmy #Fans #Poldi #Gunner #Thanks”
He’s been a great guy to have around the club for the past two and a half years and he’s become a bit of a cult-hero at the club where he was part of the team that ended our nine-year wait for silverware.
My favourite Podolski moments included that cockney rhyming slang session he had with Ray Parlour, THAT volley against Montpellier, celebrating with the fans at White Hart Lane and responding to rumours linking him with ‘the Spuds’ by saying: “hell will freeze over before this transfer will happen”.
It remains unclear whether this is the end for Podolski at Arsenal as he may return after his loan-spell ends in the summer. However, considering he’s 29-years-old and has been out of favour for over a year now, it looks as though Arsene Wenger will be saying AHA-revoir to Poldi.