This commonly used German phrase is usually translated into English as ‘Progress Through Podolski’, and I think it is time The Arsenal started Vorsprunging Herr Lukasgoalmeister more effectively.
I should point out that I originally penned this post prior to the game at Old Trafford, however, I think it is equally relevant today. If anything, more so, on the back of two recent revelations.
Firstly, the Lucas post Schalke interview to a German Journo where, in answering a question regarding his short time at The Arsenal, he revealed that he is less than happy being out left in addition to his defensive duties.
The second revelation came days later from Arsene himself, who stated that the role of the wingers in the modern came with increasingly defensive responsibilities.
While neither of these statements make happy reading, I think what is most worrying is when you consider our goalscoring options. Centrally speaking we have Giroud, Chamakh and Podolski. I would say that the first two offer similar tactical threats, leaving Podolski as the only one offering something different.
Any team should be armed with a minimum of two attacking tactical options, whether they are played in tandem or as alternatives for different phases of the same game, or to pose different threats to counter various defensive set-ups posed by opposition personnel.
My question, therefore, is how to get the most out of our asset?
I do remember discussing the possible acquisition of Podolski with Rasp in December of last year. Unlike Rasp, I was not convinced that he fit our style of play. However, I did my usual thorough research on youtube and noticed not only the number of goals he scored at club level when playing centrally, but how acute was his sense of positioning and off the ball running. He is a very instinctive goal grabbing opportunist.
Ignoring the defensive role of being wide left, I think it is unsuitable for him for two reasons. Firstly, he does not possess a good cross, and if he is to be out there, we can assume Giroud will be the target in the middle. In other words, we do not get the best out of either.
The other reason is that we nullify the effect of his greatest asset. His left footed Howitzer of a shot. This is always going to be at its most devastating when fired from a more central position, or at least coming in from the right. That bit really is fairly elementary geometry and angles stuff.
The other evening, Rasp and GiE were having a “stat-off”, and one of them stated that against Fulham we planted 39 crosses. Interestingly, after the game I was walking with Rasp and Peaches and I made the observation of how poor the aerial service to Giroud had been. The vast majority of balls find the Frenchman having to crane his neck backwards rather than thrusting his full power and momentum forwards and goalwards.
At this juncture, I want to hand over to you lot to come up with formations and line-ups that get the best out of the formidable armoury at our disposal. You are probably all sick of my 3-5-2 stuff, but recently on this site, elements of this formation were given the thumbs up by none other than that all round brainbox and footballing tactical bollocks genius, Mr GoonerB.
This works for me:
Or perhaps there is a 4-4-2 in there somewhere. Then again, is it simply an either/or scenario for Giroud and Podolski in Arsene’s favoured from three. Arshavin Podolski Theo looks nice on paper.
I like any player who works hard in an Arsenal shirt, and Podolski is foremost in that category. I just want to see him doing what he does best. Scoring 20+ goals a season. Something that will never happen stuck where he is.
Written b MickyDidIt89