Podolski: A Signal Of Intent On And Off The Pitch

So the worst kept secret in football is out; Lukas Podolski has signed for Arsenal and there is an optimism that he will be the first high quality signing that the club makes this summer. That Arsène wanted a goalscorer can be interpreted in many ways and is being so. His comments about over-reliance on the best centre-forward in the world hinted that he would look to redress the balance in the team for next season, a  more fluid goalscoring threat. With Theo Walcott improving his productivity, scoring is going to be more evenly spread. Or so the theory goes; practice may be altogether more different but history will be the judge of that.

For Arsenal, signing a player who at the age of 26 is fast approaching a century of caps in the German national team with a record at that level of a goal every other game is impressive although playing in the wide left attacking role has diminished his goalscoring effectiveness somewhat. Tempering his record at Köln and internationally, is the dismal spell he endured at Bayern yet that ended in 2009 and no doubt Arsène took more notice of the upturn in his form over the past two seasons.

In an age where money talks and the best in the world want to be at the biggest clubs on very handsome wages, the signing is a positive step for the club. It signals that the club is willing to broaden the spectrum across the salary structure, a scale that has been a bone of contention in the stands at least. This is not a new theme, as far back as 1958 the salaries at Arsenal as you will find out this coming weekend at Arsenal On This Day although this morning celebrates the 1953 title being delivered on goal average.

It also clips the wings of the criticism of Arsène’s transfer activity, a source of dissension as the summer window passes by with everyone but Arsenal signing players. Last year’s accusations of panic buying were a step too far; I think it only applied to Park with the coming deadline (and drubbing at Old Trafford) forcing the club’s hand in terms of fees. As I have suggested before, I still cannot fathom the signing of Park and will to some extent be surprised if he survives this summer at the club. There has to be more to it than the manager finding him to be lower in ability than the scouting reports suggested but his future is more likely to be linked to whom Arsenal retain or sign than his own desire.

The psyche of the modern football fan has been exposed though with this signing. There has been cynicism about the timing or whether the German is a replacement, signed before the inevitable disappointment comes. I am sure that Podolski is a signing to strengthen the squad although Abou Diaby’s latest setback has made me wonder…

As for the timing, there are a multitude of reasons for not announcing it sooner, not least of which is having all of the t‘s crossed and i‘s dotted on the paperwork but most likely is the combination of results at the weekend which condemned Köln to at least the relegation play-off in the Bundesliga. I do not subscribe to the view that this is a cheap ploy to increase season ticket renewals either; it won’t help but in itself, it is not a “game-changer“. I did find it curious that the official site was able to respond to the release of the information so quickly; that does not normally happen. Arsenal wouldn’t hold up a transfer just to let the site appear to be up-to-date with news. Would they…?

Anyhow, I am just enjoying a positive few days. It has been a filip in the build-up to the final home game of the season this weekend, a match of key importance that combined with Podolski’s arrival can offer a sign of intent for the next campaign. Who they are sending those signals to remains to be seen. Last night’s crumbling on the pitch and touchlines offered the suggestion that Sir Alex Ferguson is heading toward a Keegan-esque meltdown in the near future. Mancini has never irked me in the way that he does some; if anything last night’s hand gestures to the Scot meant he went up in my estimation, especially when Ferguson made his own pathetic mimicking efforts.

Happy days all-round. Heeeyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

’til Tomorrow.

146 thoughts on “Podolski: A Signal Of Intent On And Off The Pitch

  1. ‘Many of us have been calling for veteran talents who could be leaders and improve our attitude, commitment’
    Limestone, now I don’t have a very large football brain. If i found myself in the same room as the worlds second greatest manager, Master Biesla, I’d go weak at the knees, so the following is only a guess:
    I’d say that players like Eduardo, Rosicky (pre -injury), uh, even Hleb etc. were quite literally bought in to answer your calls. Unfortunately at the time the Arsenal were not wallowing in booty and got not therefore spend some money on their immediate replacements. Oh, they bought in Na$ri before he F’d off with Cesc F Word. Which was nice.
    I enjoyed Nasri’s miss last night.
    And Clichy’s performance. Im rambling now but looking at the post match scenes I think it is fair to say that Kompany rates his left back. Which is more then some Arsenal fans managed, but then what does Kompany know about defending?

  2. In truth I can’t write or type very well. And I’m not always right. Why, like many ( I hope!) at the time I imagined that a previous signing was the solution to the second striker role. Chamack might not have been the answer but at least he didn’t cost £35M.

  3. @ finsbury | May 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    ha ha

    @ arsenalandrew
    Be great to say goodbye to the “golden shower”, but Wodgie is quite conservative, so he may stick with them?
    I’m sure he’s strong enough mentally to weather the criticism. And if not, he’s got a massive payoff coming his way.

    My England back four:
    Tulisa – Jessie J – Adele – Duffy.


    @ Limestonegunner | May 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    Not sure what the point is? You acknowledge that we have been in a period when money has been very tight. Wenger went with youth because we couldn’t afford experienced players of the quality which is required all over the pitch. Given that much of the time we had to choose between experience and quality (or at least potential), we went with quality or rough diamonds. And since we had a young team, some of us thought that rather than constantly complain about their inexperience, we should just support them. They came close to glory a couple of times and I’ve enjoyed watching them. But we’ve got more money now, which is why we are able to sign finished products.

    It’s a bit like saying that someone who has had a pay rise which enables him to buy a bigger house is revising his policy on accomodation.

  4. PG

    Who’s Roy?

    According to the media luminaries, Woy is now England boss and any speech impediment is fair game to laugh at. Which just about sums up how pathetic they are.

  5. Good points LG,
    The youth project almost worked (in 2008) but since then, increased competition brought about in part by financial doping has made it nigh on impossible these days to repeat that feat. That, coupled with the vicious cycle of players leaving for money/trophies as soon as they ‘come good’ made it hard to develop squad consistency, which is vital for any team, let alone one ‘based’ on youth.

    Wenger probably persisted longer with the project than he had to, which I guess is normal behaviour(especially since it almost worked once) but happy to see he’s changing approach.

    I’ve always thought that his management style was particularly unsuited to implementing a youth project in a high pressure environment like the PL. But with enough experience and self-guidance in the squad, I can see us going that extra step required to win stuff.

  6. FG,
    We’ve not suddenly got money. I imagine we could have spent what we’re spending now 2 years ago, without compromising our financial stability.

  7. Lime @ 5:48
    very well thought out!

    Fins @ 6:57
    exactly……and spot on point about Clichy and his contribution to their back line.

  8. I need some help.

    I can’t decide what the best result will be for us tomorrow, who to root for (obviously a Ryo inspired Bolton win, but I’m talking about the other game).

    I accept that on the surface a draw represents the best outcome, but if there is to be a winner, who would the preferred victor be?

    Could Newcastle follow up a win tomorrow with six points against citeh and the toffees? I very much doubt both the better and bluer halves of Manchester and Merseyside will roll over. So perhaps it’s best if they win tomorrow, even though that would draw them closer to us?

    Chelski away to Liverpool next – tough to win (to draw, perhaps not so) regardless of the result Saturday evening.

    I know our fate is in our own hands, that two wins equals third place (if everything goes perfectly tomorrow one win actually would do it, goal difference pending) but I can’t help thinking that dropped points elsewhere could be just as important.

    In truth, the big game is at the Reebok. If Bolton could just nick something it would massive!

    Buzzing about Podolski; next stop, RVP, Song and Theo.

  9. george,

    Daily musings on the world of football and Arsenal in particular.

    So the woy appointment. i’m in two minds about it. ok he is a good guy and has a better cv then arry and could do a job under a less optimistic carried away nation cloud but…well i was hoping someone could bring back (create)a spark in the england team. i’d rather watch john wilsons catch of the day then england at the moment and i cant see woys teams being any bleeming more entertaining infact we will probably see the return of the out of fashion dead 4-4-2. anyway i will get behind him. goodluck i think he will need it as the media will already be waiting to pounce on him when things go awry.

  10. “It’s a bit like saying that someone who has had a pay rise which enables him to buy a bigger house is revising his policy on accomodation.”

    Exactly! I’ve seen enough people suggesting that Arsene is finally listening to their pleas, buying early and buying experience! Get over yourselves, Arsene’s purchases have nothing to do with your complaints. Circumstances have changed to where he can afford to buy the type of players he bought when he first arrived at Arsenal.

  11. Henristic | May 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    The key phrase in your post is ‘I imagine’ you don’t actually know. The old sponsorships are up for renewal in 2014, so I would also ‘imagine’ that pushing the boat out now is less of a risk than perhaps it would have been 2 years ago. I also ‘imagine’ that losing cesc and nasri last summer forced his hand a bit.

  12. Passenal,
    Hahaha, isn’t that what we do here mostly?

    I disagree with your ‘imagining’ that we pushing the boat out. Nothing we’ve reportedly spent so far looks beyond what our balance sheets of the few years can handle.

    Also, we didn’t need for Cesc and Nasri to leave before we bought, Mert, Arteta, Poldi, etc. That we didn’t have these guys then probably contributed to our losing them.

  13. Fun @ 8:07:

    The point of disagreement was that some of us felt the dependence on youth and the frugality was probably taken a little further then it should have been. It was not a question of supporting or not supporting the team.

    Players like Mert, Arteta, Santos, Benayoun and perhaps even Podolski were within our accepted spending parameters even during the leaner years but we choose not to spend on that type of player. Certainly players like those were affordable 2 -3 years ago and in retrospect could have made a huge difference especially last season. Perhaps thats crying over spilled milk and to our credit we appear to have learned our lessons. Perhaps Podolski signals a continued drift in our philosophy towards a more pragmatic approach, at least I hope so.

  14. Mattgooner, any update on the Robson petition? Have you sent the link and the log in info to the club so that they can read the comments? I suggested sending it to feedback@arsenal.co.uk

    I’ve stopped linking it around, but it would be interesting to hear the club’s reply. Firstlady was asking about it yesterday.

  15. Fucking hell Joey Barton is on Newsnight – this makes less sense than Dizzee Rascal’s appearance.

    BBC continues it’s downward trajectory.

    The Day Today had it right again…

    “And reaction to the new measures has been strong – so far we’ve spoken to Kim Wilde”.

  16. Not sure why I am so interested in this England manager appointment. I think it is because I rather like Hodgson and rather dislike Redknapp and the football media/punditocracy.

  17. Love the way he start every sentence with “I mean” as though he has just said something.

    The first yard is in your head son.

  18. I think Peter Crouch’s goal tonight is definitely worthy of goal of the season consideration… He meant it about as much as his other, I believe.

  19. Cornish pasties! Those in the picture areabout as authentic as Ronney’s hair.

    Pasties are always crimped on the side.

    Typical Grauniad bollocks.

    Anyway, my mum told me that pasties were first made in Plymouth.

  20. You running some sort of knitwear business down there, Cb?

    Pasties – patches that cover a woman’s nipples and areolae which are affixed with adhesive. Though pasties are commonly associated with burlesque and erotic entertainment, they are also at times worn as an undergarment and occasionally as beachwear.

  21. It would be nice if there were Arsenal pasties..people..er..women could ummm maybe..well sort of …perhaps..you know

  22. I have loved Podolski for years and he will be a fantastic signing for the club and you know he really wants this move as Koln are his boyhood club and even when some big clubs were after him when he was leaving Bayern he chose to go there which shows that he thinks Arsenal are a big club as he has left his boyhood club again but if it does go wrong I will expect him to go back to Koln

Comments are closed.