Lukas Podolski: An early sign times are changing at Arsenal | More to follow?

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Good morning Grovers! I’m in jubilant mood this morning because Arsenal have satisfied my lust for new players well before the transfer window opens. Superb eh? An actual signing… before June 1st. Are we learning lessons or are we bracing the fans for a departure? I think we’re learning lessons… get your business done early. Show the rest of the squad you mean business and actually build the club up again.

Lukas Podolski is a superb signing on many levels. Firstly, it’s not often we buy a forward with goal scoring pedigree. Generally, Arsene Wenger picks his strikers based on physical attributes, then technical attributes… then we pray to the footballing goods they learn how to find the net. Sometimes it works… Thierry Henry and Adebayor spring to mind. Other times, it completley bombs. Chamakh and Kaba Diawara certainly drop into the latter category. Wenger had this to say on his new man…

‘We are delighted to secure the deal for Lukas and see him as an important part of our future. He is a top-class player, a very good finisher and a proven performer at club and international level. He is a very strong player and will provide us with good attacking options.’

Podolski comes with pedrigree. He can play centrally and he can play on the left. He’s powerful and he’s very fast. He’s not a tricky skillful wideman. He’s someone who represents brute force. He’d rather take the straight line than the dancing into space route someone like Messi takes. He’s a German Gareth Bale. Except hopefully he’ll score more goals, stay on his feet a bit more and obvioulsy he’ll be playing for us next season as well… Gareth probably won’t be for Spurs. So not too many similarities!

An injection of quality like Lukas will boost team morale, increase competition and give us more depth. His stats are very impressive as well. In the last two seasons for Cologne he’s played 63 times, scored 33 goals and bagged 13 assists. Even for Bayern Munich, a team everyone said he tanked at, he managed 32 games in his last two seasons, scored 19 and landed 12 assists. In 60 appearances over two seasons Theo has managed 22 goals and 16 assists.

Hopefully his arrival is a signal to the fans that the rumours this year are not to entice us into handing over our hard earned cash for another year of mediocrity. When I was told way back in Jan that we’d be making two signings from Germany and we’d be making a big move in France it looks like part of that has been complete.

Who is the big name from France? I have my doubts it’s Hazard. Question now is whether we have the clout to take M’Vila from Rennes against the competition of Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. You’d have to imagine than our French connection and the bright lights of London would sway a 21 year old Frenchman that London was the best place to be for his career and development. If we tie up that deal sharpish,  I’d feel 100% more confident about the summer. I still think we’ll snare Hoilett and I wouldn’t be shocked if we snapped up Kalou and Holtby. All we’d be missing then would be a top quality creator.

They exist out there. Marvin Martin seems to have gone right off the boil this season but we knew there was interest there last year. You’ve got Eden Hazard ripping it up with Lille still (14 assists and loads of goals), though he is more of a wideman. Eriksen of Ajax looks very gifted but his stats don’t impress hugely this season. Valbuena of Marseille has 11 assists, at 27, he’d be of the right age. There is also Giroud who has weighed in with 8 assists of his own! Pretty damn good… even though he’s a forward.

Anyway, the point is this. There are players out there at the right price if you’re looking in the right places and you have the desire. Doing your business early is a possibility as well. It’s nice to see we’re making the right moves now… let’s keep the momentum going this summer. Well played Arsene and Ivan.

So… who’d be on your shopping list this summer?

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’]

P.S. Two things to draw your attention to. Firstly, we did a little piece for The Armchair Gooner, take a look at the first two comments, very amusing. Secondly, another Charity type thing to draw your attention to. Gareth Parker (@GarethParker <- Great Gooner follow on Twitter) is throwing a Balls to Homelessness event in the Piccadilly Comedy Store. Alan Davies of The Tuesday Club Podcast will be heading up the bill along with fellow Gooner Ian Stone. I’ll be heading down there as well, they’ve heard about my jokes and insisted I do a ten minute slot. I know… I know… word gets around about great jokesmithing.

Tickets are £15 and it’s for a good cause. You can buy them here.

Also, a massive, massive thank you for sharing around that Sagna article yesterday… the guys at Grassroot Soccer will be thrilled the article was recieved so well. Remember, if you want to donate to them, the page is here (Grassroot Soccer Donations).

P.P.S. I’d talk about last nights United vs City game but it was such a let down, I can’t be arsed. Watching Fergie lose his rag late on was pretty funny… what a petulant brat of a man he is.

358 Responses to “Lukas Podolski: An early sign times are changing at Arsenal | More to follow?”

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  1. SDE

    Maybe the appointment of Roy Hodgson tells us a few things.

    Such as:

    1)The lack of genuine quality english managers out there..
    (Not to say roy, is that bad..,but he’s the best of the so called great english bunch)

    2)Maybe,the english squad is not as good/great as the media,or the fans make them out to be.

    3)A reality check-in terms of, if roy is the best england manager we can recruit..

    Then maybe,it’s a reflection of the england’s squad’s standing on the world stage & their “great talents they display at club level,but are unable to duplicate at world/euro level as a collective”

    All I will say is Guss Hiddink with South Korea..
    -2002 WC-4th Place
    Lesser talents than us,but with a supreme work ethic

    Greece -Euro 2004 Champions-Otto Rehhagel..springs to mind!!

    Let’s not get ideas above our station..

    Delusions of Grandeur springs to mind..

    England-a quarter-final team at best!!
    And roy of the rovers,out of the best of them fits the bill..

    Maybe,he will play to the strengths of the team,rather than pandering to the ego’s of certain individuals..
    Greece-2004 Euros-again springs to minds..

  2. zeus

    1)The lack of genuine quality english managers out there..
    (Not to say roy, is that bad..,but he’s the best of the so called great english bunch)

    *******

    Stating the obvious SDE.

    Name me a current Englisg manager who has been a serial success. Name me one with a PL title to his name. And even if there was, the quality players that England have (the “golden” generation) are so far behind the rest of the top countries in terms of technique, it renders most top coached powerless anyway.

  3. zacharse

    Pedro & Geoff!!!!!!!

    Please Please PLEASE CAN WE HAVE A POLL:

    You are a Sports Journalist. You are invited to Arsene’s grand Post-Season press conference where he will be announcing The Arsenal’s goals for the Summer Transfer Window and the 2012-13 Season. You get one question to ask him.

    “Excuse Me, Mr. Wenger, but how many times do you expect to be announcing Diaby as ‘like a new signing’ during the coming season?”

    That would be mine. I’m sure many of you have some. Perhaps if this works out someone will pick up a good ball-breaker for the old witch

  4. GUNNER786

    BREAKING NEWS

    Wenger is to table a bid for Barca winger Ibrahim Afellay!!!!

    Tito Vilanova has told him he is not in his plans.

  5. Patrick

    I’m looking to score three tickets for Norwich on Saturday.
    Can any of you help or point me the right way?

    I can be called on 07955548025

  6. Stu

    Is afellay a winger? Thought he was an AM.

    Great loanee news. Arshavin got a fantastic assist and set up a chance that led to a foul and thus a penalty for Zenit at the weekend. The man needs to come back and start through the middle for us.

  7. zeus

    Gunn

    HIghly unlikely. We have Theo, Podolski, Gervinho (hehe), The OX, Maybe Miyachi to play out wide.

    Besides, Ive always felt that Ibrahim was a little too brittle for the PL. Maybe its just my perception, but while at PSV, he seemed to be more injury prone than Theo.

    Can’t speak to the facts of that though.

  8. Sammy Alexander Mason

    If I had the purse and was realistically given a similar amount as Wenger I’d opt for Javi Martinez over M’Villa. He’s big strong and relatively young and can also play centreback. Secondly I’d go for an unknown in Siem de Jong. At the moment his reputation allows for a sneaky cheap purchase but his talent is obvious. He’s two footed, plays in behind the strikers and has good stats for assists and goals. Lastly I’d go for Hoilett. Simply because he has potential, should be cheap (following Blackburn’s inevitable relegation) and counts as home grown.

  9. zeus

    Stu

    He was moved inside more towards the end of his PSV years.

    Always thought there was a touch of CR7 about his style though. Loves it more out wide. Not really the pass master that a #10 needs I think. Of course you need both, passing and finishing, but more of a Ronaldo type as I’ve said.

  10. OPG

    With the Euro”s a month away it’ll force clubs to show their hand early but it’s also a chance to scout some players.
    Obviously many are not involved in it like Hazard that might drag on a bit this summer..

  11. zeus

    OPG

    We went through that in the last Euros. Had to wait til after for Nasri.

    And the WC where I can’t even remember who we bought in 2010.

  12. Maciek

    Zeus,

    We must care for ourselves. They still have a chance to win the FA CUP this season having won the CC.

    On the other hand we have faild to win any single trophy since 2005 and still need AT LEAST 4 world class players to bo considered as a force next season.

    P.S. Is it true that even if we finish 3rd we will be playing in the CL qualifications if Chelsea win the CL?

  13. zeus

    Maciek

    That is not my understanding. We get 3rd, and we are safe. If we get 4th, then the Liverpool rule kicks in. Since the champions have to defend their title.

  14. OPG

    Belhanda got sent off out for the season now 6 points ahead of PSG after a 2-2 draw having played a game extra.

  15. OPG

    I mean he got sent off late on for fighting between players, Evian ended with 9 men in the end and they last minute penalty missed.

  16. zeus

    “Did Mourinho influence my decision to leave? Not at all. I had other opponents as well, but other coaches don’t make you tired. Day-to-day work and winning does,” Guardiola stated at a press conference.

    Is that why Wenger is sooo full of life?

  17. Cesc Appeal

    Hope the Afellay rumour is true, great player. Lost his way a bit at Barcelona but one of those I rekon that will explode into life at a new club. 18 appearances since his 2011 signing for Barcelona with one goal. Compare that to PSV where he had over 100 and scored 35 goals.
    Nice pacey, tricky winger with the ability to take on is man. An up top of Podolski, RVP and Afellay would be belting i think. Slowly bring Oxo into the mix as a RW and a CAM. Give up on Walcott, use him as an impact sub but under no circumstances should we give him £90 000+ a week, joke!
    We should be able to get Afellay for a dirt cheap price as well, if it is true and he’s not part of Barcelona’s plans, can’t see why he would be.
    There loss our gain.
    At worse he’d be a great addition to the squad for a low transfer fee. Robin’s laid the ground work with an ‘innocent coffee’ a couple of weeks ago.
    Would be nice if for once it was our players buttering their’s up

  18. Josip Skoblar

    Latest: Joey Barton on Newsnight to be interviewed by Paxo about the England job! I can’t believe it: Barton, the respected pundit!!!

  19. gambon

    Yep Josip, add him to the list.

    Sorensen
    Vertonghen
    Mvila
    Hazard
    Podolski
    Giroud

    £80m to make us champions.

  20. Josip Skoblar

    gambon
    It’s a great list!
    We might end up buying 3 of them (Podolski, M’Vila and Vertonghen).

  21. Josip Skoblar

    Ha! Ha! Joey is a thug on the pitch and on TV he came across as articulate and making sense. How droll.

  22. Samir

    Belhanda is Moroccan…And Moroccan players never usually come good! Even if he did…He’s the type of guy to do a Nasri!

  23. Samir

    Also, I don’t think M’Villa is right for us! We need a big, tall DM…In the Vieara mould!
    Cheikhou Kouyate fits the bill perfectly…Also would be rather cheap!

    I’d spend that M’Villa cash on a proper player – HAZARD!

    Aswell as Vertonghen!

    Podolski (Signed)
    Vertonghen
    HAZARD
    Kouyate (Or similar)
    Experienced GK

  24. GUNNER786

    Montpellier star Olivier Giroud raises hopes at Arsenal

    ARSENAL target Olivier Giroud has admitted he’s tempted by the prospect of joining the Gunners but for the moment he’s focusing on the French first division.

    The 25-year-old striker has been in prolific form for Montpellier this season, scoring 20 goals in 27 matches to lift the Mediterranean club to the top of the table. His lethal finishing hasn’t gone unnoticed by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman despatched his scouts last week to watch Giroud in action against Paris Saint Germain.

    According to Talksport, Giroud is delighted by the attention, saying: “I love the French feel at Arsenal and the atmosphere that is created by the fans. They always support their players.” Who says the French don’t do irony?

    Asked if he was in talks with Arsenal, the Montpellier marksman replied: “Out of respect to my club I am not considering my future at the moment and we will decide soon what is best for both parties.”

  25. SDE

    Josip Skolbar

    Ha! Ha! Joey is a thug on the pitch and on TV he came across as articulate and making sense. How droll.

    Reply
    Don’t be deceived…
    It’s like the politicians..Articulate on TV,but corrupt bastardised animals off TV..

  26. SDE

    Josip Skolbar..

    examples..Jeffery Archer,Dick Cheney…J.Aitken..list is endless..

    J.Barton fools no one..except himself..

  27. zeus

    SamirMay 1, 2012 23:10:46
    Belhanda is Moroccan…And Moroccan players never usually come good! Even if he did…He’s the type of guy to do a Nasri!
    *****

    What are you saying. Beccause he’s Morrocon, that makes him African. African = black so therefore he is a black bastard. U racist!!!!

  28. zeus

    I don’t get this vertonghen link. He is basically a taller Vermaelen. Is that what we want?

    If it is TV5 + 1 at CB (and I’m not necessarily convinced of that)why would the +1 be the big Vertenghen?

    Both left footed, both like toattack, maybe a bit too much; it wouldbe like having Gallas and Toure at cente half again. Remember how every pundit was saying that they were too similar to play with each other.

  29. zeus

    From Tim Vickery…………….

    In your opinion, where does Neymar stand in relation to the top young players in European football, the likes of Gotze, Hazard, Wilshere, Thiago, etc? Is he on a different level altogether or do we have to wait to see him in Europe before a true judgement can be made? Jack Lewis

    I don’t watch enough European football to make an informed comparison, but I can tell you that Neymar really is an extraordinary talent. His running with the ball at pace, his capacity to see situations, his ability to improvise at speed and in reduced spaces, his finishing – all of these are sheer class.

    It is true that Brazilian football allows him to operate in something of a comfort zone – the defensive lines operate deep, so there is plenty of space on the field in which he can pick up possession, and he picks up free-kicks that he would not always get in Europe.

    My view is that the time has now come for him to make the move – an opinion Ronaldo gave to Gary Lineker last week. If he follows Ronaldo’s advice you’ll be able to make your own comparison before long!

    What are your thoughts of the young Ecuadorians, Fidel “The Ecuadorian Neymar” Martinez (Deportivo Quito) and Fernando Gaibor (Emelec)? They seem to be playing well ahead of their age. Pacheg10

    A poor man’s Neymar is still something to be! Martinez has done wonderfully well so far in the Copa Libertadores, wide left in that Neymar position, offering a creative threat with both feet.

    I first saw him in the Ecuador side that won the 2007 Pan-American gold medal. After Jefferson Montero I thought he was one of the most interesting players. Cruzeiro in Brazil picked him up but the early move didn’t work out.

    He’s made a big impression since moving back to Ecuador last year, though, and is certainly one to watch, as is Gaibor. I thought he was the best all-round midfielder in last year’s South American Under-20 Championships and he’s kept getting better since.

  30. Samir

    I think it’d be quite hard for me to be a racist bastard zeus 😉

    My mum is Moroccan and dad from Hampstead, London!

    It’s sad but true…Moroccan players never really perform on the big stage! And ofcourse money motivates them rather alot!

    Vertonghen is absolute quality! To challenge next season we need a better second string team…Vertonghen can play DM, CB or LB. And may I say….He’s probably better than Vermy to be honest!

  31. zeus

    Samir

    🙂

    NOt sure about that generalization.

    On Vert. there is no way that Arsene is gonna dropTV5, even if he was not as good as Vert. TV5 needs to shapeup though, love the goals, but choose your moment. U are not a forward.

  32. El Tel

    Why not go with three CBs and play this team in a 3-5-2 system.

    Chesser

    Kosser. BFG. TV5

    Sagna. Vertonghen/Coquelin Santo/Gibbs

    Arteta/Rosicky. Willshere/New AM

    RVP/New Striker (Ghost No.9)

    Podolski/Gervinhio

    This would be a good first team with two options for most positions. Jenkins can be Sagnas back up and Song if He stays can back up at CB and DM or even AM.

    Miyaichi can return as a squad player too and the Ox can alternate with Jack or New AM.

    We also desperately need a back up Keeper as an emergency for Chesser as nowing our luck He will get injured. There are plenty of candidates for this position as there are for a new AM and Striker.

    I would prefer Huntellar or Dempsey as the strike options and Hazard or Eriksen as AMs. Never seen Hazard play but if He is as good as many on here say then I would trust what they say.

    Get rid of the Clown and Flappy. Squiddly Diddly,Diababy, Arshavin,Champaignmakh,Vela,Walcott,and Djoroue. With Song too if He isnt happy about being a bit part player.

    I havent forgot Park just would like to see more of him as He could maybe play a role given some games.

    Bring back Lansbury to add to the English contingent and lets see which other gems aremin the reserves and youth teams.

  33. El Tel

    Oh I forgot, I would also keep Yossi as He seems to be a great bloke who enjoys the Arsenal and calls it we and us when interviewed even though He is a Chav player.

    This Fella has kept quiet all season when we all know He should have been played more often. I see Him more in the old Freddie role getting sneaky goals and it seems like He looks for scraps from rebounds and defensive mistakes. This is something nobody else in our squad seems to be able to do.

    Yossi Benayoun you are a legend in your very short time at the Arsenal. For me anyway.

  34. bnsb

    Morning all!

    Yossi Benayoun you are a legend in your very short time at the Arsenal. For me anyway

    Very true, and many more will agree with that one.

  35. gambon

    We should definately try to get Suarez.

    He will not be happy finishing 8th.

    Walcott + £10m.

    Suarez, VanPersie & Podolski

    #lethal

  36. Geoff

    M’Vila move may be in doubt as he hit someone.

    Fuck me that’s precisely why we need him.

    Not a pussy like Song who kisses opponents.