The German international scored two well taken goals in the 3-1 victory over the Hammers to help his side move back into the top four, one point ahead of rivals Everton.
The French manager has admitted that he is still reluctant to play the 28 year old in a central striker role despite his prolific form.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
He’s a natural finisher, that’s always why he’s difficult to position on the pitch because you would want him in the box in front of goal and as well wide.
Tonight I think he moved better and more. He got into some very interesting positions.
Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny also heaped praise on the German international by stating that he is an important player for the Gunners. He said:
Lukas Podolski is a very good player like we saw today and I hope he can score a lot of goals in the four games left that we play. It’s important for us.
Podolski has a reputation as something of an enigma, but based on his performance against West Ham, he seems determined to set that aside. It’s impossible to separate his match-winning display against the Hammers from his poor showing against Wigan a matter of days earlier.
In the FA Cup game he was taken off in favour of Yaya Sanogo and despite his limited contribution, the fans were furious and even booed Wenger’s decision. The German himself wasn’t much happier as he marched towards the tunnel before kicking a bottle in frustration. However, if it was that same feeling of frustration that drove him to produce such an effective display, perhaps it was not a bad thing.
His first goal was arguably the most important of the night as it prevented Arsenal from going in at half-time a goal down and lifted spirits around the stadium. If his first was characterised by its accuracy, the second was all about power. The brace took him to 10 goals this season and considering he has made just 15 starts, it’s an excellent tally.
The winger was unusually muted in his celebration and may be some anger still burns inside him due to that withdrawal against Wigan, which may be the best thing for his Arsenal career. If that anger can fuel more goal scoring performances of this type, Arsenal will have quite the player on their hands.
Can Podolski continue this form? Share your thoughts in the comments below.